U.S. military’s cybersecurity’s capacity and capabilities

Army cyber
As with the Navy, The army’s cyber program continues to make its networks more secure and dependable, Nakasone said.

Training and talent management efforts are also paying off, and so are partnerships, he told the panel. “Partnerships remain critical to our efforts,” he said. “We’re leveraging the private sector, the academic community and the key allies to rapidly develop and deliver new capabilities to the joint force and our Army.”

Meanwhile, he added, the way ahead is clear. “The Army requires sustained investment in science and technology to capitalize on the advancements in artificial intelligence and other innovative capabilities, the general said. “We also need to pursue force structure and capabilities at the Army corps level and below to ensure we have the tactical capabilities of our pilot initiatives have shown.”

Marine Corps cyber
Since May, U.S. Marine Corps Forces Cyberspace Command has made tremendous progress in the ever-expanding cyber domain, Reynolds told the panel.

She highlighted what the Marines are doing in the cyberspace domain and how focus has shifted from building the command to operationalizing, sustaining and expanding capabilities in the new domain.

Reynolds has organized operations along three lines of effort, which she uses to organize her activities and to measure progress for the command. Because their ability to command and control is their center of gravity, Marine Forces Cyber is participating in efforts with Marine Corps service headquarters to design and build a more defensible network architecture.

“Moving forward and [in] response to the National Defense Strategy, we know we must be prepared to fight tonight,” Reynolds said. “We will build the objective network capable of fighting and winning against a peer adversary in a contested information environment.”

The second line of effort is fulfilling the responsibility to provide warfighting capabilities to the development of ready, capable cyber forces to U.S. Cyber Command, she said.

Increasing Marine Corps proficiency
Marine Forces Cyber is increasing in proficiency every day, Reynolds said, adding they are looking to increase readiness, retention and skills progression. In fact, the Marine Corps last week announced creation of a cyberspace occupational field. “The creation of the [military occupational specialty] will allow us to deliberately provide targeted incentives for recruiting and retention,” Reynolds said.

The line is to provide support to the Marine Corps as it works to operationalize the information environment. The commandant of the Marine Corps has modified Marine formations to build greater capability in the information environment under the Marine Corps operating concept, and Marine Forces Cyber is building additional defensive cyber operations forces inside the Marine air ground task force, experimenting with tactical cyber and sharing lessons on the integration of cyber with other fires and other information capabilities.

As of January, all 13 Marine Corps cyber teams have reached full operational capability and are employed against priority missions, Reynolds said.

Air Forces cyber
The Air Force has invested in creating, fielding and sustaining an increasing portfolio of cyber defensive and offensive capabilities, Weggeman said: seven cyber weapons systems designed to provide a tiered global defense of the Air Force information network, defensive cyber maneuver forces to defend key cyber terrain, and offensive capabilities to provide all-domain integrated operational defects to combatant commanders.

In this domain, threats are growing rapidly and evolving, he noted.

“Our adversaries are acting with precision and boldness, utilizing cyberspace to continuously challenge the United States below the threshold of armed conflict imposing great costs on our economy national unity and military advantage,” he said. “In this ever-shifting and competitive terrain, we must remain vigilant with cyber hygiene, cybersecurity and threats-specific defensive operations in order to compete, deter and win.”

Air Forces Cyber trains and fights as a total force team, harnessing the unique attributes and talents of all components: regular Air Force, Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve. Across the 24th Air Force, more than 11,000 full-time and part-time reserve and guard personnel support training, intelligence, full-spectrum operations, command and control and capability development.

The Air Force has employed a built-in total force strategy, with 15 Air National Guard squadrons and a classic reserve associate squadron providing additional trained and ready surge capacity in times of crisis for cyber mission force teams.

The command’s cyber mission force teams are on track to achieve full operational capability by the end of September, with 35 out 39 teams already operational.