In 2012 the Department of Defense began to build a Cyber Mission Force (CMF) to carry out DoD's cyber missions. The CMF will include nearly 6,200 military, civilian, and contractor support personnel from across the military departments and defense components. The DoD Cyber Strategy provides clear guidance for the CMF's development.
The Cyber Mission Force represents a major investment by the Department of Defense and the United States as whole, and a central aim of this strategy is to set specific goals and objectives to guide the development of the Cyber Mission Force and DoD's wider cyber workforce to protect and defend U.S. national interests.
The Cyber Mission Force will be comprised of cyber operators organized into 133 teams, primarily aligned as follows:
- Cyber Protection Forces will augment traditional defensive measures and defend priority DoD networks and systems against priority threats
- National Mission Forces and their associated support teams will defend the United States and its interests against cyberattacks of significant consequence; and
- Combat Mission Forces and their associated support teams will support combatant commands by generating integrated cyberspace effects in support of operational plans and contingency operations.
Combatant commands integrate Combat Mission Forces and Cyber Protection Teams into plans and operations and employ them in cyberspace, while the National Mission Force operates under the Commander of USCYBERCOM. Outside of this construct, teams can also be used to support other missions as required by the Department.
- The DoD Cyber Strategy, at 6.