Combining Cyber into MAGTF

August 15, 2012
By Max Cacas

Along with all the other tools at their disposal, U.S. Marine Corps commanders now have complete cyber resources as part of the traditional Marine Air-Ground Task Force (MAGTF) operational doctrine, said Lt. Gen. Richard P. Mills, USMC, deputy commandant for combat development and integration and commanding general of the Marine Corps Forces Cyberspace Command, U.S. Marine Corps. The general spoke during the Aberdeen Chapter luncheon at the TechNet Land Forces East conference in Baltimore on Wednesday. Gen. Mills, who admitted to being "an old infantry guy," nonetheless put his cybersecurity resources to good use during his 2010 deployment leading Marines in Afghanistan. He said that cyber became an important tool in defending his combat network against attack from the enemy as well as for launching some of his own cyber attacks. The general stated that "MAGTF Single Battle Concept" describes an addition to the MAGTF doctrine that is designed to ensure a stable cyberdomain giving commanders the ability to use network resources to make the most of the weapons they have at hand. Just as aviation moved from being a toy and a curiosity to the military in its early days and matured into a "must-have, must-use" capability, the cyberdomain is just as important, said Gen. Mills. But all things cyber, he admitted, move and mature at a much faster pace, and it's important that the Marines redouble their efforts to keep up with the changes. Gen. Mills echoed a theme heard often from other panelists and presenters at the conference: the most important elements of good cybersecurity are training and education. It is vital that the Marines train and retain as many talented cyberwarriors as possible, he noted.

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