Friday, December 27, 2013

Cyber Warriors Graduation

FORT GORDON, GA 12/6/2013 - The network is under attack! Cyber attacks are a daily reality and are growing in sophistication and complexity. How does the Army keep pace with this evolving threat and defend its network?

Fifteen Soldiers made history when they were awarded the newest Army military occupational specialty, 25D, cyber network defender, during a graduation ceremony Nov. 27, held in Alexander Hall at Fort Gordon, Ga.

Soldiers completed a 14-week course, considered rigorous for its curriculum, to learn the skills needed to meet the demand for cyber warfare.

"Cyberspace is composed of hundreds of thousands interconnecting computers, servers, routers, switches, fiber optic cables which allow our critical infrastructure to work," said Command Sgt. Maj. Ronald S. Pflieger, regimental sergeant major for the U.S. Army Signal Center of Excellence and Fort Gordon, guest speaker for the first-ever graduating class for the Cyber Network Defender course. "A functional and healthy cyberspace is essential to our economy and national security."

"With the need for educated individuals to defend our network, so does the need to engage cyberspace," Pflieger said.

Through the establishment of the new cyber network defender, 25D military occupational specialty, known as an MOS, there were changes made to the classification and structure among the 25 career management field series for communications and information systems operation with other MOS revisions of information technology specialist, 25B; radio operator-maintainer, 25C; and telecommunications operator chief, 25W.

Significant changes to the 25 career management field identify the positions and personnel to perform duties with cyber network defense, and selected functions for cyber network defender MOS positions transferred from previous MOS positions associated with cyber network defense.

Major duties a cyber network defender will perform include protecting, monitoring, detecting, analyzing, and responding to unauthorized cyberspace domain actions; deployment and administration of computer network defense infrastructures such as firewalls, intrusion detection systems and more. Soldiers are also tasked to take action to modify information systems, computer network configurations in regard to computer network threats and collect data to analyze events and warn of attacks. Cyber network defenders will be trained to perform assessments of threats and vulnerabilities within the network environment, conduct network damage assessments, and develop response actions.

Increases in cyberspace operations training continue in key Army leader education programs.

"A gap was identified within the non-commissioned officers' career field," Pflieger said. "The next step was to identify the right Soldiers."

Staff sergeants interested in becoming a cyber network defender must meet the requirements, such as having a minimum of four years information technology experience, an Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery of 105 in both General Technical and Skilled Technical scores. They must be a U.S. citizen, complete an in-service screening, and have a recommendation from their battalion or higher.

Cyberspace has long been recognized as an important domain for military operations, and the workforce in that field is growing. The Army ‘s Cyber Command is planning to build a new facility at Fort Gordon to accommodate a 1,500-person command center for 45 its worldwide cyber operations. The Navy, Air Force and Marines each expect to add about 1,000 cyber operators by the end of 2016.


A federal judge declared that the National Security Agency's bulk collection of millions of Americans' telephone records is likely unconstitutional. But even he realized his won't be the last word on the issue.

U.S. District Court Judge Richard Leon put his decision to grant an injunction against the NSA on ice, predicting a government appeal would take at least six months. He said he was staying the ruling pending appeal "in light of the significant national security interests at stake in this case and the novelty of the constitutional issues."

Even after the appeals court rules, the Supreme Court will probably have the last word.

A federal judge ruled Friday 27 that a National Security Agency program that collects records of millions of Americans' phone calls is lawful, calling it a "counter-punch" to terrorism that does not violate Americans' privacy rights.

Friday's decision by U.S. District Judge William Pauley in Manhattan diverged from a ruling by another judge this month of December that questioned the program's constitutionality, raising the prospect that the Supreme Court will need to resolve the issue.

Pauley ruled 11 days after U.S. District Judge Richard Leon in Washington, D.C. said the "almost Orwellian" NSA program amounted to an "indiscriminate and arbitrary invasion" that was likely unconstitutional.

Pauley was appointed to the bench by President Bill Clinton. Leon was appointed by President George W. Bush.

Statement by the President on H.R. 3304 (NDAA)

Today I have signed into law H.R. 3304, the "National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2014." I have signed this annual defense authorization legislation because it will provide pay and bonuses for our service members, enhance counterterrorism initiatives abroad, build the security capacity of key partners, and expand efforts to prevent sexual assault and strengthen protections for victims.
Since taking office, I have repeatedly called upon the Congress to work with my Administration to close the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The continued operation of the facility weakens our national security by draining resources, damaging our relationships with key allies and partners, and emboldening violent extremists.
For the past several years, the Congress has enacted unwarranted and burdensome restrictions that have impeded my ability to transfer detainees from Guantanamo. Earlier this year I again called upon the Congress to lift these restrictions and, in this bill, the Congress has taken a positive step in that direction. Section 1035 of this Act gives the Administration additional flexibility to transfer detainees abroad by easing rigid restrictions that have hindered negotiations with foreign countries and interfered with executive branch determinations about how and where to transfer detainees. Section 1035 does not, however, eliminate all of the unwarranted limitations on foreign transfers and, in certain circumstances, would violate constitutional separation of powers principles. The executive branch must have the flexibility, among other things, to act swiftly in conducting negotiations with foreign countries regarding the circumstances of detainee transfers. Of course, even in the absence of any statutory restrictions, my Administration would transfer a detainee only if the threat the detainee may pose can be sufficiently mitigated and only when consistent with our humane treatment policy. Section 1035 nevertheless represents an improvement over current law and is a welcome step toward closing the facility.
In contrast, sections 1033 and 1034 continue unwise funding restrictions that curtail options available to the executive branch. Section 1033 renews the bar against using appropriated funds to construct or modify any facility in the United States, its territories, or possessions to house any Guantanamo detainee in the custody or under the control of the Department of Defense unless authorized by the Congress. Section 1034 renews the bar against using appropriated funds to transfer Guantanamo detainees into the United States for any purpose. I oppose these provisions, as I have in years past, and will continue to work with the Congress to remove these restrictions. The executive branch must have the authority to determine when and where to prosecute Guantanamo detainees, based on the facts and circumstances of each case and our national security interests. For decades, Republican and Democratic administrations have successfully prosecuted hundreds of terrorists in Federal court. Those prosecutions are a legitimate, effective, and powerful tool in our efforts to protect the Nation. Removing that tool from the executive branch does not serve our national security interests. Moreover, section 1034 would, under certain circumstances, violate constitutional separation of powers principles.
The detention facility at Guantanamo continues to impose significant costs on the American people. I am encouraged that this Act provides the Executive greater flexibility to transfer Guantanamo detainees abroad, and look forward to working with the Congress to take the additional steps needed to close the facility. In the event that the restrictions on the transfer of Guantanamo detainees in sections 1034 and 1035 operate in a manner that violates constitutional separation of powers principles, my Administration will implement them in a manner that avoids the constitutional conflict.
December 26, 2013.
Sources: Wilson A. Rivera, Fort Gordon Public Affairs Office, Defense Systems, ACLU, AP, the White House 

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