Lethality

Cybercom: How DOD’s Newest Unified ‘Cocom’ Works

Oct. 12, 2018 | BY Katie Lange

Due to increasing cyber threats around the world, U.S. Cyber Command officially became a unified combatant command in May. Before then, it fell under U.S. Strategic Command.

Cyberwarfare specialists serving with the 175th Cyberspace Operations Group of the Maryland Air National Guard engage in weekend training at Warfield Air National Guard Base, Middle River, Md.
Cyberwarfare Specialists
Cyberwarfare specialists serving with the 175th Cyberspace Operations Group of the Maryland Air National Guard engage in weekend training at Warfield Air National Guard Base, Middle River, Md., June 3, 2017. Navy Adm. Michael S. Rogers, director of the National Security Agency, commander of U.S. Cyber Command and chief of the Central Security Service, briefed the Senate Armed Services Committee on Cyber Command’s role in the support of the nation’s defense against its adversaries, Feb. 27, 2018. Air Force photo by J.M. Eddins Jr.
Photo By: J.M. Eddins Jr.
VIRIN: 170603-F-LW859-023

So, what exactly does this mean for DOD cyber?

Quotation from Cybercom commander and his photo.
Cybercom Quote
Quotation from Cybercom commander.
Photo By: DOD graphic
VIRIN: 181011-D-ZZ999-100

What’s Changed?

The department is now organized under a single commander who reports directly to Defense Secretary James N. Mattis. The change:

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Four service commands — U.S. Army Cyber Command, U.S. Fleet Cyber Command, Air Forces Cyber and Marine Corps Forces Cyberspace Command — help carry out this mission.

Graphic of U.S. Cyber command components.
U.S. Cyber Command
Graphic of U.S. Cyber command components.
Photo By: DoD News
VIRIN: 181016-D-ZZ999-356

How Cyber Is Helping Now

Cybercom has been active in the fight against ISIS — Islamic State of Iraq and Syria — terrorists. Its Joint Task Force Ares has provided important support to U.S. Central Command and U.S. Special Operations Command — two other unified cocoms — in the campaign to defeat ISIS on the ground in Iraq and Syria.

Two soldiers work on computers on a table outside in desert-type terrain.
Command Post Node
Army Pfc. Attalissa Mooney and Sgt. Bonam Sakwe set up a command post node at Drawsko Pomorskie Training Area, Poland, June 2, 2018, to provide communications support to Exercise Saber Strike, June 2, 2018.
Photo By: William King
VIRIN: 180602-A-AL053-1003Y

What It Will Look Like Soon

The Defense Department is creating a Cyber Mission Force that will include nearly 6,200 personnel in 133 teams that consist of active-duty service members, and those in the National Guard and Reserve.

A sailor stands in an operations center-type room with a wall of screens and sailors seated at banks of computers.
Fleet Operations Center
Sailors stand watch in the Fleet Operations Center at the headquarters of U.S. Fleet Cyber Command/U.S. 10th Fleet at Fort George G. Meade, Md., Dec. 14, 2017.
Photo By: Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Samuel Souvannason
VIRIN: 171214-N-JS205-0001Y