Navy makes slow progress as it moves to defend the cyber domain
By DANIEL P. TAYLOR, Special Correspondent
And, unlike a typical fleet, the
area of responsibility for Tenth
Fleet is global.
“We also have partnership re-
sponsibilities with Fleet Forces
Command and [commander, U.S.
Pacific Fleet],” Leigher said. “We
have operational and tactical rela-
tionships with the other numbered
The history of Fleet Cyber Com-
mand and Tenth Fleet is not a long
one. In the summer of 2009, Chief of
“It was part of a series of moves that Adm.
Roughead made to firm up what we’ve come to call
information dominance, but I think more simply it was
about the Navy’s ability to stay on the leading edge of
our ability to operate, defend and fight our networks,”
Leigher said. “Out of that came Fleet Cyber Command,
which is our component command, and Tenth Fleet,
which is our operational capability.”
But the command has yet to fully define its role.
“Part of it is just getting our hands around what that
domain looks like,” he said.
The main concern is how the service — and the
DoD as a whole — can be more proactive in defending
their networks. Leigher said that in the past, the
process had been reactive.
“The approach was to take on one adversary at a time,”
he said. “They would get in the network, we would
understand what it was, we patched it and waited for the
phenomenon to happen again. If we did that in warfare or
anywhere else, it would be a losing strategy.”
Leigher declined to discuss in detail the offensive
cyber warfare capabilities the Navy has at its disposal
The Navy stood up Fleet Cyber Command and U.S. Tenth Fleet
■ The move was related to the Navy’s decision to merge its
naval intelligence and communications directorates into an office
of “information dominance.”
■ A main concern is how the service can be more proactive in
defending its networks.
■ The Navy is working with the other services to bolster its
cyber warfare capability.
Nearly a year after being stood up as the Navy’s component in the Department of Defense’s (DoD’s) cyber warfare arsenal, Fleet Cyber
Command and U.S. Tenth Fleet is finally “walking
upright” in its crawl-walk-run approach. But command
officials are still trying to achieve the first task: understanding the domain in which they’re operating.
“That’s the first piece,” said Rear Adm. William
Leigher, deputy commander of Fleet Cyber Command
and Tenth Fleet. “DoD has called cyberspace a domain.
That doesn’t mean anyone in the DoD or the Navy real-
ly thinks of cyberspace in the same way we think of the
maritime domain. It’s aligning the way we traditionally
have done warfighting through emerging capabilities
It is not the first time the Navy has had a numbered
fleet with a different kind of role and make-up than a typ-
ical fleet, which is why the service decided to name the
new fleet after the old Tenth Fleet, an anti-submarine
warfare coordination organization during World War II.
“It was a very similar fleet in that it did not have platform forces in the way we would think of it in terms of
Second or Third Fleet today,” Leigher said. “It used people and information to shape the Battle of the Atlantic.”