During my August 2021 visit to MARFORPAC, I had a chance to talk with the specialists in information operations within the command. In particular, I met with Mr. Justin Bogue, Information Maneuver Branch Deputy, Maj. Melissa Giannetto, MARFORPAC PsyOp Officer and Maj. Nick Mannweiler, COMMSTRAT Operations.
Clearly, one major change since my last visit to MARFORPAC in 2014-2015 has been a renewed focus on information operations.
With the Russian seizure of Crimea which involved significant use of information warfare, and the ramp up of information operations including cyber in the Pacific – China, North Korea and Russia – a focus on crisis management operations needs to incorporate information operations as a core capability.
It needs to be, in the words of one participant in the discussion, “not a bolt-on capability but a core integrated capability.”
A key change which the Marines have made to build out modern IO capabilities has been the formation of MEF Information Groups (MIG) in each Marine Expeditionary Force.