Integration of Cyberspace Capabilities into Tactical Units


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The Army's efforts to integrate operational cyberspace capabilities into its tactical units took another big step forward during a recent training rotation at the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, California.

Cyber forces provided support to offensive and defensive cyberspace operations, intelligence, information operations and opposing forces for the NTC rotation for the Lancer Brigade -- the 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team (SBCT), 2nd Infantry Division from Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington.

Elements of the U.S. Army Cyber Command headquarters: 780th Military Intelligence Brigade from Fort Meade, Maryland; U.S. Army Cyber Protection Brigade from Fort Gordon, Georgia; Cyberspace Opposing Force from the 1st Information Operations Command at Fort Belvoir, Virginia; 201st Expeditionary Military Intelligence Brigade from Joint Base Lewis--McChord; and Fort Gordon's U.S. Army Cyber Center of Excellence and 7th Signal Command took part in the exercise.

The cyber participation in the training was a key element in the Army's ongoing Cyber Support to Corps and Below pilot, designed to help the Army develop how it will build and employ cyber in its tactical formations.

To further facilitate the training and the pilot, planners, staff officers and subject-matter experts from Army Cyber, the 780th and the Cyber Protection Brigade also integrated into the brigade staff and NTC's Operations Group for the rotation. Their role was to provide additional support and expertise for the training while gathering observations and recommendations to help the Army determine how it will train, man, equip, sustain and develop doctrine to define and conduct cyber operations in tactical environments.

The cyber component of the 2nd SBCT rotation represented an extension of an integrative cyber exercise the brigade conducted at Joint Base Lewis--McChord in October. It also follows and expands on two similar brigade combat team rotations conducted last year at the Joint Readiness Training Center at Fort Polk, Louisiana, as part of the pilot.

Each of those exercises was preceded by extensive planning and unit training at home station supported by cyber forces. Preparing the Lancer Brigade and the NTC for cyberspace training and operations was no exception, and began months before the rotation kicked off at Fort Irwin.

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