Army considering adding cyberspace to tactical domains

Army considering adding cyberspace to tactical domains
Army considering adding cyberspace to tactical domains 

By Peter Buxbaum
April 5, 2007

The Army may follow the Air Forces lead in setting up a cyber command.

Cyber war is emerging as just as important as kinetic war, some say more 
important, said Vernon Bettencourt, the Armys deputy chief information 
officer at the recent AFCEA Belvoir chapter/Program Executive Office 
Enterprise Information Systems industry day in Bethesda, Md.

We are looking at what the Air Force has done and we keep asking 
ourselves, Are there any ideas the Army should be adopting?? Bettencourt 

The Air Force announced it would create a cyber command last November 
that would be located at the 8th Air Force at Barksdale Air Force Base, 
La. The service named Lt. Gen. Robert Elder, commander of the 8th Air 
Force, as the commands first chief. The command is scheduled to begin 
operations in May and be fully operational by October 2009.

Bettencourt said the establishment of the Air Force entity represented a 
restatement of that services mission.

The Air Force did not just create a new command, he said. The Air Force 
changed its mission statement to say that it fights in three domains: 
air, space and cyberspace. A development like that is worthy of our 

To that end, a high-level Army delegation recently visited the Air Force 
Cyber Command.

They have amalgamated some capabilities together, Bettencourt said. They 
have consolidated network operations and defense on a global basis.

He added that the Army already has done some of the same by co-locating 
parts of its Information Operations Command, its computer emergency 
response teams and its Network Enterprise Technology Command together at 
Fort Belvoir, Va.

Bettencourt also said the Army is leading the fleet in the use of common 
access cards.

It is an important part in defending our huge network, he said. In the 
very near future, we wont be using passwords anymore.

Col. Tom Hogan, the infrastructure deputy program director of PEO-EIS, 
said there was at least one exception to that rule.

We will continue to honor passwords for retirees, Hogan said. We will 
maintain a way to get into system for all those dont get CAC cards.

Bettencourt went on to admonish the defense industry audience not to 
offer equipment or software to the Army that is not CAC-enabled.

Another Army priority that has emerged is the encryption of data at 
rest, especially because it has been distributing more laptop computers.

As a result, were having more computers stolen and lost, Bettencourt 
said. We have issued a policy requiring that any computer taken out of 
the office must be labeled as authorized for travel and that its data 
must be encrypted. Even if the machine is CAC-enabled so a thief cant 
pull out the hard drive and read all of its data if it is lost or 

Bettencourt said the ultimate decision to stand up an Army Cyber Command 
will come down to how to best provide cyber capabilities to warfighters.

We are assessing what it means from a command perspective, he said. How 
do we take information operations capabilities and organization and 
provide them the combatant or joint force commander?

Buxbaum is a freelancer writer in Bethesda, Md.

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