WASHINGTON (CN) – President Donald Trump said Friday he is elevating a Department of Defense command that focuses on cyber threats to the level of other military units that oversee operations in specific regions of the world.
“This new Unified Combatant Command will strengthen our cyberspace operations and create more opportunities to improve our nation’s defense,” Trump said in a statement. “The elevation of United States Cyber Command demonstrates our increased resolve against cyberspace threats and will help reassure our allies and partners and deter our adversaries.”
The move puts the Cyber Command, which helps protect Department of Defense networks and coordinates cyber operations, on the same level as the department’s nine other so-called unified combatant commands, each of which oversee their own specific area of the world.
For example, the cyber unit will now be on the same plane as the United States Central Command, which oversees operations in the Middle East.
Trump said the move shows that the United States is committed to cybersecurity and will also make cyberspace operations more efficient by putting them all under one command.
The president also added that elevating the command will “ensure that critical cyberspace operations are adequately funded.”
“Through United States Cyber Command, we will tackle our cyberspace challenges in coordinating with like-minded allies and partners as we strive to respond rapidly to evolving cyberspace security threats and opportunities globally,” he said in the statement.
Trump also noted that Secretary of Defense James Mattis is looking at removing the Cyber Command from underneath the National Security Agency. The command has been located at the NSA and overseen by the agency’s director since it was created in 2009.