Officials broke ground Tuesday on Fort Gordon’s future headquarters for Army cyber operations.
“Today marks a major leap forward on the road to achieving greater readiness, resilience and strength for Army cyber operations,” Lt. Gen. Paul Nakasone, commanding general of U.S. Army Cyber Command and Second Army, said at the ceremony. “More importantly, today represents a turning point in our nation’s and our Army’s ability to project power in cyberspace.”
In 2009, the Department of Defense declared cyberspace a new domain of warfare after growing concerns about cybersecurity and an increase in cyber threats. The Army decided in late 2013 to build new cyber command headquarters alongside National Security Agency-Georgia’s facilities at Fort Gordon.
It will be four years before the $180 million, state-of-the-art facility is complete, but Army and local officials are already excited about the opportunities that will result. Nakasone said the benefits from the facility are endless, not only for the nation’s security but for people living in the Augusta area.
Fort Gordon is already home to the Cyber Center of Excellence, a training institution for cyberspace operations. The combined Army Cyber Command Complex will employ more than 1,200 soldiers, civilians and contractors by late 2020. The Cyber Command and Second Army will monitor cyber security threats, work with the Army and other agencies to develop and field cyberspace capabilities, modernize networks and improve sensors and tools for defensive operations and provide support to combat units.
Eric Fanning, 22nd secretary of the Army, said other countries are now employing offensive cyber and advanced electronic warfare capabilities with a new degree of sophistication. He said the U.S. must be prepared.
“Cyberspace has become key terrain, a critical hit domain along land, sea, air and space, and controlling it ensures clear advantage,” Fanning said. “…This is not the battlefield of the future. This is the battlefield of today.”
Cyber operations are currently split into nine locations, but more than half of the Army’s cyber mission teams will be transferred to Fort Gordon after the cyber command headquarters are completed.
“Fort Gordon has been for many years a launch pad for what we have done in support our forces around the world,” Nakasone said of the Army’s decision to build the facility at Fort Gordon. “One of the critical things that we’re going to need from the Augusta community obviously is the ability to attract, the ability to train, the ability to educate a workforce that is going to be second to none.”
Maj. Gen. John Morrison Jr., commanding general of the U.S. Army Center of Excellence said he anticipates seeing the region and fort continuing to benefit over the next decade from the Army’s investments and growth at Fort Gordon that will “enhance the CSRA as a desirable place to work, live and raise a family.”
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