Navy Cyber Command sets sail

The Fleet Cyber Command is part of the recommissioned 10th fleet, which was originally established during World War II to combat U-boats.

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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