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CHIPS Articles: CYBERCOM: How DoD’s Newest Unified ‘COCOM’ Works

CYBERCOM: How DoD’s Newest Unified ‘COCOM’ Works
By Katie Lange, defense.gov - October 15, 2018
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?

What’s Changed?

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.

Cyberwarfare specialists serving with the 175th Cyberspace Operations Group of the Maryland Air National Guard engage in weekend training at Warfield Air National Guard Base, Middle River, Md., June 3, 2017. Navy Adm. Michael S. Rogers, director of the National Security Agency, commander of U.S. Cyber Command and chief of the Central Security Service, briefed the Senate Armed Services Committee on Cyber Command’s role in the support of the nation’s defense against its adversaries, Feb. 27, 2018. Air Force photo by J.M. Eddins Jr.
Cyberwarfare specialists serving with the 175th Cyberspace Operations Group of the Maryland Air National Guard engage in weekend training at Warfield Air National Guard Base, Middle River, Md., June 3, 2017. Navy Adm. Michael S. Rogers, director of the National Security Agency, commander of U.S. Cyber Command and chief of the Central Security Service, briefed the Senate Armed Services Committee on Cyber Command’s role in the support of the nation’s defense against its adversaries, Feb. 27, 2018. Air Force photo by J.M. Eddins Jr.

The U.S. Cyber Command components
The U.S. Cyber Command components

Quotation from CYBERCOM Commander Army Gen. Paul Nakasone.
Quotation from CYBERCOM Commander Army Gen. Paul Nakasone.

Army Pfc. Attalissa Mooney and Sgt. Bonam Sakwe set up a command post node at Drawsko Pomorskie Training Area, Poland, June 2, 2018, to provide communications support to Exercise Saber Strike, June 2, 2018.
Army Pfc. Attalissa Mooney and Sgt. Bonam Sakwe set up a command post node at Drawsko Pomorskie Training Area, Poland, June 2, 2018, to provide communications support to Exercise Saber Strike, June 2, 2018.

Sailors stand watch in the Fleet Operations Center at the headquarters of U.S. Fleet Cyber Command/U.S. 10th Fleet at Fort George G. Meade, Md., Dec. 14, 2017.
Sailors stand watch in the Fleet Operations Center at the headquarters of U.S. Fleet Cyber Command/U.S. 10th Fleet at Fort George G. Meade, Md., Dec. 14, 2017.
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