By C. Todd Lopez
WASHINGTON (June 02, 2010) -- A new Army command will soon be responsible for defending Army information networks from threats around the globe.
The new Army Forces Cyber Command will be responsible for defending all of the Army's information networks, said Maj. Gen. Steven W. Smith, director of the Army Cyberspace Task Force. The new command will reach full operational capacity before Oct 1, 2010.
"The mission for ARFORCYBER is to direct the operation and defense of all Army networks, and, on order, conduct full-spectrum operations in support of our combatant commanders and coalition partners," Smith said.
The general said the command will operate in the "cyber domain." That domain includes such things as the laptop, desktop, routers, servers, network switches and both the short- and long-distance connections between Army information systems. He also said that domain can include the networked systems aboard Army combat vehicles.
"Anything with an IP address," he said.
The ARFORCYBER command will be built by integrating existing Army cyber resources, not by creating new ones, Smith said.
NETCOM/9th Signal Command and portions of the 1st Information Operations Command will be subordinate units to ARFORCYBER, for instance. Additionally, the Intelligence and Security Command will be under the operational control of ARFORCYBER for cyber-related actions.
While each of those units currently performs cyber-related missions, Smith said integrating them under one command provides an increased benefit for the Army.
"Today, we have individuals and teams and units doing the cyber fight -- but they work for different people," he said. "At the Cyberspace Operations and Integration Center at Fort Belvoir, for instance, all of these forces will work for one dedicated command whose primary mission is to direct the operations and defense of the network. This clearly brings that unity of effort."
The center is a 24/7 operation, the general said. "That is the front line of defense for defending the Army network worldwide."
The ARFORCYBER command will be built using existing facilities and existing manpower, so no new construction will be required, Smith said. It is also not expected that the Army will need to recruit new Soldiers, civilians or contractors to man the 21,000-person command.
Smith also said the new command will be headquartered at either Fort Meade, Md., near the headquarters for U.S. Cyber Command and the National Security Agency, or at Fort Belvoir, Va. A lieutenant general will be chosen to lead the command.