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Army Cyber 2020

August 25, 2011
By Rita Boland
E-mail About the Author

The U.S Army Cyber Command/2nd Army has been in operation for less than a year, but already it is building the cyber Army of 2020, with several clear-cut views on future operations. Lt. Gen. Rhett Hernandez, USA, the commanding general, explained during LandWarNet that his organization coordinates the Army's information operations and serves as its cyber proponent. In addition to high-level activities, the command is growing its subordinate cyber brigade which will serve as the operational arm of the Army's cyber mission. Over the past 10 months personnel at the command have celebrated several successes including starting to develop a strategic plan for Army Cyber 2020. Gen. Hernandez explained that cyber already has a role in all operations and that moving forward cyberspace must extend U.S. and allied mission-command capabilities while denying the same to others. The future also will involve an increased emphasis on the tactical edge. According to the general, by 2020 the Army must integrate full-spectrum cyber capabilities, ensure mission command and achieve cyber domain operational freedom meaning the Army will operate in the cyber domain with the same level of freedom it now has in the land domain. "The future battlefield will be as much defined by cyber as it is enabled by its effects," Gen. Hernandez said. Other necessary actions include operationalizing cyber, growing Army capacity and capabilities, and recruiting, developing and maintaining cyber professionals. The general outlined several actions necessary for the Army to grow capacity and capability including defining the force structure and integrating cyber into institutional process. He outlined plans to create a world-class cyber operations center that will replicate cyberthreats as well as establish cyber centers to support mission control, defend the network and extend capabilities. "A key to success in this line of effort is adequate and rigorous leadership development," he said, later adding that, "People are the centerpiece in all we do." Army Cyber Command is looking at different ways to attract qualified warriors to obtain the human capital it requires. This involves examining industry initiatives for recruitment and retention as well as leveraging talent across the active-duty military, National Guard, Army Reserves, civilian personnel and contractors. In addition, Gen. Hernandez referenced "green page" pilots. The efforts aim to create directories in which people could enter their skill sets to find opportunities to use them in Army efforts. Leaders could employ the pages to find qualified personnel to fill certain requirements. Initiated in other parts of the Army, Gen. Hernandez said he would like to find ways to leverage the pages across Army cyber. To help secure the cyber domain, Gen. Hernandez explained that the Army must go beyond 3G-gates, guns and guards. Instead, the Army must protect networks in more robust ways. And though he has faced several challenges involved with moving forward cyberoperations and bringing together organizations that only recently came into existence he said is excited about what has been done and what is to come. "I never thought we'd have the opportunity to be on the front end of a new domain,"  he stated.  

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