Eight months after all 133 of U.S. Cyber Command’s Cyber Mission Force teams reached initial operating capability, 70 percent of the force’s teams are “fully operational capable,” the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff testified on Tuesday before the House Armed Services Committee.
“They’ve had all the manning, they have all the training, they’re fully operational capable,” Gen. Joseph Dunford said. “But I think none of us are complacent with where we are in cyberspace given the number of threats we face every day. We need to defend the network, develop effective offensive tools and be in a position to grow the force.”
The Cyber Mission Force teams are tasked with defending Defense Department networks (68 teams), supporting military objectives (27 teams), providing analytic support to combat missions (25 teams) and defending U.S. critical infrastructure (13 teams). Cyber command was first stood up in 2009, yet the mission force teams were first added in 2015.
Dunford went on to praise two years of budget growth for areas like space, cyberspace and electronic warfare. Adm. Mike Rogers, commander of U.S. Cyber Command and the National Security Agency, continues to push for budget increases in the next year.
The Cyber Mission Force is expected to encompass 6,200 individuals on all 133 fully operational teams by Sept. 30, 2018.
“Without going through details, we’re actually simultaneously conducting cyber operations now against multiple adversaries,” Dunford said.
The National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal 2017 mandated the elevation of U.S. Cyber Command to a full combatant command.