FORT GORDON, Ga. (AP) — Military officials at Fort Gordon in east Georgia have broken ground for the future headquarters of the U.S. Army's cyber operations.
The recent groundbreaking is a milestone toward the goals of "greater readiness, resilience and strength for Army cyber operations," said Lt. Gen. Paul Nakasone, commanding general of U.S. Army Cyber Command and Second Army.
"More importantly, today represents a turning point in our nation's and our Army's ability to project power in cyberspace," Nakasone said at a ceremony last week.
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 its new cyber command headquarters alongside National Security Agency-Georgia's facilities at Fort Gordon, The Augusta Chronicle reported (http://bit.ly/2gLMNaY ).
It will be four years before the $180 million, state-of-the-art facility is complete, the newspaper reported.
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.
Other nations are already employing offensive cyber and advanced electronic warfare capabilities with a new degree of sophistication, Secretary of the Army Eric Fanning said. The U.S. must be prepared, he said.
"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," he added. "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.