Army mulls realignment to fortify cyber command

Army moves to build fully operational cyber component by October 2010

Army mulls realignment options to build cyber command

As the Army strengthens its military presence in the cyber realm, officials are planning for full operational capabilities by October 2010 for a unified Army cyber component that would report directly to the U.S. Cyber Command, according to a senior Defense Department official.

“We are excited to get all of the [Army] cyber forces under a single command,” said Army Brig. Gen. (P) Steven Smith, chief cyber officer, Office of the Army CIO/G-6.

The Army cyber command would involve a hybrid approach, headed up by a three-star general and comprising elements of Army communications and intelligence communities, Smith said.

Smith stressed that all plans for an Army cyber command, currently known as ARFORCYBER, are pre-decisional and subject to change. And no timeline has been announced for organizing a cyber chain of command for the Army.

But Smith outlined a scenario where the Army’s Network Enterprise Technology Command /9th Signal Command, which operates and defends the Army’s portion of the military’s Global Information Grid, might move from under the direction of the Office of the CIO/G-6 and report directly to the new Army Cyber unit.

“The center of gravity is the network,” said Army Maj. Gen. Susan Lawrence, commanding general of NETCOM/9th Signal Command.  “We need to integrate all aspects of network operations,” including defending U.S. cyberspace.

“The move would clean up the lines of authority and unity of effort,” said Lawrence..

Smith also said there is a “campaign for a spring decision to integrate cyber with information operations in the National Capitol Region,” and mentioned the possibility of establishing a cyber brigade. 

Smith spoke at a conference held by the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association’s Northern Virginia chapter Jan. 14.

About the Author

Amber Corrin is a former staff writer for FCW and Defense Systems.

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