Army Cyber Command moves to the front
- By Kevin McCaney
- Jul 28, 2016
Following the lead of the U.S. Cyber Command, the Army recently designated the Army Cyber Command as an Army Service Component Command. The designation aligns the command with other component commands such as U.S. Army Europe and the services’ Special Operations Command, as well as the U.S. Cyber Command.
"A dedicated Army Service Component Command for the cyber domain is an important step to strengthen the Army's ability to deliver important cyber capabilities and synchronize operations for the Army and joint force," Lt. Gen. Edward Cardon, commander of U.S. Army Cyber Command and Second Army said in an announcement.
The Defense Department established the U.S. Cyber Command in 2009 and plans to have its full, 133-team, 6,200-member force (which will include the component commands at each of the military services) fully in place by 2018. Meanwhile units that have reached operating capacity have been put into action, conducting defensive operations as well as offensive operations such as those against ISIS.
The Defense Department has designated cyberspace as a domain of warfare—in the same sense of land, air, sea and space—and DOD officials in the spring discussed the possibility of adding the electromagnetic spectrum to the list of domains. NATO last month also officially declared cyberspace a warfare domain, saying that a cyberattack on one NATO member could, like a kinetic attack, warrant a unified response from NATO members.
Cyber’s burgeoning importance also has prompted members of the House Armed Services Committee, as well as National Security Agency Director and Cybercom Commander Adm. Michael Rogers, director of the National Security Agency and the Cyber Command, to propose making Cybercom a unified command, with the4e same status as others such as the Northern Command, Strategic Command or Special Operations Command.
Raising the profile for cyber units would seemingly help with DOD’s goal of tightly integrating cyber—and, potentially electronic warfare—operations into the full range of military ops. For the Army’s part, designating Arcyber as a component command would help accelerate that process.
Kevin McCaney is a former editor of Defense Systems and GCN.