Cyber Defense

Military enlists private sector to build cyber mission force

The U.S. is continuing to build its cyber force with hopes of eventually gaining over 6,000 civilian and military personnel and 133 teams. While not quite there yet, the military recently released a few proposals looking for help from the private sector in building its new force.

On behalf of U.S. Cyber Command and through a partnership, the General Services Administration’s Federal Systems Integration and Management Center issued a request for information seeking support for building up the Cyber National Mission Force and developing a multiple award indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity contract.

Under the RFI, task orders will utilize one or a combination of major support task areas, which include:

1.         All-source intelligence

2.         Business administration

3.         Capability management and development

4.         Cyber operations

5.         Cyber planning

6.         Cyber training and exercises

7.         Engagement activities

8.         IT/communications

9.         Security

10.       Strategy/Policy/Doctrine Development and Campaign Assessments

The command’s stated mission areas involve “plans, coordinates, integrates, synchronizes and conducts activities to: direct the operations and defense of specified Department of Defense information networks and; prepare to, and when directed, conduct full spectrum military cyberspace operations in order to enable actions in all domains, ensure US/Allied freedom of action in cyberspace and deny the same to our adversaries.” 

The RFI provides some insight into exactly what specific areas the command is looking at, demonstrating how wide-ranging cyber operations and capabilities can be. These include administrative tasks and intelligence collection, which contractors must be capable of “[a]nalyzing and fusing reports from multiple intelligence sources [human, signals, imagery and measurement and signature intelligence] to provide intelligence preparation of the battlespace, target development, and early warning of emerging threats.” Additionally, the RFI identifies three areas of cyber operation in which contractors must contribute various skill sets and capabilities:

Offensive cyberspace operations: “Cyberspace operations intended to project power by the application of force through cyberspace.”

Defensive cyberspace operations: “Passive and active cyberspace operations intended to preserve the ability to utilize friendly cyberspace capabilities and protect data, networks, net-centric capabilities, and other designated systems.”

DOD information network operations: “Operations to design, build, configure, secure, operate, maintain, and sustain DOD networks to create and preserve information assurance on the DODIN.”  Defending the DODIN includes ensuring the security objectives of confidentiality, integrity, and availability are maintained at a level commensurate with the criticality and sensitivity of the DODIN.”

Meanwhile, in a separate sources sought posting, the Army said it is looking commercial sources that can provide training developers, training instructors and lab technicians for government owned cyberspace operations and U.S. Army Cyber School Cyberspace Operations training.

Specifically, the Army is looking for Training developers, instructors and a lab technician to develop government-owned cyberspace operations training and begin training students in August. Contractor personnel will take part in training development, classroom instruction, classroom/lab support, operational tests, training material validation and instructor certification.

The Army Cyber School was recently established to train the new cyber branch for the Army Cyber Command’s Cyber Mission Force teams.    

Other recent training efforts include a new Cyber Battle Ground for Army personnel to test and provide soldiers with a realistic environment for testing skills learned and reinforced in a classroom setting.

About the Author

Mark Pomerleau is a former editorial fellow with GCN and Defense Systems.

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