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NEWS | Nov. 1, 2022

CYBER 101 – Cyber Mission Force

By U.S. Cyber Command Public Affairs

The Cyber Mission Force (CMF) is U.S. Cyber Command’s (USCYBERCOM) action arm. CMF teams execute the command’s mission to direct, synchronize and coordinate cyberspace operations in defense of U.S. national interests. Members of the CMF work to ensure commanders across the Joint Force can operate freely in the cyber domain and accomplish their assigned missions.

The CMF is comprised of 133 teams that are organized into several areas of responsibility:

  • Cyber Protection Teams act to defend the Department of Defense Information Network (DODIN), critical infrastructure, and key resources while also working to prepare other cyber forces for combat.
  • Cyber Combat Mission Teams conduct military cyber operations in support of combatant commands.
  • Combat Support Teams provide support to National Mission and Combat Mission teams.
  • Cyber National Mission Teams defend the Nation by observing adversary activity, defending against attacks, and maneuvering to defeat them.

In modern warfare, networks are a warfighting platform and force multiplier for the Joint Force. They enable faster and more secure communications, information sharing, and increase the effectiveness of individual units. The CMF ensures USCYBERCOM and Joint Force commanders can accomplish their missions through three primary forms of operation: 

  • Defensive Cyberspace Operations intended to preserve the integrity of friendly cyberspace in order to protect data, network, network-enabled capabilities, and other systems.
  • Offensive Cyberspace Operations designed to project power in and through cyberspace through the employment of cyber capabilities.
  • Department of Defense Information Network Operations include missions and tasks to design, build, configure, secure, operate, maintain, and sustain the DODIN and supporting networks.

In 2012, the Joint Staff and USCYBERCOM directed the services to collectively build the CMF and its 133 Cyber Mission Teams. All 133 CMF teams achieved initial operational capability (IOC) in 2016, the threshold where they are capable of executing their fundamental missions. Two years later, in 2018, the CMF reached full operational capability (FOC) at projected full strength.

Today, the CMF is staffed by approximately 6,200 military and civilian personnel serving across the 133 teams. The force is projected to grow by 14 new CMF teams in the coming years as USCYBERCOM continues to meet the ever evolving threats from malicious actors and foreign adversaries in cyberspace.