Mobile Menu - OpenMobile Menu - Closed

Connect with Dutch

Ruppersberger: Fort Meade’s U.S. Cyber Command Should be Combatant Command

May 18, 2016
Press Release

(Washington, DC) –Congressmen C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger (MD-02) today announced support for a provision contained in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2017 to elevate the U.S. Cyber Command to a unified combatant command. Ruppersberger submitted a statement into the U.S. Congressional Record saying the Cyber Command – located in his district at Fort Meade, Maryland – has been tasked with one of the greatest challenges of our times.

“Every day, cyber warriors are protecting us from our enemies plotting to compromise our military networks and critical infrastructure,” Congressman Ruppersberger said. “Demand for cyber warfare capabilities is only going to increase and we must give it the power and resources it needs to better protect our country.”

Our Armed Forces are currently organized into nine combatant commands – Six are geographic plus three that focus on specialized capabilities: Special Operations, Nuclear or Strategic Forces, and Transportation. The Cyber Command is now a sub-unified command under the U.S. Strategic Command.

“Elevating CYBERCOM to a Unified Combatant Command recognizes the fact that cyberspace is the battlefield of the 21st Century,” Congressman Ruppersberger said. “Warfare is not just on land, at sea, or in the skies and space – but in cyberspace. Just as our special operations command is able to quickly and deftly perform some of our toughest covert missions, it only makes sense to have a command that can respond nimbly to cyber threats and organize our offensive and defensive efforts.”

Such an upgrade would likely involve more jobs at Fort Meade. Congressman Ruppersberger expressed confidence that Maryland and the Second District is prepared to assist with the infrastructure needs that would accompany expansion.

The House of Representatives will consider the NDAA on its floor today. See below for the full text of Congressman Ruppersberger’s statement:

Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of the provision contained in the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017 to upgrade the U.S. Cyber Command to a unified combatant command.

The United States Cyber Command, which is located in my district at Fort Meade, Maryland, has been tasked with one of the greatest challenges of our times. Every day, its cyber warriors are protecting us from our enemies plotting to compromise our military networks and critical infrastructure. Recently, they were given their first wartime assignment in the fight against ISIS.

The demand for cyber warfare capabilities has been so high that CYBERCOM teams that are not even officially operational yet are contributing to the mission, according to its chief, Admiral Mike Rogers. That need is only going to increase and we must give it the power and resources it needs to better protect our country.

Elevating CYBERCOM as a Unified Combatant Command recognizes the fact that cyberspace is the battlefield of the 21st Century. Warfare is not just on land, at sea, or in the skies and space – but in cyberspace. Just as our special operations command is able to quickly and deftly perform some of our toughest covert missions, it only makes sense to have a command that can respond nimbly to cyber threats and organize our offensive and defensive efforts. 

I agree wholeheartedly with Admiral Rogers, who has said this designation would allow his Command to be faster with better mission outcomes.  We must not forget that the other half of his responsibility, the National Security Agency, already enjoys an excellent and essential working relationship with CYBERCOM. We must ensure that any reorganization strengthens this relationship.

I am proud to represent both agencies in Congress and am confident Maryland and the Second District is amply prepared to assist with the infrastructure needs that accompany any growth.