Navy's Cyber Forces move full steam ahead

Monday - 9/20/2010, 9:30am EDT

Tom Meek, Commander, CYBERFOR, Navy

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By Suzanne Kubota
Senior Internet Editor
FederalNewsRadio.com

There's a new type of naval warrior. In fact, there are now nearly 45,000 of them. These men and women are part of Navy Cyber Forces (CYBERFOR), protecting cyber space on which so much of the physical Navy depends on for command and control.

CYBERFOR's mission is to provide operational commanders with ready forces and equipment in intelligence, computer networks and communications, space requirements, information operations to include electronic warfare and cryptology/signals intelligence.

CYBERFOR commander, Rear Admiral Tom Meek told Federal News Radio the need for these skills isn't new, but putting them all together in one place is.

We have been performing those disciplines for years...decades. I've been an intelligence officer myself for about 29 years but what has changed recently is the organization of all of these particular disciplines into a corps, much like our medical corps in the navy consists of dentists, doctors, optometrists. We are a corps of cyber-professionals now that we call the Information Dominance Corps.

That corps, said Meek, "today is made up of about 45,000 people. That includes officers, enlisted, civilians - both active and reserve corps on the military side, we have a number of contractors. That's a large number and they serve in all those fields I mentioned before."

Even more impressive, the Navy isn't alone in the effort.

"All of the services," said Meek, "are now involved in this with the establishment of the U.S. Cyber Command up in Ft. Meade under Gen. Alexander, the services are all now obligated to provide forces to that subunified command, so the Army, the Marines, the Air Force - they also have similar type organizations."

Still, 45,000 just since January? "It's a large domain," explained Meek.

This story is part of Federal News Radio's daily Cybersecurity Update brought to you by Tripwire. For more cybersecurity news, click here.