Senior Army leaders will break ground Nov. 29 at Fort Gordon, Georgia, for the new headquarters of Army Cyber Command, the command has announced.
The new center, designed to be state of the art, will be a hub that brings together the Army's cyberspace operations, training, skill development and education at a single location.
Construction is expected to take two and a half years, officials said. The plan calls for facilities to be completed in two phases:
- The first phase of construction will include new facilities supporting Army cyber operations and command and control functions. It is scheduled to be completed in May 2018 and cost $85.1 million.
- The second phase of construction will establish a home for Cyber Protection Team operations, capable of supporting more than 1,200 cyber soldiers and civilians. This phase is expected to be done in early 2019 and ready to be occupied in late 2020.
Fort Gordon is now the site of the Army Cyber Center of Excellence, Cyber School and Signal School. In 2014, the Army’s first Cyber Protection Brigade stood up there. The brigade supports the Army and U.S. Cyber Command by manning, training and equipping its Cyber Protection Teams to conduct defensive operations on joint and Army missions.
Army Secretary Eric Fanning and Lt. Gen. Paul Nakasone, the new commander of Army Cyber Command and Second Army, will do the ground breaking during the Nov. 29 ceremony at Fort Gordon.
The event comes a few months after Fanning designated the Army’s cyber forces as an Army service component command. Fanning signed the order on July 11 to bring Army Cyber Command’s roles in line with other commands such as Army Special Operations Command and Army Europe.
That move was a step toward establishing cyber as one of the Army’s warfighting domains, along with air, land, sea and space.
"A dedicated Army Service Component Command for the cyber domain is an important step to strengthen the Army's ability to deliver important cyber capabilities and synchronize operations for the Army and joint force," said Lt. Gen. Edward Cardon, who was commander of Army Cyber Command and Second Army in July, when Fanning signed the order.
The new facilities at Fort Gordon will take that a step further. The new commander refers to ARCYBER as "the place where ones and zeroes never sleep."
"We are at the forefront of one of the most transformative times in our Army's history, operating in a dynamic and challenging domain that is revolutionizing the way our Army fights and wins," Nakasone said at the ceremony in October when he took over command from Cardon.
"Our focus will be on defending our networks, data and weapons systems, delivering effects against our adversaries in and through cyberspace, and designing, building, deploying and integrating capabilities for the future fight, spanning cyberspace, electronic warfare and information operations,"
Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley said ARCYBER is already in combat, even as it grows.
The six-year-old command is "literally on the front lines of freedom, on the wall 24/7," Milley said in October. "It will continue to be built while engaged in close combat, virtual combat to be sure, the combat of the Internet, the combat of cyber, but combat nonetheless, with the adversaries of our country."
Kathleen Curthoys is editor of Army Times. She has been an editor at Military Times for 20 years, covering issues that affect service members. She previously worked as an editor and staff writer at newspapers in Columbus, Georgia; Huntsville, Alabama; Bloomington, Indiana; Monterey, California and in Germany.