Pentagon to field 4,000-person cyber squad

Updated: 2013-07-19 07:40


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WASHINGTON - US Defense Department is close to launching a roughly 4,000-person cyber squad devoted to conducting cyber offense and defense operations, Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton Carter said Thursday.

Carter made the disclosure at the Aspen Security Forum, held in Aspen, Colorado, saying "I wanted to start this fast." He said even at a time of budget constraints the Pentagon is "spending everything we think we can spend wisely" on developing the skills related to such missions.

According to Carter, this will be the first such units in the US military, and they will be under the command of Keith Alexander, who heads both the National Security Agency (NSA) and US Cyber Command.

"The teams are new, and they are in addition to the NSA work force," said Carter, adding they will be drawn from members of the military services, but will eventually be modeled on Special Operations.

According to Alexander, the military plans to field 40 cyber teams, with 27 focused on defenses and 13 focused on creating cyber weapons.