Cyber Command’s Move to Full Combatant Command Still in Works
By JAMES PETERSON, Special Correspondent
ARLINGTON, Va. — The future growth of U.S. Cyber Command and the need to get ahead of adversaries were subjects of a May 23 hearing in Washington of the House Armed Services emerging threats and capabilities subcommittee.
Cyber Command — currently a sub-command of U.S. Strategic Command — continues to grow to full proficiency as it moves toward becoming a full combatant command, according to its commander, Adm. Michael Rogers. However, Rogers is unsure when the move will take place.
“That process is ongoing. … We’ve spent much of the last year working our way through the specifics of how we would do that,” he said. “And if the decision is ultimately approved, we’re prepared to do that in a timely matter in accordance with the direction in terms of the timeline provided by the secretary of state and the president.”
When asked to give some of the details behind the move, Rogers declined to provide any until the plan is complete and set into action.
Although Rogers now supports a Cyber Command’s elevation to a full unified combatant command, he is not in favor of a separate cyber service.
“Cyber fits within a broader context,” he said. “And if you want to be successful in the ability to achieve outcomes within the cyberspace arena, you need to understand that broader context, and I’m afraid that if we go the service route, we will tend to generate incredibly technically proficient but very narrowly focused operators.”
For the full combatant command move to work, Rogers believes the service needs to “build to one standard … and create one integrated force.”
In his opening statement, Rogers said he realizes cyber security is a national security issue. For Cyber Command to meet these needs, he listed the priorities of the command as manpower, investment in core capabilities, and accelerating both.
“We are in a race to generate more compacity and more capability,” he said, “at the same time that I’m watching a host of global actors do the exact same thing. … My objective is to get ahead of the problems. I don’t like reacting to things.”