November 17, 2016 10:04 AM
With most of the news coverage surrounding the transition of the presidency to President Barack Obama to President-elect Donald Trump, the news of Fort Gordon, Georgia becoming the new home of the Army Cyber Command may fall through the cracks. Cybersecurity isn’t usually the top stories of the major news networks until something big happens like the massive distributed denial-of-service attack (DDoS) on DNS service provider Dyn.
Fort Gordon currently hosts the Cyber Center of Excellence, but will soon host the US Army’s Cyber headquarters which will “draw together the Army’s Cyber operations, capability development, training, and education in one location” according to an Army press release.
Congressman Tom Graves (R-GA-14) praised the achievements of Fort Gordon’s cybersecurity capabilities. From a presser released by his office:
Rep. Tom Graves (R-GA-14) congratulated U.S. Army Cyber Command and Fort Gordon – which hosts the Cyber Center of Excellence and will soon host Army Cyber Command headquarters – on all of its Cyber Mission Force teams reaching Initial Operating Capability, the point at which all units can execute their fundamental mission while still building more advanced capabilities.
“This is a major milestone for Fort Gordon, Georgia’s military community and, most importantly, our national defense,” said Rep. Graves. “As a member of the House Appropriations Defense Subcommittee, I’ve worked to secure funding for this critical mission, and I will continue fighting to ensure it receives the resources necessary to become fully operational.”
The Cyber Mission Force is scheduled to reach full operational capability by September 30, 2018. When fully operational, the force will have approximately 6,200 cyber warriors, which will make up 133 teams.
Many of these troops will be stationed at Fort Gordon, where groundbreaking for construction of Army Cyber Command headquarters is scheduled for November 29, 2016. Besides keeping Georgia on the front lines of cyber security, the additional troops and investment is an economic boost for the local community and the state.
The Army’s decision to locate their Cyber Command headquarters is a boon for Georgia’s economy. As I’ve said previously, both elected officials and the public at-large need to take cybersecurity seriously. It’s a new battlefield that won’t just affect our men and women in uniform, unsecured devices are seen as the reason for the DDoS on Dyn. Cooperation between government and private industry can help mitigate some of these risks (e.g., perhaps the FCC can issue a mandate for manufacturers to prompt the default password be changed on devices on the first start-up as a part of electronics certification). With both state-sponsored (North Korea, China, etc.) and non-governmental (Anonymous, etc.) hackers targeting government and business systems in the United States, I hope that the incoming administration takes cybersecurity very seriously.