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McLaughlin nominated to be deputy commander, U.S. Cyber Command

Jul. 8, 2014 - 08:09PM   |  
Maj. Gen. James McLaughlin has been nominated for appointment to the rank of lieutenant general and for assignment as deputy commander, U.S. Cyber Command, Fort Meade, Maryland.
Maj. Gen. James McLaughlin has been nominated for appointment to the rank of lieutenant general and for assignment as deputy commander, U.S. Cyber Command, Fort Meade, Maryland. (Air Force)
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President Obama has nominated the Air Force’s top cybersecurity officer to be deputy commander of U.S. Cyber Command at Fort Meade, Maryland.

Air Force Maj. Gen. James McLaughlin also has been nominated to pin on his next star, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced Tuesday.

McLaughlin is currently the commander of Air Force Space Command’s 24th Air Force and of Air Forces Cyber, U.S. Cyber Command at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas.

McLaughlin would replace Marine Corps Lt. Gen. Jon Davis, who stepped down last month after two years, according to Defense Systems Magazine. Navy Adm. Michael Rogers is USCYBERCOM commander. He replaced Army Gen. Keith Alexander in April.

McLaughlin told Air Force Times in February that “just like air and space, cyber has a mission.” He said the Air Force is working in tandem with a Defense Department-wide initiative to recruit 6,000 personnel from all the services to be part of 133 cyber teams by 2016.

“In this area, this isn’t a full sprint. You’ve got to build the capacity needed in the Air Force and beyond that,” McLaughlin said.

The Air Force also recently said that up to 1,440 cyber airmen and civilians could be added at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland. The base could bring in “approximately 1,280 to 1,440 additional manpower authorizations,” Christine Millette, 24th Air Force spokeswoman, said in an email to Air Force Times last week. The airmen would make up three squadrons of cyber protection teams, which operate and defend Defense Department information networks, Millette said.

The Air Force has put more than 11,500 enlisted airmen and officers through cyber-related training since 2011. Overall, 300 more airmen were trained in nine cyber-related enlisted specialties in 2013 than in 2012.

“We’re not creating new training, we’re already using training that’s existed across the department, but now we’re identifying new strides we need to make to increase the throughput by fiscal ’16,” McLaughlin said in February. “This is a major task across the Air Force. We need to identify these people — especially the new guys — get them assigned, into training, through training and then they have to show up at these new teams [under USCYBERCOM] that are just starting to form.”

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