GÖTTINGEN, Germany — German Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen has unveiled plans to establish a new cyber force to enhance the defense effectiveness of the country's armed forces.

To this purpose, existing IT capabilities of the Bundeswehr will be bundled within the new branch of cyber and information space (CIR). A total of 13,500 posts from other branches will be assigned to CIR, which will be headed by an inspector with the rank of a lieutenant general. The inspector would take over the leadership of CIR on April 1, 2017.

A cyber/IT (CIT) department also will be set up within the MoD by Oct. 1. There, a chief information officer will assume responsibility for the subjects of cyber and IT with budgetary sovereignty, according to the MoD.

The minister also announced Tuesday that the buildup of the entire structure will take till 2021.

According to an MoD spokesman, CIR will have access to investment funds of more than €1 billion (US $1.1 billion). CIR will be commanded from Bonn, Germany, and oversee operational tasks like cyber, IT, military and operational communications, and geological information.

To attract qualified human resources for the new branch, the ministry has launched a special employer campaign. Based on Israeli experiences, also the selective activation of specialized reserve personnel is considered. To intensify cooperation with other authorities, industry and broader society, a "Cyber-cluster" will be established at the University of the Bundeswehr in Munich.

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