Coast Guard opens new unit to combat cyberspace threat

Written by Coast Guard Cyber Command

Vice Adm. Charles Ray, Deputy Commandant for Operations (left) and Rear Adm. Kevin E. Lunday, Commander of Coast Guard Cyber Command, cut the ribbon during the opening of the Coast Guard Battle Bridge ceremony. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

Vice Adm. Charles Ray, Deputy Commandant for Operations (left) and Rear Adm. Kevin E. Lunday, Commander of Coast Guard Cyber Command, cut the ribbon during the opening of the Coast Guard Battle Bridge ceremony. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

Cyber attacks are an ever-present and growing threat to the Nation as well as the U.S. Coast Guard.

To better combat the threat, the Coast Guard Cyber Command (CGCYBER) opened the new CGCYBER Battle Bridge underground on the St. Elizabeths campus near Coast Guard Headquarters during a ribbon cutting ceremony presided over by Vice Adm. Charles Ray, Deputy Commandant for Operations, May 30, 2017.

Ray called the ceremony, “a historic event – one we should all be proud of.”

Rear Adm. Kevin E. Lunday, Commander of CGCYBER, expressed pride in the CGCYBER crew, their mission focus, and dedication to the operation and defense of Coast Guard networks to assure Coast Guard missions at sea and in air by defeating the adversary in cyberspace.

“The end result of our operations in cyberspace is ensuring that Coast Guard crews who conduct the mission at the tactical edge in a dangerous and unforgiving maritime environment will accomplish the mission and safely return,” he said.

Vice Adm. Charles Ray, Deputy Commandant for Operations, cuts a cake during the ceremony for the Coast Guard Cyber Bridge unit. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

Vice Adm. Charles Ray, Deputy Commandant for Operations, cuts a cake during the ceremony for the Coast Guard Cyber Bridge unit. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

The Battle Bridge will be the center for exercising command and control of Coast Guard cyberspace operations, including coordination with Department of Defense (DoD), Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and allies to operate and defend our networks, enable Coast Guard operations and support other Coast Guard operational commanders to protect maritime critical infrastructure. From the Battle Bridge, CGCYBER will receive orders and direction from the Coast Guard commandant and U.S. Cyber Command commander, to defend Coast Guard networks and information systems as part of the .mil within DoD networks, and direct Coast Guard operations in and through cyberspace to achieve missions. This will include directing operations of the new Coast Guard Cyber Protection Team, a deployable specialized force that will maneuver inside cyberspace to defeat adversaries.

In partnership with DHS, the new CGCYBER Battle Bridge is located on the watch floor with the DHS Enterprise Security Operations Center, responsible for defending DHS Headquarters networks. This location and CGCYBER’s growing relationship with the DHS National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center positions CGCYBER as a unique bridge between DHS and DoD cyber operations.

The Battle Bridge is one element of the geographically distributed Coast Guard Network Operations and Security Center (NOSC), which conducts the operation and defense of all Coast Guard cyberspace. The NOSC combines organizational elements that conduct network operations and defense functions, specifically the CGCYBER Cyber Security Operations Center, TISCOM Enterprise Services Operations Division, and C4IT Service Center Centralized Service Desk into a unified NOSC. Network operations, treated as mission support over the past 25 years, are now understood across the joint force as operational functions.

This step reinforces the commandant’s direction that cyberspace is a Coast Guard operational domain. CGCYBER is bringing the same ethos, proven doctrine and operational concepts and over 226 years of experience to bear. The command is fully integrating operations and mission support in cyberspace to assure Coast Guard mission execution at sea, in the air and on land.

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