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Cyber Mission Force Under Construction

Teams are standing up, but experience remains to be gleaned.

The U.S. Cyber Command’s Cyber Mission Force is beginning to enter the fray, but it still lacks full strength and expertise. Teams are being assigned to combatant commands as quickly as possible, yet their missions are still taking shape.

Lt. Gen. James "Kevin" McLaughlin, USAF, deputy commander, U.S. Cyber Command, described the status of the Cyber Mission Force to the breakfast audience at day two of TechNet Asia-Pacific 2014, being held in Honolulu December 9-11. Gen. McLaughlin explained that half the teams focus on defending, while the other half focus on initiating activities.

Every combatant command has its teams, and they are just getting their mission priorities assigned, he continued. As soon as a team achieves its initial operational capability, it is pressed into service. Yet, accruing the experience needed will take time.

“It is as if I’m building an F-22 squadron with a bunch of new lieutenants who’ve just shown up and have been checked out in the F-22,” the general analogizes. “You don’t have combat capability just because you have people who have passed their initial training."