WASHINGTON — U.S. Cyber Command has both created a concept of operations and established a capability management office to address issues with its focused architecture for cyber capabilities, following concerns and recommendations from Congress and government watchdogs.
A November 2020 report by the Government Accountability Office raised issues with the goals and guidance for Cyber Command’s Joint Cyber Warfighting Architecture, which steers the command’s acquisition and equipping priorities. Of the six broad categories the architecture defines, each of the services are building components on behalf of the joint force, creating integration issues.
Congress also expressed concern the command’s vision lacks a governance strategy to connect systems.
To address one of the GAO’s concerns surrounding interoperability goals, Cyber Command created and published a concept of operations, or CONOPs, document, Col. Ben Ring, director for Cyber Command’s Joint Cyber Warfighting Architecture Capability Management Office, said during a discussion as part of C4ISRNET’s CyberCon.
“That CONOPs defines how we envision employing and integrating the various capabilities in an operational context so we can articulate how we envision putting these capabilities together and employing them for the capability development community in order to better bring it together and provide some basic attributes and some concepts that we want to make sure is baked in — things like resiliency and security at the onset,” he said Nov. 10.
To better define roles and responsibilities as well as address integration issues with the various capabilities under development by each service, Ring said the command set up a capability management office with an integration office to better oversee development.
“As we evolve, continue to bring in feedback, we are constantly trying to improve ourselves so we can be the best force going forward,” he said.
But Ring acknowledged integration challenges remain.
“We are evolving and we are beginning some initial direct integration across the different programs,” he said. “You’re integrating across multiple services, multiple programs, and each of the services — they have different personnel systems, different training systems, and trying to bring that together is working, we’re evolving. But it’s as you can imagine, it’s taking some time to bring that together. We’re continuously gathering feedback from the force and continuing to evolve, as we are one team to try to achieve unified mission.”
Mark Pomerleau is a reporter for C4ISRNET, covering information warfare and cyberspace.