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Cyber Operations

What is it?
The Deputy Secretary of Defense defined cyberspace operations in a memorandum dated September 29, 2008 as, "The employment of cyber capabilities where the primary purpose is to achieve military objectives or effects in or through cyberspace. Such operations include computer network operations and activities to operate and defend the Global Information Grid."

What has the Army done?
The Army is executing cyberspace operations today with a global force of Soldiers, Civilians, and contractors; all operating in an integrated and coordinated fashion against a significant and growing cyber threat. To help organize these forces for combat and provide more immediate support to combatant commanders, the Army G-3/5/7 issued a Computer Network Operations (CNO) Execute Order that clarified the Army's CNO roles, responsibilities, authorities, and command and control relationships.

Army "cyber" personnel are integrated throughout Service and Joint Force structure, from strategic levels such as the Defense Information Service Agency, Joint Task Force - Global Network Operations, National Security Agency (NSA), and Joint Functional Component Command-Network Warfare down to the Brigade Combat Team (BCT) level. Army Network Operations (NetOps) forces assigned to the Army Network Enterprise Technology Command/9th Signal Command are stationed at forward locations within theater signal commands throughout each combatant commander's geographical area of responsibility (AOR). Network warfare (NetWar) forces assigned to the Army Intelligence and Security Command (INSCOM) are forward-based with theater military intelligence brigades in each of the combatant commander's AORs and integrated with NSA's worldwide operations. Army Information Operations (IO) forces assigned to the 1st Information Operations Command (1st IO CMD) are deployed worldwide supporting Joint and Army commanders with the planning, coordinating, integrating, and synchronizing of CNO capabilities into operational plans and orders.

The Army has two Career Management Fields (CMFs), the Signal Corps (SC) and the Military Intelligence (MI) Corps, committed to cyberspace operations. The SC is dedicated to NetOps, which consists of enterprise management, network defense, and content management. The operational center of gravity for Army NetOps is the Army Global Network Operations and Security Center (A-GNOSC), which directs the day to day operations and defense of LandWarNet. As the global eyes and ears in Army cyberspace, the A-GNOSC with its corresponding Theater Network Operations and Security Centers (TNOSC) is actively engaged in defending the Army's operating and generating force information capabilities from a continuously evolving and adaptive enemy.

The Army also has an increasing portion of the MI CMF dedicated to NetWar, which includes computer network exploitation, computer network attack, and special-purpose electronic attack capabilities. In July 2008, the Army activated its first provisional NetWar Battalion under INSCOM. The mission of this battalion is to support both the Army and the Department of Defense with a variety of tasks, ranging from tactical support to BCTs through strategic support for other Services, Joint commanders, and interagency partners.

The 1st IO CMD is a key component in integrating and synchronizing IO efforts, NetOps and NetWar capabilities with operational units through the global deployment of its support teams. In addition to supporting the A-GNOSC and TNOSCs with the Army Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) and the Theater Regional CERTs respectively, 1st IO CMD provides critical cyberspace all-source intelligence support, testing of the network defenses, network forensic analysis, unit network vulnerability assessments, and CNO planning capabilities. The 1st IO CMD also provides Army cyber training support through its Basic CNO Planners Course, a newly approved Army skill identifier producing course.

What continued efforts does the Army have planned for the future?
Although the Army has considerable resources dedicated to cyberspace operations, it will significantly increase its capabilities over the next several years. The U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) is currently working on a capability-based assessment which will develop the concepts and requirements and determine solutions for how the Army will conduct cyberspace operations through 2020. As an interim step, TRADOC is determining the best options to develop a cyber career force in FY09. In the near term. The Army plans to provide more than 300 Military authorizations for this NETWAR Battalion (Provisional).

Why is this important to the Army?
Cyber intrusions and attacks are a real and emerging threat to national security. The Nation faces a dangerous combination of known and unknown vulnerabilities, capable adversaries, and limited situational awareness. It is critical for the Army to grow its cyberspace operations to counter adversary targeting of both our information and our information infrastructure. To maintain our dominance in cyberspace the Army will continue to grow our abilities to better defend our own networks and have capabilities in place to conduct network warfare against adversary networks.

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