US CyberCom launches with first commander

by Lance Whitney
May 24, 2010

… The mission of U.S. Cyber Command, or CyberCom, is to synchronize the Defense Department’s various networks and cyberspace operations to better defend them against the onslaught of cyberattacks.

“Given our increasing dependency on cyberspace, this new command will bring together the resources of the department to address vulnerabilities and meet the ever-growing array of cyberthreats to our military systems,” Gates said in a statement.

Last June, Gates approved the birth of Cyber Command as a unified, subdivision of U.S. Strategic Command to manage the Defense Department’s resources of 15,000 computer networks across 4,000 military bases in 88 countries. The launching of U.S. CyberCom had been stalled, awaiting Senate confirmation of Alexander. But with Senate approval having been cleared on May 7, CyberCom is now free to open for business.

About 1,000 people will work at CyberCom at Fort Meade, with most of them moving over from existing jobs.

Concerns have been raised, notably by Air Force Gen. Kevin Chilton–the commander of U.S. Strategic Command–over the segregation that currently exists among the different cybernetworks and information resources across the military.

“This segregation detracts from natural synergies and ignores our experience in organizing to operate in the air, land, sea, and space domains,” Gates said before the House Armed Services Committee in March. “The establishment of U.S. CyberCom will remedy this problem in the cyberdomain.”

To integrate the military’s vast cyber-resources, Deputy Defense Secretary William Lynn III has spearheaded the effort to launch CyberCom. With the U.S. military more dependent on information technology than forces in other countries, Lynn believes the military must be able to safeguard its own networks and be free to utilize them across the world. …