By Bill RocheMarch 15, 2017
FORT BELVOIR, Va. -- Senior leaders from across the active Army, the Army National Guard and the U.S. Army Reserve came together here Feb. 22-23 to advance and synchronize the Total Army's cyber forces and chart a shared vision and goals for the future. The Army is currently building 62 cyber mission force teams across the Total Army, trained to a joint standard, while simultaneously conducting select critical missions in support of Joint, Combatant Command, U.S. Cyber Command, and the Army.
During the two-day Total Army Cyber Summit, led by U.S. Army Cyber Command (ARCYBER), leaders working to build the Guard and Reserve's Cyber Protection Teams (CPTs) collaborated on efforts to man, train, equip and employ ready reserve component cyber forces.
The summit's objectives were to create a common operating picture among cyber leaders at the forefront of efforts to build CPTs; to share lessons learned and best practices; to develop a framework for CPT missioning and exercise program; to develop synchronized plans for manning, training and equipping CPTs across components to meet U.S. Cyber Command common joint standards and operational timetables; and to outline future operational mission opportunities for CPTs across all Army components.
Participants exchanged information and ideas on a broad range of training-related topics, including how to provide Soldiers in reserve component cyber units with individual training, with minimal turbulence to their civilian careers; developing mission-focused collective training and exercise opportunities; building mechanisms for awarding Army equivalency credit for civilian schooling; and giving cyber Soldiers greater mobility to train and work across all of the Army's components.
The group's dialogue on manning centered on innovative talent management initiatives such as the Cyber Warrior Database, an Army Reserve pilot to identify and track skills gained through civilian training and experience that could be leveraged to support Army cyberspace operations;
programs to allow Soldiers to transfer or reclassify into the Army's Cyber branch; expanding ways for Soldiers to move between the Army's active and reserve components; and a pilot to consider bringing qualified people into the Army's uniformed ranks of cyber operators via direct commissioning.
Equipment discussion focused on the development and acquisition of deployable kits for reserve component CPTs and synchronizing equipment fielding with timelines for bringing those teams to their initial and full operational capabilities.
A key pillar of discussions at the summit was synchronizing efforts to man, train, equip and employ reserve component cyber forces with common objectives for building CPTs across components.
The Army is building 62 CPTs across its total force -- 41 in the active component, 10 in the Army Reserve, and 11 in the Army National Guard. All are on a glide path to be fully operational on schedule -- the active component's teams by Sept. 30, 2017, and the reserve component teams by Sept. 30, 2024. At the same time teams from all three components are already executing key defensive and offensive cyberspace operations worldwide in support of Army, combatant command and joint requirements.
ARCYBER commander Lt. Gen. Paul Nakasone called the event "the most important two-day conference we've had in a long time."
"Soldiers with cyber expertise are incredibly important to the Total Army cyber force and critical in delivering effects in cyberspace against our adversaries," the general said. "Across the spectrum of Total Army cyber forces, we've got the right talent, we've got the right agenda, and most importantly, we've got the right brain power, to inform and optimize the build of Cyber Protection Teams across all components."
ABOUT US: United States Army Cyber Command directs and conducts integrated electronic warfare, information and cyberspace operations as authorized, or directed, to ensure freedom of action in and through cyberspace and the information environment, and to deny the same to our adversaries.
Interested in becoming an Army cyber Soldier or civilian employee? Check out the career links at www.arcyber.army.mil