The European Defence Agency (EDA) has supported operation EUFOR RCA by organising three seminars on Cyber Awareness in the Headquarters facilities of Larissa, Greece. This is the first time EDA has provided this type of support to an EU mission.
In July and September 2014, the EDA provided Cyber Awareness training to a total of 150 EUFOR RCA staff from the Operations headquarters in Larissa, Greece. The seminars were designed to raise the situational awareness, in terms of Cyber operations, of each staff member of the Operation Headquarters as well as to inform about the development and establishment of EU capabilities. The seminars also provided the opportunity to exchange views on the next steps to be taken to enhance the Cyber Defence capabilities of operation EUFOR RCA and other EU-led military operations.
Speaking about the cooperation Brigadier General Christos Drivas, EUFOR RCA Chief of Staff added, “Cyber Defence is high on our agenda. The decision to use the expertise from EDA is, of course, based on EDA’s technical knowledge in this field. Another advantage will be to benefit from the lessons learned in conducting such a training for other EU operations in the future.”
The seminars were conducted with support from the EU Military Staff and Tallinn Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence. Observers from the Greek General staff(as representatives for the OHQ parent nation) and from the Italian EU OHQ core staff also participated.
The fifth domain of warfare
Cyberspace today is often described as the fifth domain of warfare equally critical to military operations as land, sea, air, and space. Success of military operations in the physical domains is increasingly dependent on the availability of, and access to, cyberspace. The armed forces are reliant on cyberspace both as a user and as a domain to achieve defence and security missions.
Cyber defence is one of the ten priorities in the EDA capability development plan (CDP). Given that threats are multifaceted, a comprehensive approach is taken, seeking to enhance synergies between the civilian and military domains in protecting critical cyber assets. At the EU Summit of December 2013, Heads of State and Government endorsed the Agency’s cyber defence roadmap for strengthening - in close coordination with Member States, EEAS, and the European Commission – European cyber defence capabilities. Its main elements are training, improving cyber situational awareness, improving civil/military cooperation, the protection of EU assets during missions, and operations and technological aspects.
The Council established on 10 February 2014 an EU military operation to contribute to a secure environment in the Central African Republic, as authorized by the UN Security Council in resolution 2134 (2014). EUFOR RCA is to provide support in achieving a safe and secure environment in the Bangui area, with a view to handing over to the UN incoming operation. The force will thereby contribute to international efforts to protect the populations most at risk, creating the conditions for providing humanitarian aid.