The Secretary of Defense recognized the significance of the cyberspace domain to national security, and directed the establishment of U.S. Cyber Command (USCYBERCOM) as a sub-unified command under U.S. Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM). USCYBERCOM’s primary objective is to plan, coordinate, integrate, synchronize and conduct activities to: direct the operations and defense of specified Department of Defense information networks and; prepare to, and when directed, conduct full spectrum military cyberspace operations in order to enable actions in all domains, ensure US/Allied freedom of action in cyberspace and deny the same to the adversary. In response, the Marine Corps established Marine Forces Cyberspace Command (MARFORCYBER) in October 2009 (this was complemented by the establishment of the Navy’s U.S. Fleet Cyber Command (FLTCYBER), Army Cyber Command (ARCYBER), and Air Force Cyber Command (AFCYBER).
(1) Commander, Marine Corps Forces Cyberspace Command (COMMARFORCYBERCOM), as the Marine Corps service component commander for the Commander, U.S. Cyber Command (CDRUSCYBERCOM), represents Marine Corps capabilities and interests; advises CDRUSCYBERCOM on the proper employment and support of Marine Corps forces; and coordinates deployment, employment, and redeployment planning and execution of attached forces.
(2) COMMARFORCYBERCOM enables full spectrum cyberspace operations, to include the planning and direction of Marine Corps Enterprise Network Operations (MCEN Ops), defensive cyberspace operations (DCO) in support of Marine Corps, Joint and Coalition Forces, and the planning and, when authorized, direction of offensive cyberspace operations (OCO) in support of Joint and Coalition Forces, in order to enable freedom of action across all warfighting domains and deny the same to adversarial forces.
(3) COMMARFORCYBERCOM has direct operational control of Marine Corps Cyberspace Warfare Group (MCCYWG) and Marine Corps Cyberspace Operations Group (MCCOG) to support mission requirements and tasks.
(4) COMMARFORCYBERCOM also serves as Commander, Joint Force Headquarters – Cyber (JFHQ-C) / Marines (JFHQ-C/Marines). JFHQ-C/Marines provides support to Combatant Commands for Offensive Cyberspace Operations (OCO) and, when directed, conducts cyberspace operations through attached cyberspace forces. JFHQ-C/Marines is responsible for the command, control, and tactical direction of attached cyberspace forces.
MARFORCYBER Subordinate Units
Marine Corps Cyberspace Operations Group (MCCOG)
MCCOG executes Marine Corps Department of Defense Information Network (DODIN) Operations and Marine Corps Defensive Cyberspace Operations (DCO) in order to enhance freedom of action across warfighting domains, while denying the efforts of adversaries to degrade or disrupt this advantage through cyberspace.
Key MCCOG tasks include:
• Provide Cyberspace Operations (CO) Support to Marine Air Ground Task Forces (MAGTFs)
• Plan and Direct Marine Corps Enterprise Network (MCEN) Operations
• Plan and Direct Defensive Cyberspace Operations (DCO)
Marine Corps Cyberspace Warfare Group (MCCYWG)
MCCYWG organizes, trains, equips, provides administrative support, manages readiness of assigned forces, and recommends certification and presentation of Cyber Mission Force (CMF) Teams to U.S. Cyber Command. The MCCYWG plans and conducts full spectrum cyberspace operations as directed by COMMARFORCYBER in support of service, combatant command, joint, and coalition requirements.
Key MCCYWG tasks include:
• Conduct personnel management to organize and assign individuals to work roles and place them in work centers to ensure operational readiness of CMF Teams
• Ensure all personnel are trained in accordance with USCYBERCOM Joint Cyberspace Training and Certification Standards and equipped to perform all duties and tasks outlined in the MARFORCYBER Mission Essential Task List (METL)
• Plan for and, when authorized, conduct OCO including computer network exploitation (CNE), cyberspace intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) and operational preparation of the environment (OPE)
• Plan and conduct designated DCO in response to threats against the MCEN, supported combatant command (COCOM) designated networks, and the Department of Defense Information Network (DODIN)
• Advise COMMARFORCYBER on force employment considerations
• Provide subject matter expertise for operational planning requirements
• Cyberspace operations are executed by 3 Combat Mission Teams, 8 Cyber Protection Teams, and 1 Cyber Support Team in support of Marine Corps and Joint Force requirements.