On Thursday, the Army command dedicated to defending against hackers and other online threats celebrated its move to Georgia ‘s new $366 million headquarter.
The Army Cyber Command, created a decade ago, was spread across Army facilities in three states before consolidating at Fortitude Hall, its new home at Fort Gordon in Augusta. Plans to bring together the entire command under a single roof had been in the works for seven years.
“It is not simply a physical move. It is not just a nice new facility, “Lt. Gen Stephen Fogarty, Army Cyber Command commander, told reporters on a Thursday conference call. He has called headquarters “a purpose-filled system of cyber weapons.”
Fogarty was joined by Army Under-Secretary James McPherson and Gen. Paul Nakasone, who serves as U.S. commander, during a dedication ceremony. Cyber Command and National Security Agency managing director.
McPherson noted that at Fort Gordon, which is also home to an NSA facility, the move brings together the cyber soldiers, commanders and trainees of the Army.
“In the latest cyber domain, it’s the one that changes the fastest and it’s the one that we need to learn not only to compete with, but to dominate with, our near-peer competitors,” McPherson said.
In 2010 the U.S. military established the Army Cyber Command after the Department of Defense declared cyberspace a new domain for warfare, citing rising threats from foreign government-backed hackers and independent online attackers. Around 16,500 soldiers, civilians and contract workers worldwide are overseen by the command.
The headquarters of the Cyber Command will bring about 1,200 additional soldiers and civilian workers to Fort Gordon, the Army says. Fogarty said they should all be in place within the coming year. Fortitude Hall spans 336,000 square feet (31,215 square metres) and features over 300 servers.
Elements of the Army Cyber Command had also been based in Fort Belvoir, Virginia and Fort Meade, Maryland prior to the consolidation. The Army now has its electronic warfare and defence units at Fort Gordon that are based on the same installation used to train new cyber soldiers and provide them with continuing education.
Thursday’s dedication to Headquarters was largely symbolic. The leader of the Army Cyber Command, Lt . Gen. Stephen G. Fogarty, has been working at Fort Gordon since July, with his command staff.