Jeff Martin breaks down five things that Defense News learned from the Pentagon's fiscal 2020 defense budget request.

The White House, in a $1.6 billion increase from last year, is requesting over $9.6 billion for Department of Defense cyber activities in fiscal 2020.

According to the White House budget request, released March 11, the funds requested for cyber activities will go toward specifically advancing DoD’s three primary cyber missions:

  • Safeguarding DoD’s networks, information and systems;
  • Supporting military commander objectives; and
  • Defending the nation.

The White House’s request “provides the resources necessary to grow the capacity of U.S. military cyber forces (including the recently elevated United States Cyber Command), invest in the cyber workforce, and continue to maintain the highest cybersecurity standards at DoD.”

It is unclear how the $9.6 billion figure was derived. It is possible details will be made clearer when DoD releases its specific budget later this week.

It is important to note the difference between the operational side — Cyber Command, a functional combatant command, and the aforementioned three primary missions to be funded — versus the wider DoD side that includes things such as network modernization and cloud.

Gen. Paul Nakasone, commander of Cyber Command, provided to the Senate Armed Services Committee written testimony in February that said this fiscal year the command was executing a budget totaling roughly $610 million.

The command is looking to equip its forces and build out capacity, shifting to a posture of maintaining readiness of its 133 teams, which reached what is known as full operational capability in May 2018.

Mark Pomerleau is a reporter for C4ISRNET, covering information warfare and cyberspace.

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