Posts Tagged ‘Cyber Command’

US Military Cyber Defense

January 19, 2011

The US military is preparing for 21st Century electronic warfare and cyber terrorism. A joint US Cyber Command and four service cyber commands have been set up.

Their mission is to defend American military networks and civilian American infrastructure from cyber terrorism and from foreign government hackers.

More info at

Major Command vs. Numbered Air Force: Which is Better?

November 13, 2008
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The Air Force Cyber Command (AFCYBER) will “only” be a Numbered Air Force (NAF), not a Major Command (MAJCOM) as previously expected. Maj. Gen. William Lord, commander of 24th Air Force a.k.a. Air Force Cyber Command (Provisional), says this is a good thing. In a Shreveport Times report, Lord explained, “The numbered air force gives you something that the major command doesn’t and quite frankly that’s the direct connectivity to the combatant commander.” Lord also discussed the size and organization of AFCYBER, which will be subordinate to Air Force Space Command.

Air Force senior leaders take up key decisions

October 9, 2008
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The nuclear enterprise, cyber organization, end strength, force shaping, and command and control of Air Force operations were just some of the topics discussed when Air Force senior leaders met at CORONA on Oct. 1-3 at the U.S. Air Force Academy.

Secretary of the Air Force Michael B. Donley set the tone stating, “Over the past two days we addressed several issues, making decisions on key Air Force missions necessary to move our Air Force in the right direction.”

The Air Force Chief of Staff, Gen. Norton Schwartz, followed with comments on the importance of the conference saying, “CORONA is a forum for decision. The teamwork manifested in this room will allow us to accomplish what our Air Force needs done.”

As a follow-up to the recent nuclear summit, the briefings and decisions at CORONA were dominated by discussions on the nuclear enterprise. Discussions included options to reconfigure the command structure for nuclear forces, roles and responsibilities of the Nuclear Weapons Center, the required skills and force development for personnel conducting the nuclear mission, and stand-up of the new nuclear-focused staff element organization within Air Force headquarters.

The leadership also decided to establish a nuclear focused major command to concentrate Air Force support for the nuclear and deterrence missions.

“We will announce decisions soon because they are crucial steps toward attaining excellence in our nuclear enterprise and revitalization of the nuclear culture across the Air Force,” said Mr. Donley.

Initial planning will be integrated into the Air Force Nuclear Roadmap, which will be unveiled in a few weeks.

In addition, the senior leaders discussed the Air Force active duty end strength ceiling, now to be 330,000 personnel, and addressed which missions and functional specialties should obtain additional allocations based on emerging missions as well as critically-manned career fields.

“Force shaping across the Air Force is hard work. There are many factors that need to be considered as we determine where manpower billets will be placed…everything from new missions that are directly contributing everyday to joint operations to shortfalls in specific functional areas,” said General Schwartz.
“The leadership will work to close this issue for this budget cycle in the coming weeks.”

A key component of the Air Force’s contribution to the current Global War on Terrorism is the execution of command and control of air assets supporting theater operations.

Leaders initiated discussions on how the service can better fulfill the responsibilities to organize, train, and equip command and control capabilities for the Joint Force Commander, as well as how the Air Force can best identify and overcome potential shortfalls in our capabilities.

“How we prioritize and utilize our command and control capabilities in support of joint force operations are key to the overall success of every mission,” said General Schwartz.

Also discussed was how the Air Force can improve support to Joint Force Commanders. One decision made is to assign a senior Air Force officer to appropriate JFCs with command authority to direct air support. The leadership also decided to strengthen our air to ground integration by increasing the number and training of the Airmen supporting tactical air control systems and accepting offers from other services to integrate their personnel into our command and control units.

Leadership also decided to establish a Numbered Air Force for cyber operations within Air Force Space Command and discussed how the Air Force will continue to develop capabilities in this new domain and train personnel to execute this new mission.

“The conduct of cyber operations is a complex issue, as DoD and other interagency partners have substantial equity in the cyber arena,” said Mr. Donley. “We will continue to do our part to increase Air Force cyber capabilities and institutionalize our cyber mission.”

Locations for the new nuclear command and cyber NAF were not addressed and require further deliberation.

Other key AF issues discussed include an update on the status of joint basing initiatives, the development of a common Logistics Standardization Evaluation Program, and review of the concept of integrating the networks used to repair the Air Force’s weapon systems.

“We came together to discuss key issues, chart a way ahead and move forward with sound decisions,” said General Schwartz. “Our goal is a more stable Air Force, focused on our core missions, as a key member of the joint team.”

“What Airmen do every day across the Air Force is not easy work. What our leadership team did over the last couple days at CORONA was not easy work,” said Mr. Donley. “But we all know how to rise to the challenge and the Air Force is better because of everyone’s efforts at making key decisions.”

Air Force pursues Cyber Command again

October 9, 2008
Aviation Calendar 2009

Aviation Calendar 2009

Our military Aviation Calendar 2009 features 13 images of US and allied military aircraft in action. Buy the Aviation Calendar 2009 exclusively at the PatriArt Gallery for only $ 19.99. Worldwide delivery available.

Top Air Force leadership has decided to pursue forming Cyber Command to defend Defense Department networks and to launch cyberattacks against foes after putting the project on hold in August.

The service’s leadership, including Air Force Secretary Michael Donley and Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz, made the decision last week at the Corona senior leadership conference in Colorado Springs, Colo., to continue its effort to stand up the command, said Capt. Michael Andrews, an Air Force spokesman.

Read the full article at NextGov

USAF Chief of Warfighting Integration Talks CyberSecurity and UAVs

July 31, 2008

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Air Force Lt. Gen. Michael Peterson has a fancy title: Chief of Warfighting Integration and Chief Information Officer. But he calls himself the “tech guy on the operations team.” Peterson is the guy who talks about bits and bytes, cyber security, radars and satellites. He also is the one who keeps tabs on all the Air Force’s assets and how they can best be used to be effective in the fight. Peterson manages a more than $17 billion portfolio for communication, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance assets. Full article on The Hill

USAF Cyberwar Headquarters Staff To Operate Virtually

June 26, 2008
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)