All of Cyber Command’s operational teams have reached full operational capability four months ahead of schedule after the Air Force’s 33 teams reached the mark on May 11.

The Air Force’s Cyber Mission Force units joined the Army, Navy and Marine Corps in meeting the fully manned designation and the Cyber Command’s 133-team, 6,200-person unit is ready to carry out network defense and cyber training operations.US cybercommand

“Having Cybercom achieve full operational capability early is a testament to the commitment of the military services toward ensuring the nation’s cyber force is fully trained and equipped to defend the nation in cyberspace,” Cyber Command officials wrote in a statement. “To reach full operational capability, teams met a rigorous set of criteria, including an approved concept of operation and a high percentage of trained, qualified and certified personnel. As part of the certification process, teams had to show they could perform their mission under stress in simulated, real-world conditions as part of specialized training events.”

Adm. Mike Rogers, the previous leader of Cyber Command, had set a Sept. 30 deadline for CMF units to meet the rigorous criteria for the FOC designation.

Gen. Paul Nakasone, who succeeded Rogers as the head of Cyber Command earlier this month (Defense Daily, April 24), congratulated the teams on reaching the major milestone.

“I’m proud of these service men and women for their commitment to developing the skills and capabilities necessary to defend our networks and deliver cyberspace operational capabilities to the nation,” Nakasone said in a statement.

Before receiving the FOC designation, the cyber teams had to develop a final concept of operation, meet an approved percentage for trained personnel and demonstrated an ability to handle simulated cyber threats in real-world environments.

Members of the Senate Armed Services Committee urged the leaders of the service’s specific CMF units to detail where more authorities could be granted to carry out offensive cyber operations and best utilize their capabilities (Defense Daily, March 13).

“As the build of the cyber mission force wraps up, we’re quickly shifting gears from force generation to sustainable readiness,” Nakasone said. “We must ensure we have the platforms, capabilities and authorities ready and available to generate cyberspace outcomes when needed.”