Collaborative Cyber Command


Few people would dispute the huge challenge facing the newly formed Cyber Command. Perhaps the greatest of these challenges is in the area of coordination and collaboration. The addition of collaboration and coordination was evident in an organization chart for Cyber Command (marked FOUO) that has been circulating around by regular email (go figure) for a few of weeks now.

The heart of the organization is the Joint Operations Center/Integrated Cyber Center. While details at this level are sparse, it is very easy to mentally visualize this combined nerve center in operations.

Before anyone asks - NO - I won't publish the chart or send it to anyone.

Anyone who has seen the chart realizes the massive challenge of coordination and collaboration that will be required. Given the magnitude of interaction as illustrated in the organizational chart, one has to wonder about the possibility of delays in decision making and response caused by this organizational design.

At a briefing outside of Washington, I heard an interesting comment about this topic. The comment went something like "Due to the unique characteristics of cyber warfare, what took years now must be done in months, what took months now must be done in days, what took days now must be done in hours and what took hours now must be done in minutes."

To put this in context the Minute Man III ICBM has a range of over 8,000 miles and travels at 15,000 miles an hour. A cyber weapons has unlimited range and travels at nearly light speed at 186,000 miles per second.

One can clearly see the need for streamlined decision making.

As everyone knows C4ISR stands for Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance. It appears the time has come to add collaboration and coordination to C4ISR and update it to C6ISR. If that happens, we must make every effort to streamline the decision making and authorization process to ensure decisiveness measured in minutes.

-- Kevin Coleman

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