FORT GEORGE G. MEADE, Md. (NNS) -- Leaders of the Navy's cyber warfare community met for a three day conference at Fort George G. Meade in February to discuss reserve support across the spectrum of cyber operations.
The theme of the conference, "Enhancing Our Operational Posture", allowed leadership from the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO), Naval Information Force Reserve, and U.S. Fleet Cyber Command/U.S. 10th Fleet (FCC/C10F) to focus the discussion on ways the Navy's reserve cryptologic warfare (CW) community can bolster offensive and defensive cyber operations in the fleet.
Participating in the conference was Rear Adm. Daniel J. MacDonnell, Deputy Director of Warfare Integration for Information Warfare at the office of the CNO. MacDonnell recently finished a tour as head of the Navy's information warfare community, where he expanded the network of regional Joint Reserve Intelligence Centers, which allow reservists to support active duty mission. Also in attendance was Rear Adm. Gene F. Price, who replaced MacDonnell as Commander, Naval Information Force Reserve (CNIFR) and Rear Adm. James M. Butler, deputy commander, FCC/C10F, who has overseen integration between the reserve and active components of FCC/C10F. They were joined by reserve CW commanding officers and executive officers, CW chief warrant officers, CW master chiefs, and Cryptologic Technician (CT) rating advisors.
Subject matter experts from across the spectrum of cyber operations contributed, including U.S. Cyber Command, National Reconnaissance Office, Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command, FCC/C10F, Naval Network Warfare Command, and Navy Cyber Defense Operations Command. They provided in-depth presentations on space capabilities, the vision for Navy networks, Cyber National Mission Forces, cyber threats, National Security Agency 21, the Strike Group Information Warfare Commander, Shipboard and Airborne Cryptologic Programs, Signals Intelligence Operational Support, Reserve Ingenuity, and Defending Navy Networks.
The conference comes as the Navy's cyber community grows and U.S. Cyber Command prepares to become an independent, Unified Combatant Command. It also comes as all Navy reserve communities seek to streamline and better support their active duty counterparts.
"Previous conferences were generally kept smaller to focus on high level manning, training, and equipment issues," said Capt. Ingrid Rader, former Reserve Commanding Officer of the reserve FCC/C10F unit and now Cryptologic Warfare Community Lead at CNIFR, "This year's conference aligned with the Navy Reserve Forces new action plan 'Ready to Win'."
Rear Adm. Matthew Zirkle, Director of innovation for the Office of the Chief of Navy Reserve, unveiled the "Ready to Win" initiative last December, a call to action to simplify, enable, leverage, and resource combat ready capabilities to the fleet, encourage innovation and create urgency of action. The initiative seeks to preserve strategic depth and deliver relevant operational capability to the Navy force. This is especially relevant to the Navy's cyber warfare community, which actively seeks to build strategic depth across a variety of capabilities by recruiting reservists from across government and private sector industries.
The breadth and depth of reserve capabilities was fully on display at this conference and leaders made it a priority to explore all possible avenues to support active operations. "The Reserve Cryptologic Warfare community and its predecessors have been conducting leadership conferences going back many years, but this one was groundbreaking," said Rader, "[It] included a broader audience of active and reserve CW leaders and focused on operations, providing the audience with current updates on community relevant topics."
With so much to offer the active side, Rader is optimistic about how much reservists can contribute, "As a result [of this conference], the Navy Reserve CW community may have the opportunity for an expanded mission within the C10F enterprise."
Since its establishment, FCC/C10F has grown into an operational force composed of more than 15,000 Active and Reserve Sailors and civilians organized into 29 active commands, 40 Cyber Mission Force units, and 29 reserve commands around the globe. FCC serves as the Navy component command to U.S. Strategic Command and U.S. Cyber Command, and the Navy's Service Cryptologic Component commander under the National Security Agency/Central Security Service. C10F, the operational arm of FCC, executes its mission through a task force structure similar to other warfare commanders. In this role, C10F provides support of Navy and joint missions in cyber/networks, cryptologic/signals intelligence and space.
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