C4ISR is reporting LTG Paul Nakasone, current Commander of the United States Army Cyber Command, has been nominated for the dual-hat position of Commander of US Cyber Command and the Director of the National Security Agency:
According to the congressional record, Nakasone was nominated for his fourth star Feb. 8.
Cyber Command is currently in the throes of elevating to a full unified combatant command. The elevation is expected to become official following Nakasone’s confirmation by the Senate.
Nakasone’s nomination for both jobs shows that the Trump administration is not using the retirement of current commander and director Adm. Michael Rogers’s to split the dual hat arrangement as some in the national security community had expected.
Nakasone appears to be a solid selection. Since he has been with ARCYBER for quite some time, he should have a deep understanding of signals intelligence and cyber defense, while at the same time capable of leading a cyber-oriented organization.
What I find most interesting in the small article is how Congress is not yet ready to split Cyber Command away from the NSA, even though, for all intents and purposes, the decision has been made. It will be interesting to see how the elevation of USCYBERCOMMAND from sub-unified to full Combatant Command, and the divorce from NSA, will affect its capabilities. I am a bit hesitant to get excited about the move, but remain optimistic.
U.S. Cyber Command is building a massive, electronic system to provide an overview of the vulnerabilities of the military’s computer networks, weapons system and installations and help officials prioritize how to fix them, its deputy commander said on Thursday.
Lieutenant General Kevin McLaughlin told Reuters officials should reach agreement on the framework within months, turning the system into an automated “scorecard” in coming years.
McLaughlin said the effort grew out of a disturbing report released earlier this year by the Pentagon’s chief weapons tester, Michael Gilmore. The report warned that nearly every major U.S. weapons system was vulnerable to cyber attacks, and an escalating number of attacks on U.S. computer networks by Russia and China.
Cyber Command staff would do the initial data entry by hand, but the goal was to create a fully automated system that would help defense officials instantaneously detect and respond to any attacks, McLaughlin said after a speech at the annual Billington Cybersecurity Summit.
Here we are in 2015 and US Cyber Command is developing a program designed to perform initial data entry manually. Seriously?
By 2016, it seeks to have completely built out the new Cyber Mission Force: 13 national mission teams with eight national support teams; 27 combat mission teams with 17 combat support teams; 18 national cyber protection teams (CPTs); 24 service CPTs; and 26 combatant command and DoD Information Network CPTs.
In the meantime, Cyber Command still wants to be treated as a unified, full-scale combatant command, not a sub-unified command answering to Strategic Command.
Once the Cyber Mission Force is in place, the Pentagon will rethink whether Cyber Command should remain a sub-unified command — or maybe even a separate service.
But core questions remain: Is America’s cyber power really the military, or the IT and cybersecurity sectors? Can a nation pursue hard cyber power without compromising its soft power and IT sector? Does being feared in cyberspace actually lead to better national security and economic outcomes?
But soon after the final iteration was published, Defense Department officials said they needed more time to answer questions from cybersecurity vendors and extended the deadline for proposals to June 19.
And on May 21, officials jettisoned the whole five-year plan. At the time, contracting officials said they had to weigh whether a different acquisition strategy could better serve CYBERCOM’s needs.
“In the evolving cyber environment, we will continuously assess our contracts to ensure that we get the best products and outcomes at the best price,” the CYBERCOM official said Thursday.
DOD now anticipates “reissuing the RFP” within the fiscal year 2015 time frame, which ends Sept. 30, the official said.
The purpose of the rescinded solicitation was to help position the so-called Cyber National Mission Force. The Pentagon made the move to outsource expertise “to streamline USCYBERCOM’s acquisition of cyber mission support capabilities and services, information technology services, and cyber professional services” across multiple disciplines “under a centralized structure,” according to the initial contracting documents.