By Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Samuel Souvannason, U.S. Fleet Cyber Command/U.S. 10th Fleet
FORT MEADE, Md., Nov. 2, 2017 — All of the Navy’s Cyber Mission Force teams achieved full operational capability last month, almost a full year ahead of schedule, U.S. Fleet Cyber Command/U.S. 10th Fleet officials announced.
U.S. Cyber Command validated all 40 of the Navy’s Cyber Mission Force teams Oct. 6, officials said.
The full-operational-capability assessment means a unit has achieved all manning, capability and training requirements necessary as part of the Cyber Mission Force, to fully perform its assigned missions as validated by Cybercom. It is not a measurement of overall combat readiness, officials explained, but rather is an externally validated evaluation that the unit has met all of its capability requirements and that it performs its mission as designed.
"Reaching FOC at this point in the development of the Navy's CMF teams is a testament to the extraordinary hard work invested in manning our teams and training our personnel," said Navy Vice Adm. Michael Gilday, commander of U.S. Fleet Cyber Command/U.S. 10th Fleet.
The focus of Cybercom's Cyber Mission Force teams aligns with the Defense Department cyber strategy’s three primary missions: defend DoD networks and ensure their data is held secure; support joint military commander objectives; and, when directed, defend U.S. critical infrastructure, officials said.
Reaching the milestone represents a training throughput of more than 18,000 course completions, 1,800 personnel, and 2,000 hours of executing full-spectrum operations during certification and training events, officials said. However, they added, achieving full operational capability is only a waypoint, as the Navy’s operational need for a well-trained and motivated cyber workforce -- active, reserve and civilian -- will continue to grow in the coming years.
"Although reaching this milestone is a great accomplishment, the true challenge will be sustaining readiness and the prompt ability to 'answer all bells' when directed by U.S. Cyber Command," Gilday said.
U.S. Fleet Cyber Command serves as the Navy component command to U.S. Strategic Command and Cybercom, and the Navy’s service cryptologic component commander under the National Security Agency and the Central Security Service. Fleet Cyber Command also reports directly to the chief of naval operations as an Echelon II command.
U.S. 10th Fleet is the operational arm of Fleet Cyber Command and executes its mission through a task force structure similar to that of other warfare command. In this role, the 10th Fleet provides operational direction through its Maritime Operations Center here, executing command and control over assigned forces in support of Navy or joint missions in cyber/networks, information operations, electronic warfare, cryptologic/signals intelligence and space.