Thursday, November 02, 2006

Air Force Cyberspace Command

According to Air Force Link, 8th Air Force will become the new Air Force Cyberspace Command. This appears to be the next step following the creation of a Air Force Network Operations Command structure in August. That came on the heels of the Air Force Information Warfare Center being redesignated as the Air Force Information Operations Center. That was a result of the Air Force Tactical Fighter Weapons Center being redesignated as the Air Force Warfare Center. In a related move, the former 67th Information Operations Wing is now the 67th Network Warfare Wing. Follow all that?

It also appears the Air Force is centralizing control of network operations and security centers, according to this article:

All Air Force network operations security centers, which were previously decentralized among the major commands, will consolidate under the 67th with the stand-up of two integrated network operations and security centers, or I-NOSCs, located at Langley AFB, Va., and at Peterson AFB, Colo.

Apparently the former AFCERT, now the Air Force Network Operations and Security Center Network Security Division (AFNOSC NSD) in San Antonio, TX, is adding 191 MacAulay-Brown contractors.

For some higher level insights into these changes, the latest version of AFI 33-115v1: Network Operations (.pdf) might be interesting.

Returning to the creation of the new Cyberspace Command -- remember the Air Force was once part of the United States Army. I see no reason why the United States should maintain independent services that fight on land, sea, air, and space, but have cyber forces scattered throughout the other services. (You might make the counter-argument that each service maintains its own "air forces," but these support their parent service.)

I think within my lifetime we will see an independent Cyber Force to centralize information warfare capabilities alongside the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines. If it happens within the next 10 years, I think Col Greg Rattray might be in charge. (Yes, I'm assuming he continues to be promoted!) Before that happens, I'd like to see the new Cyberspace Command sponsor a new Air Force Specialty Code (AFSC) for information warriors. The current Intel or Comm paradigm isn't suitable.

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