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Adm. Charles Richard: Nuclear Command, Control and Communications Network Works Properly Despite Concerns

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Adm. Charles Richard
Adm. Charles Richard Commander STRATCOM

Adm. Charles Richard, who leads U.S. Strategic Command (STRATCOM) and was a 2020 Wash100 Award recipient, said the Nuclear Command, Control and Communications (NC3) network is working properly despite concerns about the system's cybersecurity.

"There is a very visible endorsement of the importance of NC3 and the steps that we have to go do," Richard said. Richard noted that NC3 works differently from other systems and does not have the same vulnerabilities, Breaking Defense reported Tuesday.

The National Defense Authorization Act of 2021 raised concerns about NC3's cybersecurity and ordered a report on the how to improve the system in that aspect. Richard's statement on NC3's status responds to these concerns.

NC3 consists of computers, radios and satellites that grant the U.S. president control of the country's nuclear assets. Richard told Breaking Defense that NC3 will gradually received cyber defense updates through the NC3 Next program. 

"I look forward to providing that report to Congress, because we’re already doing all of that: we already have that concept; we already have those responsibilities defined. And so it’s simply a matter of writing it all down and reporting it to Congress,” he added.