Air Force Brig. Gen. Timothy Haugh has assumed command of U.S. Cyber Command’s Cyber National Mission Force.
As one of CYBERCOM’s four main headquarters elements, the CNMF is in charge of deterring and disrupting cyberspace operations to defend the nation. CNMF components include cyber support teams that provide intelligence support, cyber protection teams that specialize in defending the Department of Defense Information Network, and national mission teams that help protect the DoDIN and, when ordered, other U.S. cyberspace. NMTs are also aligned against specific nation-state actors.
With potential changes to the construct of CYBERCOM’s cyber teams writ large, some have indicated that the CNMF construct is a good model.
“The way the Cyber National Mission Force is organized, having … mission teams, support teams and CPTs, that is an ideal construct for doing full-spectrum operations,” Brig. Gen. Maria Barrett, who formerly served as deputy of operations at CYBERCOM, said.
Senators have previously pushed CYBERCOM to be more aggressive in using NMTs to deter malicious cyber activities in the U.S., particularly those conducted by Russia.
“With the authority or the direction of the president of the United States national mission teams can disrupt these attacks at the point of origin, is that correct?” Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., asked during a February congressional hearing.
Senators pressed Cyber Command on how they can use their national mission force to combat Russian cyber intrusions.
While they could be tasked to do that, the former commander of CYBERCOM, Adm. Michael Rogers, was careful to say it depends on specifics not wanting to overpromise.
Haugh, who took over June 4, was most recently the director of intelligence at CYBERCOM.
Previous holders of this role include Gen. Paul Nakasone, who is now the commander of CYBECOM and director of the NSA, as well as most recently Vice Adm. Timothy White, who now commands 10th Fleet/Fleet Cyber Command.