Could a newly established command get lost in the Army shuffle?
The goal of not only protecting U.S. military networks but also providing a seamless transition in capabilities between home bases and deployment is a lot easier said than done
With the standup of the 7th
Signal Command, operating as a continental U.S. (CONUS) theater command, the Army has effectively created a mission to protect, defend and unify its communications network in the United States. But with three Army commands, six Army-service-component commands, nine direct reporting units and an eastern and western brigade beneath it – and no coherent higher command above it – the organization is facing unique challenges in taking hold of the vast landscape it has been charged with supporting.
Protecting the hundreds of U.S.-based communications networks is just the start; the command will also work to combine them all into a single enterprise network, an endeavor that is already making waves
“Many of these reporting organizations are hostile to an enterprise network – why do they need it when they have their own?” said Richard Breakiron, deputy G3 for future operations at the 7th Signal Command. “[But] a network-dependant country can be reduced to a third-world country with a cyber attack disabling infrastructure,” demonstrating the need for consistent network security.
The goal of not only protecting U.S. military networks but also providing a seamless transition in capabilities between home bases and deployment is, of course, a lot easier said than done. Some worry about the potential for a cyber attack as the command works to address internal issues that could hinder progress, including the multiple layers of the Defense Department complicated by enterprise transformation.
For Breakiron, the hurdles before mission success boil down to the tools at hand. “The [existing] systems designed for garrisons and administrations are inadequate. We need command and control systems,” he said. But he remained optimistic. “The consistency will improve with time,” he added.
Amber Corrin is a staff writer covering military networks for Defense Systems.