Cyber Defense

Cyber Command gets big boost in spending bill

Funding for the U.S. Cyber Command would more than double under the omnibus appropriations bill passed by the House, though the price for money could be greater transparency.

The $1.1 trillion spending bill would allocate $486.9 billion for defense in fiscal 2014, including $447 million for the Cyber Command, according to a summary of the bill posted by the House Appropriations Committee. The Cyber Command received $191 million in 2013.

The bill also allots $719 million for the Homeland Security Department’s cyber operations. But as Amber Corrin reports for FCW, the bill would require that Congress receive more information on the Cyber Command programs and regular reports from DHS’ National Protection and Programs Directorate, as well as additional information on the U.S. Special Operations Command.

Increased funding for the Cyber Command isn’t surprising, since cyber operations are an expanding field within DOD. The U.S. Cyber Command said in early 2013 that it expects to expand its workforce from about 900 to 4,900 by 2016.

The cyber commands within the individual services also are growing. The Air Force, for example, expects to add about 2,000 personnel to AF Cyber over the next two years. The Army, which recently chose Fort Gordon, Ga., as the site of its new, consolidated command, will add 660 soldiers and civilian personnel to its cyber force. The Navy and Marine Corps commands likewise have plans to add personnel by 2016.

The House bill’s push for more information from defense and civilian cyber operations comes in wake of ongoing revelations about the extent of the National Security Agency’s surveillance and espionage programs, which have prompted calls for greater oversight.

The bill, the result of a bipartisan deal made in December, now heads to the Senate, where it is expected to pass.  

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