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CHIPS Articles: U.S. Fleet Cyber Command

U.S. Fleet Cyber Command
What You Need to Know - July 25, 2013
By Commander, U.S. Fleet Cyber Command/U.S. 10th Fleet Public Affairs - July 25, 2013
Since its establishment on Jan. 29, 2010, U.S. Fleet Cyber Command/U.S. 10th Fleet has carried on the legacy of the former Naval Security Group and Navy Network Warfare Command in unifying warfighting capabilities — cryptologic/signals intelligence, information operations, electronic warfare, network operations and space capabilities — and converging them with the cyber domain. The command’s commissioning closely followed the Navy’s 2009 acknowledgement of information’s centrality to maritime warfighting and its decision to establish the Information Dominance Corps under the leadership of the Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Information Dominance (N2/N6).

Fleet Cyber Command has two principal missions: serving as (1) the Navy Component Command to U.S. Strategic Command and U.S. Cyber Command, and (2) the Navy’s Service Cryptologic Component commander under the National Security Agency/Central Security Service. As an Echelon II command, Fleet Cyber Command reports directly to the Chief of Naval Operations for administrative and service related matters.

U.S. 10th Fleet (C10F) is the operational arm of Fleet Cyber Command and executes its mission through the same warfighting organizations and structures the Navy uses in other warfare domains. In this role, C10F provides operational oversight, using its Maritime Operations Center to execute command and control over assigned forces and subordinate task forces. Depicted in the line diagram in Figure 1, these forces are task organized to support combatant or joint force command missions in cyber/networks, information operations, electronic warfare, cryptologic/signals intelligence and space.

As illustrated in Figure 2, the backbone of Fleet Cyber Command/C10F’s capabilities is a motivated work force of uniformed and civilian teammates comprised of more than 15,000 professionals around the world: 10,496 active duty; 2,469 civilians and 993 contractors; and 1,344 Reserve and Full Time Support personnel, totaling 15,302.

Operationalizing a New Center of Gravity for the Navy
At the mid-point of its fourth year, Fleet Cyber Command continues to make significant progress, with particular emphasis in two critical areas: enhancing cyber situational awareness and integrating cyberspace operations in Navy and joint warfighting.

With respect to cyber situational awareness, the Navy, its sister services, and the joint community have all implemented a variety of tools and processes to track the health of our networks and identify threats and risks associated with adversarial activity. To reinforce these capabilities, the command continues to enhance situational awareness across the force, with the objective of enabling commanders to fully visualize the battle space.

Looking forward, Fleet Cyber Command’s goal is to operationalize situational awareness at all levels of warfare — from the tactical to the strategic — in order to identify risks and threats as they occur and deliver faster, more robust indications and warning of anomalous and hostile activity.

In terms of cyber integration, Fleet Cyber Command works closely with Fleet Forces Command to incorporate elements of cyberspace operations into the Fleet Response Training Plan (FRTP). As a consequence, deploying units and strike groups are better prepared to deal with the challenges they face in a contested cyberspace environment. In the process, Fleet Cyber Command is providing commanders afloat with cyber-related skills and tools for use in carrier strike group, expeditionary strike group and numbered fleet operations. Additionally, Fleet Cyber Command has integrated cyberspace operations into major joint and fleet exercises, along with U.S. Cyber Command and the other service component commands. This has enabled the testing and refinement of doctrine, tactics, techniques and procedures.

On the offensive side of cyberspace operations, there is much integration work yet to be done. The joint community and our sister services are still fine-tuning and exercising the integration of cyber missions with geographic combatant command operations; moreover, they continue to clarify the necessary authorities and permissions associated with these critical functions. As greater fidelity in these areas is achieved, greater interoperability with the fleet will be realized.

Regarding security, Fleet Cyber Command maintains a steady drumbeat on the importance of cyber security both ashore and afloat. Cyber’s universal presence in practically all facets of naval operations makes it a profoundly important, indeed indispensable, component of our service. Given its centrality to the mission, the security and protection of cyberspace and cyber capabilities is a continuous, all hands evolution. Fleet Cyber Command’s Cyber Security Inspection program is one mechanism that ensures our readiness. Implementing high security standards and coupling them with an intensified but balanced inspection regimen not only reinforces cyber security across the fleet, it helps to sustain disciplined network management and adherence to standards. In the aggregate, these measures produce positive results and assure our freedom of maneuver in cyberspace.

Way Ahead
Last fall, Vice Admirals Kendall L. Card and Michael S. Rogers co-signed Navy Cyber Power 2020, the Navy Strategy for Achieving Information Dominance 2013–2017, and the Navy Information Dominance Corps Human Capital Strategy 2012–2017 (available at Together, these seminal documents chart the course ahead for the Navy’s dominance not only of cyberspace, but the electromagnetic spectrum. Since then, Fleet Cyber Command has implemented several initiatives to achieve and accelerate the desired end-state of Cyber Power 2020’s four focus areas: (1) Integrated Operations; (2) Optimized Cyber Workforce; (3) Technology Innovation; and (4) planning, programming, budgeting and execution, and acquisition reform.

The strategy’s vision is assured access to cyberspace and confident command and control, preventing strategic surprise in cyberspace, and delivering decisive cyber effects. To these ends, the Fleet Cyber Command/C10F team continues to employ Navy and joint cyberspace capabilities through an effectively recruited, trained and positioned workforce armed with clear authorities and proven tactics, techniques and procedures. Consistent with the initiative to optimize the cyber workforce of the future — and in line with the aforementioned strategies — the effort to build and train dedicated cyber mission teams has exceeded expectations. There are challenges that lie ahead, but the strategy is in place and the vision forward is being executed. Moreover, Fleet Cyber Command aggressively leverages industry, academia, interagency, the other military services, joint, and allied partners to ensure the most innovative technologies and network defense resources are available to maritime commanders.

Figure 1. U.S. Fleet Cyber Command/U.S. 10th Fleet organizational chart.
Figure 1. U.S. Fleet Cyber Command/U.S. 10th Fleet organizational chart.

Figure 2. U.S. Fleet Cyber Command/U.S. 10th Fleet Total Force Presence.
Figure 2. U.S. Fleet Cyber Command/U.S. 10th Fleet Total Force Presence.

Fleet Cyber Command headquarters staff at Fort Meade, Md., May 17, 2013.
Fleet Cyber Command headquarters staff at Fort Meade, Md., May 17, 2013.
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