Joint Task Force-Computer Network Operations
Subject to the authority and direction of the commander, U.S. Strategic
Command, JTF-CNO will, in conjunction with the unified commands,
services and DOD agencies, coordinate and direct the defense of DOD
computer systems and networks; coordinate and, when directed, conduct
computer network attack in support of combatant commanders' and national
The Joint Task Force-Computer Network Operations (JTF-CNO) is Strategic
Command's operational component for Computer Network Operations (CNO),
and supports USSTRATCOM Commander in the integration of Computer Network
Defense and Computer Network Attack capabilities into the operations of
U.S. military forces.
Computer Network Operations are comprised of two specific yet
complementary mission areas: Computer Network Defense (CND) and Computer
Network Attack (CNA).
The CND mission is to defend DOD computer networks and systems from any
unauthorized event whether it be a probe, scan, virus incident, or
intrusion. The CNA mission is to coordinate, support and conduct, at
the direction of the president, computer network attack operations in
support of regional and national objectives.
Joint Task Force-Computer Network Defense (JTF-CND) reached initial
operational capability on Dec. 30, 1998 after exercises and real-world
events demonstrated the need for a single coordinating agency with the
authority to direct actions necessary for the protection of the Defense
Information Infrastructure (DII).
Under the Unified Command Plan 1999 (UCP 99), effective Oct. 1, 1999,
the President assigned the CND mission to the U.S. Space Command
(USSPACECOM), with the JTF-CND as the subordinate command responsible
for executing CND operations. UCP-99 also designated USSPACECOM as the
military lead for Computer Network Attack (CNA) effective Oct. 1, 2000.
The USSPACECOM Deputy Director of Operations-Computer Network Attack
(DDO-CNA) served as the initial focal point for the CNA mission.
In December 2000, USCINCSPACE directed his staff to assess the
feasibility of combining specific aspects of CND and CNA under a single
operational commander. The intent behind the consolidation was to
operationalize CND and CNA and fully integrate those capabilities with
air, land, sea and space forces across the full spectrum of conflict.
Effective April 2, 2001, JTF-CND was re-designated Joint Task
Force-Computer Network Operations (JTF-CNO). Effective Oct. 1, 2002,
JTF-CNO was assigned to the commander, U.S. Strategic Command.
The JTF-CNO components are the Land Information Warfare Activity (LIWA),
Marine Forces-Computer Network Defense (MARFOR-CND), Navy Component Task
Force-Computer Network Defense (NCTF-CND), Air Force Forces-Computer
Network Operations (AFFOR-CNO) and DISA's DOD Computer Emergency
Response Team (DOD CERT).
JTF-CNO maintains watch 24 hours per day, seven days a week, and is
located in Arlington, Va. It is collocated with the Defense Information
Systems Agency (DISA) Global Network Operations and Security Center
(GNOSC) to optimize the commander, JTF-CNO's ability to monitor the
status of DOD information networks and conduct operations across the
defense information infrastructure.
For the CND mission, the JTF-CNO leverages the existing intrusion
detection capabilities of the unified commands, its components, and DOD
and non-DOD agencies. The JTF-CNO receives intrusion data from these
sources and then fuses this critical information along with ongoing
operational missions, and intelligence and technical data into a "big
picture" synopsis of the incident.
With this correlated information, the JTF-CNO assesses the impact to
network operations and military operations, identifies courses of action
that will restore the network, coordinates the necessary actions with
the appropriate DOD or non-DOD organizations, prepares a plan to execute
and, with approval, executes that order. The JTF-CNO can direct
appropriate actions through its four military service components and the
For the CNA mission, the JTF-CNO is responsible for ensuring that CNA
capabilities can be efficiently employed in support of U.S. National
Security objectives. The JTF-CNO, along with the USSTRATCOM staff,
services, other combatant commanders, and defense agencies, is working
to develop and implement comprehensive policies, structures, roles and
missions for computer network operations. The initial U.S. Strategic
Command concept of operations calls for the supported commander,
assisted by the JTF-CNO, to integrate service-provided forces into
military plans and operations. On behalf of USSTRATCOM, JTF-CNO will
coordinate the use of all DOD CNA assets for the supported commander.
The JTF-CNO is currently authorized 47 positions.
JTF-CNO operated on a yearly budget of about $3.1 million. In fiscal
year 2001, $2 million was added bringing the total JTF-CNO program to
$5.1 million. USSTRATCOM is examining the funding requirements for
Current as of Sept. 30, 2002
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