U.S. Cyber Command has been elevated to a unified combatant command and its global operational defensive unit is preparing to support its increasing activity.

“We need to nest our battle rhythm into [Cyber Command’s],” Ignatius Liberto, chief of staff at Joint Force Headquarters-Department of Defense Information Networks, said during a May 16 panel at the AFCEA Defensive Cyber Operations symposium in Baltimore, Maryland.

Liberto said he had a meeting with Cyber Command’s chief of staff recently and CYBERCOM is working to feed the commander’s decision cycle as needed.

“The challenge is really going to manage our time to make sure that we’re bringing timely and accurate information into Cyber Command’s battle rhythm to support their full spectrum cyberspace operations, while at the same time we maintain [situational awareness] and the ability to command-and-control DoDIN operations and defensive cyberspace operations internal defensive measures on a global nature ourselves,” he said.

Liberto also noted they have to match not only Cyber Command’s battle rhythm, but also that of the other combatant commands JFHQ-DoDIN supports, as well as the five service cyber components and the 28 field agencies and activities within DoD.

Defending the DoDIN is Cyber Command’s No. 1 stated job and therefore, with this increased battle rhythm, the elevation has also created greater partnership between JFHQ-DoDIN and CYBERCOM’s intel cohorts.

“From an intelligence perspective, it’s caused us to have a better relationship with the CYBERCOM intelligence directorate in many ways: better collection management coordination; better coordination with NSA; better intel support to planning; and, in particular, a huge demand signal now from CYBERCOM for our operational information — that data that comes off the sensors. They are saying we need that and we need that now,” Col. Casimir Carey, director for intelligence at JFHQ-DoDIN, said.

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

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