Navy Cyber Command sets sail

Navy officials revived a bit of the service's storied history last week when they unveiled the Fleet Cyber Command, which will take charge of the service’s offensive and defensive operations in cyberspace, with Vice Adm. Bernard McCullough at the helm.

The new command, based at Fort Meade, Md., alongside the National Security Agency and the Defense Department’s Cyber Command, is part of the recommissioned 10th Fleet. As military history buffs will tell you, the 10th Fleet was originally established during World War II to combat German U-boats.

Adm. Gary Roughead, chief of naval operations, compared navigation of the cyber domain to the Battle of the Atlantic, reports our Amber Corrin in Defense Systems, a sister publication. “It’s similar today — we’re in a domain, a sea if you will, where we are under duress,” Roughead said. “Cyberspace is a unique domain with different requirements, and the Navy must think differently to meet this new kind of challenge.”

The Air Force and Marines already have cyber commands in place, and the Army is expected to follow suit later this year.

Cyber operations are nothing new to the Navy. The service has developed considerable expertise in the areas of signals analysis and airborne expeditionary-based electronic warfare, notes Lance Bacon at the Navy Times.

“McCullough acknowledged the strength in and necessity of teamwork,” Bacon writes. “He said the Fleet Cyber Command’s ability to work with the sister services, academia, agencies, industry, allies and partners would be key to its success.”

A Navy cryptology expert using the handle “Captain” was pleased with the turn of events.

“I suspect that Adm. Ernest J. King — commander of the original U.S. 10th Fleet — would be proud that 'his' fleet has been re-established,” Captain writes on the blog “I Like the Cut of His Jib.”

But one of Captain’s readers was not impressed. “I ‘suspect’ Adm. King would be aghast that ‘his’ 10th fleet was resurrected and handed over to a bunch of techno-geeks,” the anonymous commenter said.

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Reader comments

Wed, Jan 19, 2011 Hansel

If the Admiral of the U-boat fleet had been allowed to build his submarine fleet of u-boats they would have ruled the ocean. There was a dead spot in the ocean where aircraft couldn't reach to patrol because of fuel range. Our naval technology had nothing over the Axis Naxy. In fact the best torpedo of WW2 was Japanese. Our torpedos often bounced off their target and didn't explode. Or they went in a big circle and guess what they hit. Why were the Japanese super subs L-4 series sunk by the USN after the war? They were the largest subs in service and in fact they carried airplanes that were supposed to bomb the Panama Canal zone. This technology was supressed and lots of advanced Japanese aircraft were scrapped in Indiana to keep us knowing how close to losing the air war.

Mon, Sep 6, 2010

I have seen the arrogance of one service working alone in the cyber-world. I am glad to see the Navy get started with Cyber Command. It's not about who is first, better or whatever. It is about the whole structure of the Department of Defense (DOD) getting their act together. All of the services are supposed to be gearing up to work together as a team (remember Joint Operations Commands etc) To defeat our Cyber enemies domestic or foreign DOD will have to work together to win. (That includes close working with Homeland Security and maybe other groups NSA is a good start!


"I have worked with Navy IA and I wouldn't trust them to protect a twinkie from a fat kid." Wow, that is kind of harsh. I had some Navy personnel work with us in the mountains of Afghanistan, I thought it was good to be working with other branches that we normally don't have contact with like that in a tactical setting, though I will admit, I did get a little worried that some of them hadn't touch weapons before this deployment. We brought them out to the ranges and let em's fire our crew served weapons and gave them training.

Thu, Feb 11, 2010

I have worked with the Marines, they are great. I have worked with the Seals, they are awesome. I have worked with Navy IA and I wouldn't trust them to protect a twinkie from a fat kid.

Tue, Feb 9, 2010 LSA

I'm sure the war against the U-boats was won, thanks to the fine engineering of techno-geeks that allowed our brave sailors to prevail.

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