USAF Cyberwar Headquarters Staff To Operate Virtually

Air Force Cyber Command officials announced their intent to spread out headquarters staffing among nine locations so it can meet the 45 percent manning requirements needed for initial operations.”Normally, a major command headquarters will house all its staff functions at one place, but because the final basing decision for AFCYBER has not been determined, the command will operate in a virtual environment,” said Maj. Gen. William T. Lord, the commande of the AFCYBER (Provisional).

He said this action will allow some personnel to be assigned to Barksdale Air Force Base, La. – the interim headquarters location for the command – and minimize relocation actions at the other places for the rest of the proposed 450-person HQ staff. Of the original 540 positions allocated for AFCYBER HQ staffing, about 90 of those positions were moved to man positions in the 24th Air Force and subordinate wings.

Thus the command will assign about 240 positions and fill them during the summer so it can declare initial operations capability by Oct. 1. It is not known at this time whether the rest of the 450 authorizations will also be assigned to the identified locations, or to new ones after that date, or be on hold until the final basing location is decided.

“We’ll be operating in this virtual construct until the final basing decisions are made, which is expected to be announced by September of 2009. At that time the Air Force may be decide to keep AFCYBER in this construct, relocate all its staff to one place or perhaps a combination of the two,” General Lord said.

“What this virtual command will do for us is minimize environmental impacts to all involved while be able to move forward in building this command. The virtual construct is not intended to foreclose or presuppose any options for permanent basing.”

During this process there are no new billets being created and there are no net increases in the number of people at these locations. Movements will result from a limited number of permanent change of sation actions, or, as in most cases, permanent change of assignments (same base but different organization) and through temporary duty assignments.

The numbers listed at the locations represent the authorizations being assigned as HQ staff at the time the command declares IOC.

The locations and proposed numbers for authorizations are:

Barksdale Air Force Base, La. – 36 billets. As the current location of the provisional command, the interim capability for the HQ staff will remain there until the final basing location is established. This will facilitate integrations with the Air Force Network Operations Center, a new 608th Air Operations Center and the command structure that provides forces to combatant commands.

Scott AFB, Ill. – 69. Many of the A1-manpower and personnel functions, as well as the A6-communications functions are currently being done by members assigned to the Air Force Communications Agency. Those authorizations will be recoded to support the headquarters functions.

Langley AFB, Va. – 58. Billet transfers will come from both the Air Combat Command and Global Cyberspace Integration Center. Much of the A5-plans and requirements and A8-strategic plans and programs functions for cyberspace already occur here.

Lackland AFB, Texas – 43. This is the location of the Air Force Information Operations Center and the 67th Network Warfare Wing. This will allow for the leveraging of the A2-intelligence and the A3-air, space and information operations capabilities.

Tinker AFB, Okla. – 5. The 3rd Combat Communications Group and the 38th Engineering and Installation Group are located here. Along with HQ, A3 and A6 functions, there will also be elements of A4-logistics that will work contracting issues for combat communications and engineering and installation requirements.

Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz. – 20. D-M houses the 55th Electronic Combat Group. Interim capability for the new Electronic Warfare Wing headquarters will be established here to leverage the preponderance of EW forces gained by AFCYBER.

Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio – 13. This is where the most significant Air Force procurements are channeled as well as the leading Air Force Research and Development Center for cyberspace. The command will leverage its A4-logistics and A7-installations and mission-support functions here.

Hanscom AFB, Mass. – 7. This is the location for major research and development operations as well as the program office for a large number of communications and cyberspace initiatives.

Griffiss ANGB (Rome Labs), N.Y. – 2. Rome Labs currently conducts leading research for information operations and cyber warfare and these authorizations will take advantage of R&D efforts to advocate for the development of cyber capabilities.

Peterson AFB, Col. – 7 (tentative). Discussions are underway for achieving capabilities with space-related resources.

“Again, this represents the minimum capability required to activate the command and gain units,” said the general. “We must move forward to provide people the right chain of command, the right leadership and be able to meet the Air Force’s timeline on schedule.”

 

 

Karen Petitt (AFPN)

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