The US military’s Cyber Mission Force will finally be ready for action by the end of September, according to US Cyber Command and NSA boss, Admiral Michael Rogers.
The new elite cyber force will eventually contain over 6000 operatives split into 133 groups, which will be tasked with both offensive and defensive missions.
Unusually for a military endeavor, troops will be deployed before the unit has been completely staffed,
“We find ourselves in a situation a little unusual in the military arena. As soon as we get a basic framework, we are deploying the teams and putting them against challenges,” Rogers is reported as saying.
“I just always feel like we’re in a race to make sure we are generating capacity and capability, and that we are doing it faster than those who would attempt to do harm to us.”
The force, which apparently features military personnel alongside civilians, is estimated to finally be ready on 30 September 2018.
Recently Air Force Brig. Gen. Charles L. Moore Jr. told the House Armed Services Committee that the Cyber Mission Force has already encountered a few challenges relating to equipment, training, recruitment and “finalizing the command-and-control structure.”
It also emerged that US military cyber troops have been given their first opportunity to engage in digital combat “at scale” in the ongoing war with ISIL.
A much more formidable enemy, however, is China, which the Pentagon suspects is rapidly building up its own cyber warfare capabilities.
An annual report to Congress in May claimed the PLA would “likely use Electronic Warfare, cyberspace operations (CO), and deception to augment counter-space and other kinetic operations during a wartime scenario to deny an adversary’s attainment and use of information.”