The U.S. Fleet Cyber Command/U.S. 10th Fleet (FCC/C10F) Staff Judge Advocate (SJA), in coordination with the Naval Justice School and the Navy Office of the Judge Advocate General, co-hosted the annual Advanced Cyber Law Course at FCC/C10F headquarters, for the 3rd consecutive year, from Sept. 12-14.
The informal course was attended by over 80 attorneys from across the Department of Defense and Intelligence Community, focusing on current developments in cyber policy and law that impact cyberspace operations, planning and capability development. Lt. Cmdr. Lena Whitehead, deputy director of intelligence, information operations and cyber law at the Navy Office of the Judge Advocate General, coordinated the course and said that although some of the information could be learned remotely, there is great value to conducting a course like this in person. “
Bringing everyone together in one place allowed us to have a robust discussion about different issues in cyber law that I don’t think would have occurred if we were taking in the information from different locations,” said Whitehead. “Each presenter offered the room an open forum where each attendee was able to ask challenging and questions and spark an honest conversation.”
The course featured a variety of topics under the umbrella of cyber law and each was facilitated by a different attorney with diverse experiences and background. The topics ranged from Cyber Operations and the role of the staff judge advocate, to a discussion of current operational and intelligence authorities, under new policy just released from the National Security Council, to a brief on the perspective of an operator given by Vice Adm. Timothy “T.J” White, commander FCC/C10F.
“The Navy has been extremely focused on readiness in all domains of the Fleet and this conference is one way that the JAG Corps is ensuring that the information warfare community is staying prepared,” said Whitehead. “These three days have been filled with information that each attorney can take back to their organizations or units and provide the best possible advice to their commanders.”
Maj. Ian Klinkhamer, an operational law officer assigned to Army Cyber Command, said that cyber law is a complicated and always evolving area of law and that attending a course that featured such a variety of perspectives was a great experience. “Almost everyone in attendance here understands that we are operating in the same space and so it was really enlightening to hear how everyone was approaching different issues and also de-conflict when it was necessary,” said Klinkhamer.
The cyber law course was also as an opportunity for professional development for some judge advocates who are not currently serving in operational information warfare roles.
“This is clearly an area of law that is complicated and requires a full commitment to learning the nuances and staying current on the latest developments. It’s a field that I am interested in and can see myself contributing to in the future,” said Lt. Cmdr. Lauren Cherry, professional development officer at Region Legal Service Office Midwest. “I learned a lot at this course that I think I’ll be able to take back with me and share with the junior judge advocates that I mentor, which I hope might open up some career opportunities for them as well as for myself.”
“The legal advisor in this domain is often standing at the complex intersection of emerging technology, law and policy. This course was designed to not only convey the key legal and policy constraints our operators must work through, in a system that respects the rule of law but, to also highlight the importance for the legal advisor to understand the means and methods our operators employ across the spectrum of cyber operations, to defend, collect and achieve effects that support our national security objectives” said Capt. Robert Passerello, FCC/C10F fleet staff judge advocate.
Since its establishment, FCC/C10F has grown into an operational force composed of more than 16,000 Active and Reserve Sailors and civilians organized into 26 active commands, 40 Cyber Mission Force units, and 26 reserve commands around the globe. FCC serves as the Navy component command to U.S. Strategic Command and U.S. Cyber Command, and the Navy's Service Cryptologic Component commander under the National Security Agency/Central Security Service. C10F, the operational arm of FCC, executes its mission through a task force structure similar to other warfare commanders. In this role, C10F provides support of Navy and joint missions in cyber/networks, cryptologic/signals intelligence and space.