The Navy wants to more closely align space and cyberspace operations, given natural synergies between the two.
“They go hand in hand,” Vice Adm. Ross Myers, commander of the Navy’s Fleet Cyber Command/10th Fleet, said in an interview.
Space — to include communications and actions — is most often secured through cyberspace, he said, adding “one does not exist without the other, so that’s why it’s a marriage made in heaven.”
The Navy also designated Fleet Cyber/10th Fleet as the service component to space for U.S. Space Command, meaning Myers has responsibility for both cyber and space operations.
“This is in part due to the realization of the synergy and the force multiplier of cyber and space combination,” Myers said.
The Marine Corps made a similar choice in 2020 designating Marine Corps Forces Cyberspace Command to also serve as Marine Corps Forces Space Command. (The Air Force removed cyberspace from its service space alignment in 2018 moving it under Air Combat Command).
“It is my hypothesis that the opening rounds of the next conflict will likely begin in cyber, space and/or both … [and] it’s highly likely that the next conflict will be determined and won in cyber and space,” Myers said. “We’ve got to be ready to prevent the worst as well as win them. To do that we must expand our capability to operate in both cyber and space.”
To set the foundation for creating tighter linkages, Myers said in his first year in the job, his top priority was striving for greater operational excellence, which he said involved getting teams to achieve better operational efficiency.
Now, 18 months into the job, his next priority is moving that operational excellence into integration with the combatant commands, both from a cyberspace and space perspective.
Within the cyber domain, Myers supports Indo-Pacific Command, Southern Command and U.S. Forces Korea. This is done through a construct known as Joint Force Headquarters-Cyber, which provides planning, targeting, intelligence and cyber capabilities to the combatant commands to which they’re assigned. The heads of the four service cyber components also lead their respective JFHQ-C and oversee the cyber teams that conduct operations for the combatant commands.
As the service component for space, he also supports Space Command with space assets.