FORT BRAGG, N.C. (Jan. 10, 2012) -- U.S. Army Forces Command (FORSCOM) is partnering with U.S. Army Cyber Command (ARCYBER), Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) , and the Department of the Army (HQDA) to tackle challenges associated with the digital age.

During FORSCOM's first Mission Command and Cyber Summit, held January 8-9 at Marshall Hall, home of FORSCOM Headquarters, organizers emphasized the need for cyber training programs and leader awareness to better protect military networks, information and personnel to enable successful military operations.

Lt. Gen. Burke Garrett, FORSCOM's deputy commanding general, said training of Soldiers and civilians in cyber security will be one of the command's priorities. "The purpose of the summit is to help us advance the unity of effort between Mission Command and Cyber (operations)," he said.

While technological innovation is good, Garrett said, it leads to new vulnerabilities that FORSCOM will have to address.

Garrett said the summit had three goals: to gain insight to drive adaption and innovation; to inform requirements and acquisition; and to strengthen direction, alignment and commitment of efforts across FORSCOM. Garrett stressed the need for FORSCOM to be fully collaborative with external stakeholders across DOD to help properly shape cyber initiatives.

Garrett also said he hoped the summit would result in viable actions. In fact, at the end of the summit, a series of tasks had been created and assigned for completion.

Col. Randy S. Taylor, the FORSCOM G6 (Chief Information Officer), said FORSCOM has many challenges ahead.

"Every Soldier who uses a military network needs to understand their role in defending our networks against cyber threats. Simple training and effective leadership help mitigate most of the vulnerabilities that come from living and fighting in an increasingly networked world," he said. "Cyber security is commanders' business now more than ever and we need to give commanders the guidance and support they need to succeed."

Taylor said the overall goal is to rapidly respond to combatant commanders' requirements in a way that provides full operational capability with fewer forces forward. "We are working to improve information sharing with secure and reliable networks that extend globally and connect forward and rear forces every day. Our networks must enable our Soldiers to use their warfighting systems just the same no matter if they are forward or rear. This will make us much more powerful and responsive as long as we each do our part to defend our networks."

FORSCOM is also partnering with U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) to develop cyber training programs, as well as guidance for the force. The training program will require both funding and personnel. FORSCOM plans to develop a cadre of staff cyber planners who will train with the 1st Information Operations Command at Fort Belvoir, Va.

Following the summit, the command will consolidate input and put a plan into action.

"The commitment demonstrated during the summit by Lt. Gen. Susan Lawrence (the Army's CIO/G-6) and senior representatives from ARCYBER, the U.S. Army Network Enterprise Command, TRADOC and others makes me confident that we share a common understanding of what needs to be done and we will each do our part," Taylor said.

One of FORSCOM's major interests is the Network Integration Evaluation (NIE). NIE is a series of field exercises that are conducted semi-annually. They are designed to test the Army's ability to integrate and mature its networking and cyber security capabilities, as well as test new communications gear. Col. Taylor's involvement in the most recent NIE provided him insights regarding how cyber operations will develop at the tactical level. "We are evaluating new approaches to how we man, equip and train our operating forces to remain effective as we meet the cyber challenges of the future. During the recent NIE, we employed a new cyber electromagnetic activities (CEMA) element. We will use what we learned to improve the brigade's CEMA capability during the next NIE," he said.

Cyber operations reach across DOD, and encompass activities in the Joint, Interagency, Intergovernmental and Multinational Environment.

According to the U.S. Strategic Command's web site, "USCYBERCOM is responsible for planning, coordinating, integrating, synchronizing, and directing activities to operate and defend the Department of Defense information networks and when directed, conducts full-spectrum military cyberspace operations (in accordance with all applicable laws and regulations) in order to ensure U.S. and allied freedom of action in cyberspace, while denying the same to our adversaries."

The command is charged with pulling together existing cyber resources, creating synergy that did not previously exist and synchronizing effects to defend the information security environment.

Page last updated Mon January 14th, 2013 at 00:00