The U.S. Cyber Command, scheduled to be “fully operational” by Friday, will miss that deadline. That’s what Col. Rivers J. Johnson, Cybercom spokesman told Stars and Stripes on Wednesday.
In May 2010, Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates announced Army Gen. Keith B. Alexander’s appointment as the first U.S. Cyber Command commander, officially establishing the initial operating capability for the new command.
A major challenge appears to be staffing the command with qualified personnel, of which it will need over 1,000 skilled employees. General Alexander told Congress his leadership staff was in place but acknowledged there were challenges in bringing in people to the rest of the organization.
The demand for IT security talent in the area is in high demand between government agencies and private companies. Just this week, SAIC opened its “Cyber Innovation” center in Columbia, Maryland.
Based at Fort Meade, Maryland, Cybercom merges the offensive and defensive sides of Department of Defense cyber world into one organization for the benefit of both sides, said Army Gen. Keith B. Alexander, who also is director of the National Security Agency.
A subunified command under U.S. Strategic Command, Cybercom has about 1,000 servicemembers and civilian employees. The command has a budget of about $120 million this year, and is scheduled to receive approximately $150 million in fiscal 2011.