Cyber force

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(Redirected from Cyberforce)

A cyber force is a military branch of a nation's armed forces that conducts military operations in cyberspace and cyberwarfare.[1] The world's first independent cyber force was the People's Liberation Army Strategic Support Force, which was established in 2015 and also serves as China's space force. As of 2022, the world's only independent cyber forces are the PLA Strategic Support Force, the German Cyber and Information Domain Service, and the Singapore Digital and Intelligence Service.[2]

Most other countries organize their cyber forces into other military services or joint commands. Examples of joint cyber commands includes the United States Cyber Command and Norwegian Cyber Defence Force.[3]


People's Liberation Army Strategic Support Force personnel with a Russian military soldier. The PLA Strategic Support Force was established in 2015, becoming as the world's first independent cyber force.

In 2015, China created the world's first independent cyber force, establishing the People's Liberation Army Strategic Support Force.[4] This was followed by Germany's establishment of the Cyber and Information Domain Service as the world's second cyber force in 2017 and Singapore's creation of the Digital and Intelligence Service as the world's third cyber force in 2022.[5][6]

Within the United States, the United States Air Force was the early leader in military cyber operations. In 1995, it established the 609th Information Warfare Squadron, which was the first organization in the world to combine offensive and defensive cyber operation in support of military forces. Initially viewing cyber as a subdivision of information warfare, the Air Intelligence Agency controlled many of the early cyber missions. The United States Army and United States Navy believed that the Air Force was attempting to seize the cyber mission for itself, pressuring the Air Force to stop the activation of Air Force Cyber Command.[7]

Instead, United States Cyber Command was created as a subunified command under United States Strategic Command in 2009 and Army Cyber Command, Fleet Cyber Command, Marine Corps Forces Cyberspace Command, and Twenty-Fourth Air Force were created as service components.[8] U.S. Cyber Command traces its history back to the 1998 establishment of Joint Task Force – Computer Network Defense, and its 2000 redesignation as Joint Task Force – Computer Network Operations under United States Space Command. Following the inactivation of Space Command and its merger into United States Strategic Command in 2002, Joint Task Force – Computer Network Operations was split into Joint Task Force – Global Network Operations and Joint Functional Component Command – Network Warfare in 2004 before being reunified under U.S. Cyber Command. In 2014, the U.S. Army established the Cyber Corps, merging the offensive cyber role of the Military Intelligence Corps and defensive cyber role of the Signal Corps.[9]

In 2018, Cyber Command was elevated to a full unified combatant command.[10] Periodic calls for the creation of a U.S. Cyber Force have occurred, with the most notable being by retired United States Navy Admiral and Supreme Allied Commander Europe James G. Stavridis and retired intelligence officer and cyber security businessman David Venable.[11][12][13][14]

Cyber forces[edit]

The following list outlines the independent cyber forces currently in operation around the world:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Broadurst, Rod; Grabosky, Peter (2005). Cyber-Crime: The Challenge in Asia. Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press. p. 175. ISBN 9622097359.
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^ "China's Strategic Support Force: The New Home of the PLA's Cyber Operations?".
  5. ^ "Germany struggles to step up cyberdefense – DW – 08/07/2018". Deutsche Welle.
  6. ^ "Establishment of the Digital and Intelligence Service: A Significant Milestone for the Next Generation SAF".
  7. ^ "From Cybernetics to Cyberspace".
  8. ^ Ferdinando, Lisa (May 3, 2018). "Cybercom to Elevate to Combatant Command". U.S. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE. Retrieved 2018-10-11.
  9. ^ "Older Than You Realize Teaching Branch History to Army Cyberwarriors".
  10. ^ "Command History".
  11. ^ Why the nation needs a US Cyber Force
  12. ^ Costa, Robert (April 2002). "SUPPORTING THE INFORMATION-CENTRIC 2001 QUADRENNIAL DEFENSE REVIEW:THE CASE FOR AN INFORMATION SERVICE". Air University. United States Government: 261. Archived from the original on November 30, 2012. Retrieved July 28, 2014.
  13. ^ Conti, Gregory; Surdu, John "Buck" (Spring 2009). "Army, Navy, Air Force, Cyber: Is it Time for a Cyberwarfare Branch of the Military?" (PDF). Information Assurance Newsletter. 12 (1): 14–18. Retrieved July 28, 2014.
  14. ^ Venable, David (June 21, 2017). Vişoianu, Corneliu; Anghelache, Adina (eds.). "Time For A Cyber Force?". Strategikon Annual Book 2017: 170–176. Retrieved 21 July 2017.