Cyber Command Deputy Details Formation of Cyber Mission Force
Cyber Command Deputy Details Formation of
Cyber Mission Force
By Jim Garamone, DoD News, Defense Media
Washington D.C. — (DoD
News) — June 22, 2016 — The deputy commander of U.S. Cyber Command detailed
the command’s efforts to build capabilities and capacity in the Cyber Mission
Force during his testimony before the House Armed Services Committee here today.
Air Force Lt. Gen. James K. “Kevin” McLaughlin told the committee that the
Cyber Mission Force is designed to defend DoD information networks, support
combatant commander missions and defend the nation’s critical infrastructure.
Participants at the Cyber Guard 2016 exercise work through a June 16. 2016,
training scenario during the nine-day exercise in Suffolk, Va., that concluded
last week. Air Force Lt. Gen. James K. “Kevin” McLaughlin, the deputy commander
of U.S. Cyber Command, told the House Armed Services Committee June 22 that the
exercise is critical to training cyber warriors to operate in the new domain.
The force will eventually be made up of 133 teams, which will give the
department “a means to apply military capability at scale in cyberspace,” he
Cybercom depends on three factors for success, McLaughlin said: the quality
of its people, the effectiveness of their capabilities and the proficiency its
people bring to bear in employing capabilities. The command is a mix of
active-duty personnel and reserve component service members.
“As on June 10, out of a target total of 133 teams that will be part of the
Cyber Mission Force, we have 46 teams that are at fully operational capable
status and 59 that are at initial capability status,” the general said. “These
teams currently comprise 4,684 total people that we will build eventually to
6,187 when we finish.”
He noted that even when a team is not fully operational, they are still
contributing to the command’s worldwide efforts. Combatant commanders can now
call on Cyber Mission Force teams to bring effects to their operations.
“Such work occurs daily in the fight against ISIL, where our teams are
conducting cyberspace operations in support of U.S. Central Command’s ongoing
efforts to degrade, dismantle and ultimately defeat ISIL,” McLaughlin said.
Real-World Training Scenarios
Training the force continues, he told the committee, noting the annual Cyber
Guard exercise that concluded last week. The exercise provides realistic
training for all stakeholders -- federal, state, local and private-sector
partners. “The response to Cyber Guard from our public and private partners has
been tremendous,” McLaughlin said. “Dozens of critical infrastructure companies
have expressed interest in participating in it.”
Exercises like Cyber Guard allow senior officials to observe the types of
issues they would see in real cyberattacks and helps generate a playbook that
would help officials respond to actual attacks, he said.
While people are the most important resource to the command, the general also
had an infrastructure request for the committee. “Ongoing efforts to develop
tools, such as the persistent training environment, the unified platform, cyber
situational awareness and the joint information environment, must continue to be
resourced,” he said. “These capabilities are critical in ensuring our cyber
warriors are equipped to counter sophisticated and dynamic adversaries.
“The accelerating pace of technology innovation and our adversaries changing
tactics require well-trained, well-resourced and agile force to perform all
three of the critical missions we support,” McLaughlin said.
(Follow Jim Garamone on Twitter: @GaramoneDoDNews)