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.

Reader Comments

Tue, May 24, 2011 DM Colburn Arizona

The focus on the global network and integrating NETCOM 9th under the Army Cyber Command makes good sense. Leveraging this substantive change as THE catalyst for achieving the elusive culture change that the NETCOM organization has been attempting to achieve, makes even better sense.

The Cyber Warfare threat is real. It requires the Army to adapt and evolve quickly. Adapting and evolving the technology management values and support paradigms is not something the NETCOM organization is famous for. This move to Cyber could be the opportunity the US needs to finally embed the new culture and values in the tech. support organizations, required to achieve real measurable improvements in NETCOM’s adaptability and capacity to evolve the network to meet the threat of Cyber attack. The move provides the opportunity for leadership-level sponsorship for a “Change-able” culture in NETCOM. There are proven ways to accomplish the necessary changes. Read on to find out more.

Because there are proven effective ways to improve NETCOM’s adaptability to change, by improving change sponsorship skills in support of a known change event (the move to Cyber), it would be a significant lost opportunity if the change in NETCOM's reporting structure was not tied to a new set of core NETCOM values, defining its role in the new Cyber organization. The one core value that would be the most effective for the Cyber organization would be a value on Change Sponsorship Skills for all Cyber leadership and management staff.

Thu, Feb 25, 2010 John Schrader Alexandria

THe Navy has responded with the creation of 10th Fleet/FLTCYBERCMD. The Air Force with 24th AF/AFCYBERCMD. The Army is standing up ARCYBER. There is an opportunity here to really make a statement about how "operational" the Army views Cyber. Assign the mission to a numbered Army Corps. Numbered fleets and numbered Air Forces align the warfighing mission of these organizations with history and puts an operational spin on them from the get go. A numbered Army Corps is not only command equivelancy, it is firmly stating that the Army component is a warfighting force focused on the cyber domain.

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