U.S. Cyber Command is heading toward becoming a full unified cyber command, and its planning efforts are focused on efficiency, effectiveness and agility, a Pentagon spokesperson told Fifth Domain.
Fifth Domain reports that U.S. Cyber Command is increasing its team and moving resources from Strategic Command to the Unified Cyber Command. It has around $27.3 million in FY 2017 funding for its elevation efforts, including hiring new staff.
The spokesman told Fifth Domain that while the elevation effort has no timeline, it will be dependent on the Senate confirmation of a new commander.
The split of Cyber Command from the NSA also has no definite timeline at present – the NDAA 2017 directed that before it can happen, metrics must be in place to show that both organizations can operate independently and the divisions will not affect their missions.
According to Fifth Domain, the secretary of Defense and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, in consultation with the director of National Intelligence, “continue to consider potential recommendations on when timing and conditions would be appropriate to terminate the arrangement.”
In January, the House Armed Services Emerging Threats and Capabilities subcommittee discussed concerns over the maturation of Cyber Command with GAO. Fifth Domain reports that topics discussed included the cyber mission force and the dual hat relationship with the National Security Agency. It says that there are concerns about the clarity of the cyber mission force’s responsibilities and whether it can effectively execute its mission.
The cyber mission force will also need resources and funding, and Fifth Domain quotes a Senate staffer as saying, “Our bigger concern is that the services aren’t actually budgeting and providing the tools and capabilities that the cyber mission force is going to need.”