Navy and Army Cyber Mission Force teams are now operational
Navy and Army cyber warriors will now be fortified by 40 operational cyber teams to protect forward deployed missions.
Army and Navy Cyber Mission Force teams are now operational and have achieved all manning, capability and training requirements according to U.S. Cyber Command, service announcements said.
For the Navy, the development represents the operational implementation of more than 18,000 course completions and 2,000 hours, however Navy officials caution that the development is only one step in a larger process to fortify its cyber workforce.
"The true challenge will be sustaining readiness and the prompt ability to 'answer all bells' when directed by U.S. Cyber Command," said Vice Adm. Mike Gilday, Commander, U.S. Fleet Cyber Command/U.S. Tenth Fleet.
The Navy aligns with a broader DOD Cyber Strategy of securing data and supporting joint military commander objectives.
The Army’s 41 Cyber Mission Force teams were also validated as operational by U.S. Cyber Command, service statements said.
The first Army teams were identified as initially capable in 2014 and have been deployed globally by DOD to conduct offensive and defensive cyberwarfare missions.
“The Army's cyber teams are built and fully operational, but our work is just beginning, as we ensure they stay trained and ready to step into the joint fight when needed," Lt. Gen. Paul Nakasone, ARCYBER commanding general, said in an Army statement.
Similar to the Navy approach, Army teams went through extensive training prior to being determined operational.
“Training included cyberspace operations planning, network operations and architecture,
technically-detailed software analysis and development skills, as well as foundational concepts of military teamwork,” an Army official said.
Increased training and preparation for Navy and Army cyber warriors aligns with several similar efforts underway with other services; the Marine Corps is now forward deploying new teams of cyber experts, the Army has stood up a new cyber-specific laboratory aimed at connecting IT developments with ongoing combat operations and the Air Force has been training new cyber squadrons intended to help airmen increase cybersecurity practices.