Washington, D.C. – Congressman Jim Langevin (D-RI) and Congresswoman Elise Stefanik (R-NY), Chairman and Ranking Member of the House Armed Services Committee’s Intelligence and Emerging Threats and Capabilities Subcommittee, respectively, released the following statement regarding the Department of Defense’s reported plan to separate the “dual-hat” appointment of the Commander of United States Cyber Command serving concurrently as the Director of the National Security Agency.

“The “dual-hat” arrangement for the Commander of United States Cyber Command to serve jointly as the Director of the NSA allows for the joint command and sharing of critical resources and capabilities between two of the most important entities tasked with ensuring our nation’s cybersecurity. The criticality of this relationship was reinforced through the FY2017 and FY2020 National Defense Authorization Acts, which requires the Secretary of Defense and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to certify to Congress that the termination of such an arrangement would not pose a risk to U.S. cybersecurity and military effectiveness. Absence of such a declaration would make the separation illegal.

“In light of the recent, and ongoing, cyber intrusion into the critical networks of the United States Government and numerous private sector entities – that public reporting indicates has been carried out by hostile foreign actors, now is not the time to terminate this arrangement. On the contrary, now is the time where continuity of command and coordination between our cyber agencies is paramount.”