The DoD Cyber Crime Center, or DC3, was officially designated a Field Operating Agency by the Secretary of the Air Force, effective Jan. 15, with an associated activation ceremony at the Office of Special Investigations Headquarters, Quantico, Virginia.
Since its founding 23 years ago, DC3 has operated as a unit aligned under OSI. As a FOA, DC3 is now aligned as a separate agency under the Inspector General, Office of the Secretary of the Air Force.
“DC3’s recognition as an Air Force FOA serves as a testament to the substantive evolution of its overarching capabilities and purpose,” said Jeffrey Specht, DC3 Executive director. “I have every confidence this new structure and alignment will not only serve as a catalyst for DC3’s continued evolution to best meet Air Force and DoD mission needs, but will enhance our capacity and focus on amplifying effects for those we’re charged to support. That outlook includes a resolute commitment to DC3’s foundational bond and continued partnership with OSI, as well as the larger DoD law enforcement and counterintelligence community.”
The significance of DC3’s evolution was echoed by OSI Commander, Brig. Gen. Terry L. Bullard.
“This is such a historic occasion, and OSI is proud to support our brothers and sisters at DC3 as they stand-up as an independent Field Operating Agency,” Bullard said. “Throughout its history, DC3 has delivered unparalleled digital and multimedia forensic services, training, analysis and technical solutions to problem sets in cybersecurity and critical infrastructure protection, law enforcement, counterterrorism and counterintelligence. As an independent agency, we know that DC3 will continue this proud tradition and will to grow capabilities to safeguard our nation and enable key allies. OSI has been and will continue to be a proud partner in DC3 endeavors, and we look forward to the innovation and successes to come.”
DC3 was officially activated Oct. 1, 2001. However, its origins date back to February 1998, when Deputy Secretary of Defense John Hamre issued Defense Reform Initiative Directive #27, directing the Air Force to establish a joint DoD computer forensics laboratory and training program. The Secretary of the Air Force designated the OSI Commander as the overall program manager for both activities, placing OSI at the helm in establishing what is now DC3’s Cyber Forensic Laboratory and Cyber Training Academy.
Over the past two decades, DC3s capabilities, services and size have evolved to meet not only the changing needs of its founding DoD law enforcement and counterintelligence stakeholders, but those of the DoD and the U.S. Intelligence Community at large, to include fast-evolving mission demands in cybersecurity and critical infrastructure protection, document and media exploitation, and counterterrorism.
Today, DC3 brings to bear the capabilities and expertise of more than 500 military, civilian and contractor personnel to provide highly specialized digital and multimedia forensics, cyber training, cyber forensic and analytic tools development, cyber analytics, and cyber vulnerability sharing in support of the DoD, its national and international mission partners, and the Defense Industrial Base. Further, DC3 serves as one of seven designated Federal Cyber Centers responsive to National Security Presidential Directive 54 and as a DoD center of excellence for digital and multimedia forensics per DoD directive.