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Joint Chiefs: 70 Percent of U.S. Cyber Command Force Teams Are ‘Fully Operational’

Seventy percent of U.S. Cyber Command’s Cyber Mission Force teams have reached initial operating capability and are “fully operational capable,” the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff told the House Armed Services Committee Tuesday.

By September 30, 2018, the Cyber Mission Force is expected to have 6,200 individuals on all 133 of its operational teams. Its mission is to defend DoD networks, support military objectives, provide mission and analytic support, and defend critical U.S. infrastrucure.

“They’ve had all the manning, they have all the training, they’re fully operational capable,” said Gen. Joseph Dunford. “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.”

First set up in 2009, mission force teams were added to the command in 2015.

“Without going through details, we’re actually simultaneously conducting cyber operations now against multiple adversaries,” said Dunford.

The military continues to push for a bump in cyber defense spending and Admiral Mike Rodgers, commander of U.S. Cyber Command and the National Security Agency, said he believes this is necessary “to execute our mission.” He’s seeking a 16 percent increase, $647 million, for U.S. Cyber Command’s budget to separate it from the NSA.

The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) required that Cyber Command be separated from NSA for fiscal year 2017.

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