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U.S. Cyber Command Requests $93.4M From Congress in Additional Funding; Gen. Paul Nakasone Quoted

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U.S. Cyber Command has requested an additional $62 million in funding to reinforce the Department of Defense’s (DOD) information technology (IT) networks as part of its unfunded priorities that were not included in Cyber Command’s fiscal 2022 budget request. The cybersecurity request topped a list of four unfunded priorities totaling $93.4 million. 

The official request referenced the SolarWinds cyber intrusions of multiple government networks and the need for increased funding to assist the DOD in bolstering its network defenses against cyberattacks, C4ISRNET reported on Thursday.

“I ask your committee to support these priorities … to help us strengthen military readiness and alliances, secure the homeland from cyberspace attack and advance national interests,” Gen. Paul Nakasone, commander of Cyber Command and 2021 Wash100 Award recipient, wrote in the proposal.

The DOD has reported that the Solarwinds breach orchestrated by the Russian foreign intelligence service that affected so many federal government systems did not penetrate its networks.

According to some cybersecurity analysts, cyber intrusions similar to the SolarWinds incident are rapidly increasing, causing federal government leaders to prioritize response efforts. So much so the largest portion of the DOD’s $10 billion cyber requests asked for $5.6 billion to protect IT systems. 

The second unfunded priority request was $23.3 million for cyber training. Cyber Command is already working on cyber training by building an online training system called the Persistent Cyber Training Environment, which allows personnel to conduct individual and collective training and mission rehearsal.

The last two items on the list are $4.8 million for acquisition personnel and $3.2 million for human intelligence to assist Cyber Command in building organic intelligence capability.

The $4.8 million would fund Cyber Command’s Joint Cyber Warfighting Architecture integration, which guides its acquisition priorities. Congress and the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office (GAO) gave Cyber Command poor marks for the architecture, citing integration and oversight problems.