16 Jun 14. In the cyber domain of 2025, the ability of military formations to operate offensively and defensively will be a core mission set, and commanders will maneuver the capability much as they maneuver ground forces today, the commander of U.S. Cyber Command said recently.
Army Sgt. 1st Class Michael Deblock, Vermont Army National Guard Computer Network Defense Team, left, discusses new ways to make the exercise more challenging for cyber defenders with a fellow Red Cell team member during the 2014 Cyber Shield exercise at the National Guard Professional Education Center, North Little Rock, Ark., April 29, 2014.
Cybercom Commander Navy Adm. Michael S. Rogers, who also is director of the National Security Agency, was the keynote speaker at a June 12 meeting here at a cyber seminar hosted by the Association of the U.S. Army’s Institute of Land Warfare.
The theme was Army Networks and Cybersecurity in 2025.
“In the world of 2025, I believe the ability of Army formations to operate within the cyber domain, offensively and defensively, will be a core mission set for the U.S. Army and its operational forces,” Rogers told the audience. The Cybercom commander said that by 2025 the military services will have ingrained into their culture the reality that networks and cyber are a commander’s business.
The admiral, who most recently served as commander of the U.S. Fleet Cyber Command and the U.S. 10th Fleet, said this has been a major cultural challenge in the Navy.
“In the year 2025, I believe … Army commanders will maneuver offensive and defensive capability much today as they maneuver ground forces,” Rogers said, adding that command and control, key terrain, commander’s intent, synchronization with the broader commander’s intent, and a broader commander’s operational concept of operations will be cornerstones of Army cyber operations by then.
“In 2025,” he said, “the ability to integrate cyber into a broader operational concept is going to be key. Treating cyber as something so specialized, … so unique — something that resides outside the broader operational framework — I think that is a very flawed concept.”
Between now and 2025, Rogers said, a primary challenge will be integrating cyber and its defensive and offensive capabilities into a broader operational construct that enables commanders to apply another broader set of tools in achieving their operational missions.
When he thinks about how Cybercom and the services will get to 2025, Rogers said, he tries to keep three points in mind.
The first, he said, is that cyber is operations. Commanders must own the cyber mission set, the admiral said, integrating it into the operational vision and becoming knowledgeable about the broad capabilities of a unit, formation or organization and its potential vulnerabilities.
“I think it’s going to be foundational to the warfighting construct of the future,” Rogers said, adding that the challenge is as much cultural as technical.
“To make this work, in the end, it’s about our ability to synchronize the capabilities of a team,” he added, “from our junior-most individuals to our senior-most individuals, from capabilities resident within [the services] and as a department, to the [external] partnerships we’re going to have to form.”
The second point Rogers said he keeps in mind is that requirements of the future include a joint network backbone for all of the Defense Department.
“I never understood why Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and, arguably, our Coast Guard teammates … were spending a lot of time and money [to independently] create, maintain, build and operate a global communications backbone,” Rogers said. Instead, he added, “make the services responsible for the last tactical mile of [a DOD-wide backbone that spans the globe], down to mobile and tactical users, whether they’re in a garrison scenario or whether they’re out maneuvering in the field, on an aircraft, on a ship