The U.S. Department of Defense has established a dedicated cyber policy office, a move one official said underlines the significance of digital warfare.

The department announced the creation of the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Cyber Policy on March 29, a little more than a week after it actually opened its doors. The organization was mandated by the fiscal 2023 National Defense Authorization Act.

“In standing up this office, the department is giving cyber the focus and attention that Congress intended,” acting Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Sasha Baker said in a statement.

President Joe Biden last month tapped Michael Sulmeyer to be the inaugural assistant secretary of defense for cyber policy. Sulmeyer currently serves as the U.S. Army’s principal cyber adviser. His nomination was referred to the Senate Armed Services Committee on March 21.

Ashley Manning will lead the office until Sulmeyer is confirmed by lawmakers, according to the Defense Department.

Responsibilities include developing and overseeing implementation of cyber policy and strategy; certifying the cyberspace operations budget and coordinating with Cyber Command; and crafting guidance for private-sector outreach.

The Defense Department requested $14.5 billion in cyber spending for FY25. The figure is about $1 billion more than the Biden administration’s previous ask. It is also up from FY23, when it sought $11.2 billion.

Colin Demarest is a reporter at C4ISRNET, where he covers military networks, cyber and IT. Colin previously covered the Department of Energy and its National Nuclear Security Administration — namely Cold War cleanup and nuclear weapons development — for a daily newspaper in South Carolina. Colin is also an award-winning photographer.

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