Stratcom acquires new IT missions

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U.S. Strategic Command last month acquired four new missions, including oversight of the Defense Department's information operations and global command, control, communications, computer, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (C4ISR) capabilities.

Air Force Gen. Richard Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said that President Bush signed "Change 2" to the Unified Command Plan Jan. 10, which assigned four emerging missions to Stratcom:

* Missile defense.

* Global strike.

* DOD information operations.

* Global C4ISR.

In his Feb. 5 testimony before the House Armed Services Committee, Myers said the changes reflect "the U.S. military's increased emphasis on a global view."

"With its global strike responsibilities, the command will provide a core cadre to plan and execute nuclear, conventional and information operations anywhere in the world," Myers said in his prepared testimony. "Stratcom serves as the DOD advocate for integrating the desired military effects of information operations."

Stratcom, which has its headquarters at Offutt Air Force Base, Neb., and is commanded by Navy Adm. James Ellis Jr., merged with U.S. Space Command in October 2002. However, it retains its space operations responsibilities and its nuclear triad of submarine, bomber and missile forces, Myers said.

Army Maj. Gen. J. David Bryan, commander of Stratcom's Joint Task Force for Computer Network Operations (JTF-CNO), said one of his top priorities is to help facilitate Stratcom's growth and increased responsibilities by sharing his office's experience with cyber operations.

The JTF-CNO's mission is to defend all DOD networks from attack, as well as to initiate cyberattacks when instructed by the president or Defense secretary.

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