Cyber warriors anticipate center

Personnel in the military's new cyberdefense organization hope to operate a new command center by late spring.

The facility will include new hardware and software to help workers of the Joint Task Force-Global Network Operations (JTF-GNO) operate, manage and defend the military's computer networks. "It will be a state-of-the-art facility," said Army Brig. Gen. Dennis Via, deputy commander of the JTF-GNO. He spoke Feb. 23 at the Defense Department Global Information Grid Enterprise Services conference held by the Association for Enterprise Integration, an industry trade group.

Via said JTF-GNO personnel need a new command center to perform their global mission. He declined to discuss its cost and the companies doing the work.

Military officials will update the secure compartmentalized information facility (SKIF) of JTF-GNO's predecessor organization, the Joint Task Force-Computer Network Operations, Via said. A SKIF should ensure that people cannot eavesdrop on the voice, video and data monitored and transmitted there.

Work started there in December and should end in May. JTF-GNO employees temporarily work in the Global Network Operations and Security Center operated by the Defense Information Systems Agency, Via said.

The opening of the new command center coincides with JTF-GNO becoming fully operational. Task force officials also plan in May to issue updated guidelines for overseeing the military's networks called the Joint Concept of Operations, he said.

In June, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld created JTF-GNO and named the director of the Defense Information Systems Agency, Air Force Lt. Gen. Harry Raduege, to oversee it to achieve a more cohesive operation, management and protection of the military's networks. In November, DOD officials approved the Global Information Grid Network Operations and Defense plan that identifies four officials in the military services that will report to Raduege.

The task force falls under Strategic Command, one of the military's nine unified combatant commands that either oversee use of combat forces in a geographic region or provide a capability and develop doctrine for them. Strategic Command oversees the operation and protection of the military's networks and information operations to include psychological operations and perhaps computer network attack.

The formation of and foundation for JTF-GNO comes after task force officials in 2004 tabulated 74,053 incidents including attempted intrusions on the military's networks ... the most since DOD officials started publicly announcing them in 2001. They reported 40,076 incidents in 2001, 43,086 in 2002 and 54,688 in 2003.

"The threat is becoming more aggressive and sophisticated," said Via.

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