Army activates network warfare unit
July 2, 2008
By Paul Boyce
A new chapter for the Army began this morning, July 2, when the Army Network Warfare Battalion (Provisional) was activated during a ceremony at Fort George G. Meade, Md.
The battalion's cyber mission will provide support to the Army and the Department of Defense. This support will include a variety of tasks, ranging from tactical support to Army Brigade Combat Teams in Iraq through strategic support to the other services, joint commanders, and interagency partners as required.
"We observe history this morning when this battalion activates. It is a first for INSCOM and a first for the Army," said Maj. Gen. David Lacquement, commander, U.S. Army Intelligence and Security Command. "This battalion formalizes and centralizes the Army's mission to provide rapid, increasing support to forces worldwide and will lead the Army in providing a larger and more robust network warfare capability."
The threats to America's computer networks are real and significant. As part of approved military operations, the U.S. Army maintains capabilities to defend itself in cyberspace or any other domain, against terrorist groups or any adversary who seeks to harm our national security.
In the space of 15 years, networked information systems have become essential to organized human activity across much of the globe. These systems are integral to telecommunications, banking and finance, transportation and energy distribution, human services, government, and all levels of military operations. "Activation of this unit centralizes the U.S. Army's existing computer network operations into a provisional battalion, which gains efficiencies. This unit will serve as core for Army network warfare activities that will expand and gain capacity in the coming years," Lacquement said.
Members and guests of the 704th Military Intelligence Brigade watched two ceremonies this morning. The INSCOM commander presided over the activation ceremony for the new battalion, as well as the brigade's change of command ceremony.
Lt. Col. Jen Easterly accepted command of the ANWB from the 704th MI Brigade commander, Col. George J. Franz. Easterly previously served as the director's fellow for the director of the National Security Agency.
After the activation ceremony, Franz, the outgoing brigade commander and a driving force behind the establishment of the new battalion, relinquished brigade command to Col. Robert Taylor. Taylor previously served as the director, School of Advanced Military Studies, Combined Arms Center, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.