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Building a New Command in Cyberspace

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Journal article

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Cybersecurity is vital to our nation. Part of our task at US Cyber Command is ensuring that our nation understands what it is that the White House, Congress, and the Department of Defense have charged us to do and why it is so important that it be done well. Constructing a new command while conducting operations is quite a challenge, especially in a time of rapid technological and policy changes, but this new command has produced results that have made our nation stronger and more secure and has already returned cybersecurity dividends on the investments of time and resources dedicated to its creation. US Cyber Command achieved full operational capability FOC on 31 October 2010 as a subunified command under US Strategic Command USSTRATCOM. The road to FOC culminated roughly according to the timetable prescribed by the secretary of defense when he directed the establishment of the command back in June 2009. Initial operational capability IOC was originally projected to have been reached that October, but that date slipped to May 2010, when my nomination to serve as its first commander was confirmed by the Senate. We put the months between October 2009 and May 2010 to good use, however, building a consolidated staff to merge the two legacy organizations, Joint Functional Component Command for Network Warfare JFCC-NW and Joint Task Force for Global Network Operations JTF-GNO, which together became Cyber Command. We also outlined the tasks needed to move us to FOC once the clock started running. Though the interval between initial capability in May and attaining full operational capability in October was only five months instead of the planned 12, we were able to attain several goals. Moreover, we did so while accelerating the tempo of daily operations that had been established by JTF-GNO and JFCC-NW.

Subject Categories:

  • Cybernetics
  • Unconventional Warfare

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