December 8, 2012
The U.S. Army’s new cyber attack and defense unit, the 780th Military Intelligence Brigade, is taking shape in its new home at Fort George G. Meade, located within the complex it shares with the National Security Agency (NSA). Although it is a military intelligence unit, it reports directly to Army Cyber Command headquarters at Fort Belvoir, Virginia, not NSA, U.S> Cyber Command, or U.S. Army Intelligence and Security Command.
The brigade was formally activated in 2011, but has been slowly growing as new personnel are added and capabilities established. When it reaches full strength in 2014, it will consist of approximately 1,000 personnel, 60-80% of whom will be military, the rest civilians and contractors.
The unit can trace its roots back a decade, when the Army first got into the cyber warfare business. Here is a brief synopsis of the brigade’s history:
780th Military Intelligence Brigade
The 780th Military Intelligence Brigade conducts Signals Intelligence, Computer Network Operations, enables Dynamic Computer Network Defense and, when directed, conducts offensive operations in order to achieve operational effects and freedom of action in cyberspace required to support Army, Combatant Command, Department of Defense and interagency operations worldwide, while denying the same to our adversaries.
The history of the Army Network Warfare Battalion dates back to 1998 when the 704th Military Intelligence Brigade was tasked to develop a computer network operations force for the Army.
•In June 1998, B Co, 742nd Military Intelligence Battalion answered that call.
•In June 2000, Detachment Meade, 742nd Military Intelligence Battalion was established to sustain the growing need for an Army computer network operations force. Detachment Meade was renamed the Army Network Warfare Detachment in 2007.
•In January 2008, the Army Network Warfare Detachment became the Computer Network Operations Task Force.
•In June 2008, the Computer Network Operations Task Force was re-designated the Army Network Warfare Battalion (Provisional).
•In October 2009, the Army Network Warfare Battalion officially activated, flagged, and became the 744th Military Intelligence Battalion (Army Network Warfare Battalion).
•In December 2010, the Army approved the establishment of an Army Cyber Brigade and designated the 780th Military Intelligence Brigade, with an effective date of Oct. 1, 2011, to fulfill the mission.
The 780th Military Intelligence Brigade consists of the Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 781st Military Intelligence Battalion, Fort George G. Meade, Md., and the 782nd Military Intelligence Battalion, Fort Gordon, Ga.
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