Due to increasing cyber threats around the world, U.S. Cyber Command officially became a unified combatant command in May. Before then, it fell under U.S. Strategic Command.
So, what exactly does this mean for DoD cyber?
The department is now organized under a single commander who reports directly to Defense Secretary James N. Mattis. The change:
1. Streamlines command and control of time-sensitive cyberspace operations.
2. Ensures critical missions are adequately funded.
3. Creates more opportunities to strengthen U.S. defense efforts, reassure allies and deter adversaries.
Four service commands — U.S. Army Cyber Command, U.S. Fleet Cyber Command, Air Forces Cyber and Marine Corps Forces Cyberspace Command — help carry out this mission.
How Cyber Is Helping Now
CYBERCOM has been active in the fight against ISIS — Islamic State of Iraq and Syria — terrorists. Its Joint Task Force Ares has provided important support to U.S. Central Command and U.S. Special Operations Command — two other unified COCOMS — in the campaign to defeat ISIS on the ground in Iraq and Syria.
What It Will Look Like Soon
The Defense Department is creating a Cyber Mission Force that will include nearly 6,200 personnel in 133 teams that consist of active-duty service members, and those in the National Guard and Reserve.