Grady opens up about specter and cyber concerns at nomination hearing
Adm. Christopher Grady, the candidate for vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, speaks in Norfolk, Va. In October 2021 (Photo credit: Petty Officer 1st Class Theodore Green / Department of Defense)
The Biden administration’s choice for vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is concerned about the sharing of spectrum and cyber talent.
“The management of [the] electromagnetic spectrum at the Ministry of Defense is absolutely critical. We operate there. We have essential activities that we do in this spectrum and in this area, âsaid Admiral Christopher Grady, who currently heads US Fleet Forces Command, during his appointment hearing on December 8 before the Armed Services Committee of the United States. Senate.
The admiral said he wanted to “expose the risks and the challenges of selling, and do it in a data-driven and threat-based way so that we make this very important policy decision with the right information.” This is a significant problem, of course.
Grady expressed concern over the Defense Department’s decision to release parts of the 3.1-3.45 MHz spectrum, noting in responses to policy questions that the DOD’s decision to open parts of the bands. radio frequencies was “a matter of concern” as “dual-use frequency bands may negatively impact DOD operations, training and readiness for real-world operations” and that cooperation with industry would be needed.
Additionally, Grady wrote that, if confirmed, he would review recent actions and potential conflicts around the Federal Communications Commission decision to support license ground operations in frequency bands close to those in use. by the global positioning signal (GPS).
The Department of Defense is currently working on implementing its EMS strategy released in 2020, and spectrum – along with its use for communications, cyber operations, and mitigation – has become a growing concern as the U.S. government and private companies have withstood several cyberattacks in recent years. .
During the committee hearing, Senator Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.) Expressed concern about the ability to thwart cyber threats with a shortage of technical workers.
“This is an area that is going to become a growing threat to all of us around the world. And so we really need to think about our cyber preparedness. As our country really grapples with the aftermath of unprecedented cyber attacks in the United States. , we are expected to face a shortage of 3.4 million skilled technical workers next year, âRosen said.
When asked how he would prioritize recruitment and retention, Grady responded that he supports solutions that boost the cyber workforce, including the debated civilian cyber reserve, describing cyber as a kind of precursor of a high conflict.
âIf you’re ready to serve your country, if you can get a security clearance but you might not look like me, I don’t careâ¦ we need to encourage that, because it’s an area we know that we have to win. , and we know our opponents are putting a lot into it and we have to get past that, âGrady said.
âWe tend to think of war as something that has a starting point and an ending point. And I think cyber is the one that tells us that there are a lot of things going on in the gray area that we need to think about before the conflict even starts, and indeed, the conflict might start in cyber before anything else.
Lauren C. Williams is a senior editor for FCW and Defense Systems, covering defense and cybersecurity.
Prior to joining FCW, Williams was a tech reporter for ThinkProgress, where she covered everything from internet culture to national security issues. In previous positions, Williams has covered healthcare, politics and crime for various publications, including the Seattle Times.
Williams holds a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Maryland, College Park and a bachelor’s degree in dietetics from the University of Delaware. She can be contacted at [emailÂ protected], or follow her on Twitter @lalaurenista.
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