A new unit joined the Army's arsenal for supporting and defending its critical networks and assuring dominance in the information dimension with the activation of the 60th Offensive Cyberspace Operations Signal Battalion (OCOSB) in a ceremony at Fort Gordon, Ga., Oct. 20, 2021.
During the ceremony battalion commander Lt. Col. Kevin J. Weber and Command Sgt. Maj. Tyrone Cooper uncased the 60th’s colors.
The activation marks the beginning of a new mission for the battalion, explained 1st Lt. Garrett Steinbrugge, executive officer for Company C, 60th OCOSB.
“This one-of-a-kind unit has a specialized mission to install, operate, maintain, and defend critical infrastructure and supporting networks to enable information advantage for Army and joint cyber forces," he said. "The 60th Offensive Cyber Operations Signal Battalion's unique capabilities and services will set the standard within the Army to provide robust and reliable networks supporting cyberspace effects.”
But while an activation ceremony and terms such as “one-of-a-kind” imply the start of something brand new, Weber said the battalion is actually inheriting the lineage and building on the legacy of a unit with roots reaching back to before World War II.
The 60th Signal Battalion was constituted in 1933 and originally activated in 1941 at Fort Lewis, Wash. During World War II the battalion served in the Philippines, where it earned a Philippine Presidential Unit Citation before being inactivated there in 1946. Eight of its members are buried in the Philippines American Cemetery, Weber said. In 1972 it was activated again for brief service in Vietnam before being inactivated once more in California.
Col. Brian Vile, U.S. Army Cyber Command (ARCYBER) director of operations (G3), said the activation of the 60th represents the Signal Corps’ assumption of one of ARCYBER’s most critical missions: supporting U.S. Cyber Command’s execution of full-spectrum operations.
“The Soldiers of the 60th will need to stand above their peers with their technical skills, professionalism, and ability to adapt to ever-changing situations,” Vile said. “They need to be the best of the best, and the command (ARCYBER) will invest heavily in them and their mission to ensure their success.”
In his remarks at the ceremony, Weber said those Soldiers are a diverse group from around the world, but all volunteered to serve and are dedicated and ready to defend the freedom of others.
"Army Cyber, we stand with you, and you stand with us, shoulder to shoulder. As of today, 60th Soldiers have boots on the ground, are engaged ... and when you see a 60th Soldier, rest assured we are protecting and defending the network," he said.
ABOUT ARCYBER: U.S. Army Cyber Command integrates and conducts cyberspace operations, electromagnetic warfare, and information operations, ensuring decision dominance and freedom of action for friendly forces in and through the cyber domain and the information dimension, while denying the same to our adversaries.
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ABOUT USCYBERCOM: U.S. Cyber Command directs, synchronizes and coordinates cyberspace planning and operations to defend and advance national interests, in collaboration with domestic and international partners.
U.S. CYBER COMMAND ON THE WEB: https://www.cybercom.mil
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