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Allyn: ‘Vexing Set of Challenges’ in Cyber Domain

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AUSA News
Friday, November 04, 2016

The ability to dominate cyberspace operations is “inextricably linked to Army readiness,” says Gen. Daniel B. Allyn, the U.S. Army vice chief of staff. But the cyber domain, “the only man-made one that exists, creates a vexing set of challenges.”

Allyn was the keynote speaker at the Nov. 3 Hot Topics forum “Cyber and Future Readiness,” sponsored by the Association of the U.S. Army’s Institute of Land Warfare. The event was held at AUSA’s Conference and Event Center in Arlington, Va.

“The most seasoned strategists have struggled with how to tackle this emerging battleground,” Allyn said. “For starters, it’s difficult to describe, let alone conceptualize.”

Allyn said cyber threats and vulnerabilities “impact everything we do, from communications and logistics to operations and Mission Command. This is our new normal and to adjust, we must act quickly, leveraging agile personnel, training and acquisition processes to adjust to new circumstances.”

“Our future readiness demands both understanding and most importantly, action, to succeed,” he said.

Allyn said historically, cyberspace operations “have been the domain of a small group of technical professionals.” Going forward, however, soldiers must understand that protecting the service’s digital infrastructure and wartime equipment is “everyone’s business, leaders and soldiers alike. It is incumbent on all of us to protect citizens and ourselves against the persistent cyber threats we face on a daily basis.”

Allyn also noted that the separate branch specifically for cyber operations forces has grown from six officers in 2014 to 397 officers, 141 warrant officers, and 560 NCOs and soldiers across the force today. He said the Army is on track to increase the number of cyber mission force teams from 41 to 62.

“The speed at which this has grown speaks to the urgency of cyber threats,” and the Army’s commitment to dominance in the cyber domain, Allyn said.

In introducing the vice chief, retired Gen. Carter F. Ham, AUSA’s president and CEO, said Allyn’s appearance at the forum “conveys the importance that he personally, and the Army institutionally, places on operations in the cyber domain.”

This was the final Hot Topics event for 2016.