FORT GEORGE G. MEADE, Md. — All 133 of U.S. Cyber Command’s Cyber Mission Force teams achieved Full Operational Capability (FOC), USCYBERCOM officials announced [May 17].
Achieving the FOC milestone early is a testament to the commitment of DoD’s four military services toward ensuring the nation’s cyber force is fully trained and equipped to defend the nation in cyberspace.
To reach FOC, teams met a rigorous set of criteria, including an approved concept of operation and a high percentage of trained, qualified and certified personnel. As part of the certification process, teams had to show they could perform their mission under stress in simulated, real-world conditions as part of specialized training events.
“I’m proud of these service men and women for their commitment to developing the skills and capabilities necessary to defend our networks and deliver cyberspace operational capabilities to the nation,” Army Gen. Paul M. Nakasone, USCYBERCOM commander, said.
USCYBERCOM leaders stress that while this is an important milestone, work is not yet over. Now, the focus will shift toward readiness to perform the mission and deliver optimized mission outcomes, continuously.
“As the build of the Cyber Mission Force wraps up, we’re quickly shifting gears from force generation to sustainable readiness,” said Nakasone. “We must ensure we have the platforms, capabilities and authorities ready and available to generate cyberspace outcomes when needed.”
The CMF has been building capability and capacity since 2013, when the force structure was developed and the services began to field and train the force of over 6,200 Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and civilians.
The mission did not wait while teams were building. While they were in development, or “build status,” teams in the CMF were conducting operations to safeguard the nation.
“It’s one thing to build an organization from the ground up, but these teams were being tasked operationally while they were growing capability,” said Nakasone. “I am certain that these teams will continue to meet the challenges of this rapidly evolving and dynamic domain.”
The CMF is USCYBERCOM’s action arm, and teams execute the command’s mission to direct, synchronize and coordinate cyberspace operations in defense of the nation’s interests.
CMF teams support this mission through their specific respective assignments:
-- Cyber National Mission Teams (NMT) defend the nation by identifying adversary activity, blocking attacked and maneuvering to defeat them.
-- Cyber Combat Mission Teams (CMT) conduct military cyberspace operations in support of combatant commander priorities and missions.
-- Cyber Protection Teams (CPT) defend the DoD information network, protect priority missions nad prepare cyber forces for combat.
-- Cyber Support Teams (CST) provide analytic and planning support to National Mission and Combat Mission teams.
Some teams are aligned to combatant commands to support combatant commander priorities and synchronize cyberspace operations with operations in the other four domains – land, sea, air and space – and some are aligned to the individual services for defensive missions. The balance report directly to subordinate command sections of USCYBERCOM; the Cyber National Mission Force (CNMF) and Joint Force Headquarters-DoD Information Network (JFHQ-DoDIN).
The CNMF plans, directs and synchronizes full-spectrum cyberspace operations to deter, disrupt and if necessary, defeat adversary cyber actors to defend the nation. National Mission Force teams are aligned to support the CNMF.
JFHQ-DoDIN, which also achieved FOC this year, provides command and control of DoD information network operations, defensive cyber operations and internal defensive measures globally to enable power projection and freedom of action across all warfighting domains.