With reorganization underway at the Defense Information Systems Agency, officials plan to alleviate pressure on U.S. Cyber Command by taking over some operational duties.
The new Joint Force Headquarters – DoD Information Networks, which will launch at initial operating capability on Jan. 15, will free up CyberCom to focus on strategic operations and coordination between combatant commands. JFHQ-DoDIN first will take over roughly 19 tasks, a number that DISA executives say will grow as Defense officials work together to hammer out requirements, responsibilities and ways forward.
Examples of those tasks include the creation of operational planning teams and the provision of orders to the service components and other partners, including U.S. Transportation Command.
"As we sit down with these partners, we're learning a lot, so the number of tasks will grow," said DISA Chief of Staff Maj. Gen. Robert Skinner.
The focus is command and control, as well as guidance that will help DoD components defend their networks – including framework, tactics, techniques, procedures, equipment and resources, according to Skinner.
"The end result is to provide unity of command and unity of effort across the entire DoDIN," Skinner told reporters after speaking as part of a DISA panel at an AFCEA DC event in Arlington, Va., on Jan. 12. "We're going to take this off Cyber Command's plate, because there has been this vacuum at the operational level for command and control."
Skinner alluded to some concerns about how to best allocate resources – including funding and personnel – as DISA works to stand up JFHQ-DoDIN. He declined to specify how many employees currently are part of the effort, but eventually roughly 219 people will be working to carry out the office's functions, which center on partnerships with at least 39 DoD entities. Those personnel will come from DISA, CyberCom and other military components, he said.
"It's not just building partnerships with the 39 organizations we have identified within DoD, whether that's combatant commands or the other agencies," Skinner said. It's leveraging industry, leveraging the commercial world and leveraging academia to build the capacity and capability so that we have a better understanding of DoD's information networks."
While JFHQ-DoDIN reaches IOC this week, full operational capability is expected sometime in 2016.