“On April 1, alongside the classic forces of the Army, Navy and Air Force, the new Cyber and Information Space (CIR) command will be created,” Lieutenant General Ludwig Leinhos, CIR’s new commander, told German news weekly Focus on Friday.
Based in the former West German capital of Bonn, CIR will start off with 260 IT specialists, but will grow to 13,500 military and civilian personnel by July, he said.
“This corresponds roughly to the personnel strength of the navy,” Leinhos noted.
“Among the NATO members we are the first to have a self-contained operational department,” he said referring to the CIR, adding that Germany is also “one of the leading [countries] in terms of cyber security” in the bloc.
CIR will operate and protect the military’s own IT infrastructure and computer-assisted weapons systems, and tackle online threats, Leinhos noted, stressing that the center would also focus on war-game offensive skills and capabilities. “To be able to defend yourself, one has to know which options for attack… exist.”
Attacks on the Bundeswehr’s computer network occur on a daily basis, the general said. In the first nine weeks of this year alone, the IT systems were targeted at least 284,000 times.