Lt. Gen. Richard P. Mills

From Max Cacas, SIGNAL Scape:  Along with all the other tools at their disposal, U.S. Marine Corps commanders now have complete cyber resources as part of the traditional Marine Air-Ground Task Force (MAGTF) operational doctrine , said Lt. Gen. Richard P. Mills, USMC, deputy commandant for combat development and integration and commanding general of the Marine Corps Forces Cyberspace Command, U.S. Marine Corps. The general spoke during the Aberdeen Chapter luncheon at the TechNet Land Forces East conference in Baltimore on Wednesday.

Gen. Mills, who admitted to being “an old infantry guy,” nonetheless put his cybersecurity resources to good use during his 2010 deployment leading Marines in Afghanistan. He said that cyber became an important tool in defending his combat network against attack from the enemy as well as for launching some of his own cyber attacks.

From Richard P. Mills, House Armed Service Committee:  [T]he Marine Corps recognizes that it cannot conduct operations without reliable information, communications networks, and assured access to cyberspace. Ensuring a stable cyber domain means ensuring stability for our weapons systems, command and control, industrial assets, et al. The cyber domain touches every aspect of our operations and must be contemplated at the lowest levels in the Marine Corps planning process. Indeed, Marines have been conducting cyber operations for more than a decade, and we are in a multi-year effort to expand our capacity. Three years ago, the Marine Corps established U.S. Marine Corps Forces Cyber Command (MARFORCYBER). We have made great strides in expanding the capability and capacity of MARFORCYBER, as well as our cyber-related Military Occupational Specialties. We plan to increase our cyber workforce by approximately 700 Marines and Civilian Marines through FY16. Given the fiscally constrained environment and complexity of cyberspace, our approach is focused on increasing capacity for network operations, defensive cyberspace operations, and when directed, offensive cyberspace operations; and through the introduction of planners within our command element staffs to further integrate cyberspace operations into our plans and operations. . . .

The Marine Corps will conduct full spectrum cyberspace operations – to include Department of Defense information network operations, defensive cyberspace operations, and when directed, offensive cyberspace operations – in support of Marine Corps Operating Forces, the supporting establishment, the joint force, and combined operational requirements, in order to enable freedom of action across all warfighting domains while denying the same to adversaries.

Excerpts from testimony by Lieutenant General Richard P. Mills, Deputy Commandant, USMC Combat Development Command, before the Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Capabilities of the House Armed Services Committee.  (photo: 2nd Lt. Maureen Dooley/Marine Corps)