Spacecom handling cyberattack, defense
- By George I. Seffers
- Oct 25, 2000
U.S. Space Command is considering whether to form a unified subcommand to
take charge of computer network defense and attack missions.
Spacecom has been responsible for computer network defense missions
and this month added the computer network attack responsibilities. Computer
network attacks include offensive information operations such as cyberattacks
against enemy networks that control air defense systems.
The command now is studying the best organization for conducting the
two types of missions, according to Air Force Brig. Gen. Dale Meyerrose,
director of command and control systems for Spacecom. Options under consideration
include separate task forces for the two missions, one task force for both,
or a subcommand for both.
The study is scheduled to be completed Oct. 1, 2001.
"We are looking at how to do that over time — whether or not it is a
separate joint task force or a combined joint task force, and then whether
you add other things for a subunified command," Meyerrose said. "We've got
to work it through the intelligence community, the [regional commanders
in chief], the services, the agencies and the departments."
Meyerrose said task forces are attractive to military leaders because
they are often-used and well-understood entities, but they also are designed
to be temporary. Creating permanent task forces goes against tradition.
"A subunified command would imply more of a permanence, if you will,
but we are not set on any of the answers," Meyerrose said. "Our initial
take is that those elements need to be so closely interwoven that we need
to look long and hard at it being a single task force or a single subcommand."