Lynn: Cyberspace same as land, sea, air and space

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The Defense Department recognizes that cyberspace is as important a military domain as the land, sea, air and space, Deputy Defense Secretary William Lynn said May 21 during a ceremony to officially establish the U.S. Cyber Command at Fort Meade, Md.

The military must ensure its freedom of movement in cyberspace, a major reason why U.S. forces are the best in the world, the deputy secretary said, according to an American Forces Press Service account.

 "We want to be able to maintain those advantages and protect the military missions, and that is the main mission of Cyber Command--it is to protect the military networks," he said.

"It will have a role, though, in protecting the government's networks and critical infrastructure," Lynn added. Cyber Command reports to U.S. Strategic Command, the Offutt Air Force Base, Neb.-based unified command that oversees nuclear operations and information warfare.

Cyber Command's newly Senate-confirmed head, Army Gen. Keith Alexander, also received promotion May 21 to four-star status, the highest rank military officers can achieve during peacetime. That places Alexander--who is also head of the National Security Agency--on equal footing with heads of combatant commands, Lynn said.

The new command should be fully operational by Oct. 1, Lynn said.

The Army also announced May 21 that it will establish its own cyber command, with headquarters to be in the national capital region and full operational capability attained by Oct. 1. The Army has already achieved initial operational capability by using its Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command as the interim Army Forces Cyber Command headquarters, according to an official DoD release.

For more:
- a DoD Cyber Command fact sheet (.pdf)
- the American Forces Press Service account of the May 21 ceremony
- an official announcement of the Army Forces Cyber Command

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