Cyber

US Army Cyber Command to take ‘more direct role’ in offensive, influence operations

WASHINGTON — Army Cyber Command’s new headquarters will allow the organization to take a sharper focus on its offensive and influence mission, its commander said Sept. 3.

The command officially commemorated its move from Fort Belvoir, Virginia, to Fort Gordon, Georgia, in a Sept. 3 ceremony, a move that has long been in the works. The ceremony celebrated the opening of the command’s new building, called Fortitude Hall, a 336,000-square-foot facility that cost about $366 million.

The facility is co-located with the National Security Agency’s Georgia post.

The Army’s Joint Force Headquarters-Cyber — the entity that plans, synchronizes and conducts operations for combatant commands to which they’re assigned under U.S. Cyber Command — has been at Fort Gordon, co-located with NSA Georgia, conducting operations for years. But the new facility and headquarters boasts several new benefits.

“We’re going to take a much more direct role in the attack or offense and influence portion of the mission,” Lt. Gen. Stephen Fogarty, commander of Army Cyber Command, told reporters Sept. 3.

This is largely due to the fact that over the years, the Army has matured the “operate and defend” portion of its mission, pushing additional responsibilities and authorities to Network Command located at Fort Huachuca, Arizona.

“We’re at the point now where they have picked up more of the operate and defend, and we’re at a point where we’re able to monitor that. They keep us informed as behavior [of the network] changes really [on a] minute-by-minute basis,” Fogarty said. “What that allows us to do is focus more on integrating all the elements of information operations, electronic warfare, and really very importantly all the commercial data and information that’s available. That’s really what comes with this move. It’s not just a physical move, not just a nice new facility … it’s very, very flexible.”

Moreover, Fortitude Hall facilitates a new Information Warfare Operations Center, which will provide an “unprecedented,” real-time ability to sense and understand the global information environment with connectivity to all Army service component commands, according to a 10-year vision described by Fogarty.

The new operations center will also integrate traditional forms of military intelligence with feeds and broadcasts of commercial sources, displaying and fusing vast arrays of information in different ways. Army Cyber Command has sought to take fuller advantage of commercial intelligence in recent years.

According to the 10-year vision for Army Cyber Command, which involves a greater transition into the information environment, the new operations center provides a “unique vantage point [that] will allow ARCYBER to sense, understand, decide, and respond to emerging global IE conditions, providing options to Army senior leadership and regional Army and Joint Commanders with unmatched speed, enabling strategic decision advantage.”

The creation of this new center is also meant to benefit Army Cyber Command’s support to U.S. Cyber Command through Joint Force Headquarters-Cyber and the combatant commands it supports.

Fogarty previously mentioned that his command will likely change its name to something along the lines of “Army Information Warfare Command.” However, the timing of that name change is still in flux, as he told reporters Sept. 3 the process is ongoing.

However, he said he is not waiting for the name change to make the shift to a sharper focus on information warfare, as articulated in his 10-year vision for the command. This plan involves the creation and integration of units focused on tactical cyber and electronic warfare as well as information operations.

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