As a career intelligence officer, what qualifications do you have to command these networks?
As noted in my biography, much of my career has involved not only intelligence duties but the command, administration, use, and employment of information networks and the data they carry, process, and store to protect and guard our nation. Over the course of my services, I have witnessed and helped further the revolution in information technology that has helped make our military second-to-none in its ability to communicate and control forces while providing decision-makers with unprecedented situational awareness. I have also devoted a great deal of my service to understanding and mitigating the vulnerabilities that our dependence on information networks can create for our military and our nation. In my current duties as Commander, Fleet Cyber Command I exercise operational control over Navy’s networks and have done so for 30 months.
What qualifications do you have to command military forces and military operations?
As noted above, I have exercised command previously at both junior and senior levels. I currently command Fleet Cyber Command and Tenth Fleet, a global team of nearly 15,000 men and women. Their operating environment is dynamic, and demanding; Fleet Cyber Command/Tenth Fleet has literally been “in action” against capable and determined adversaries seeking access to our networks since the day I assumed command in 2011. The planning and operations we have conducted to protect our networks and provide the Navy and our military and government freedom of maneuver in cyberspace have been complex.
Do you believe that there are any steps that you need to take to enhance your expertise to perform the duties of the Commander, U. S. Cyber Command?
Any individual can learn more to enhance his or her expertise and abilities, and I have found that truth amply applies to me in understanding the very complex and rapidly evolving domain that is cyberspace. If confirmed, I shall meet with the Combatant Commanders to ascertain how USCYBERCOM can better support their missions. Additionally, I would engage with key officials and personnel within the Executive and Legislative branches of the United States government, leaders throughout the Intelligence Community, Law Enforcement, the Department of Homeland Security, and senior allied officials to hear their ideas about how we can work together to identify, assess, and mitigate the cyber threats we all face.
Relationships Section 162(b) of title 10, United States Code, provides that the chain of command runs from the President to the Secretary of Defense and from the Secretary of Defense to the commanders of the combatant commands. Other sections of law and traditional practice, however, establish important relationships outside the chain of command. Please describe your understanding of the relationship of the Commander, U. S. Cyber Command, to the following officials: