AFSPC Pressing on Cyber Normalization

Cyber operations have expanded rapidly for Air Force Space Command, Vice Commander Lt. Gen. Michael J. Basla told attendees at AFA’s Air & Space Conference Tuesday afternoon, and the next big challenge is to institutionalize and normalize cyber operations across the range of mission requirements submitted by combatant commanders. Through the Air Force’s cyber arm at 24th Air Force, cyber liaison elements have been established at combined air and space operations centers around the world, Basla noted, and they are in demand. “The regional commanders have asked for these, but we don’t’ have the capacity to provide them all yet,” Basla said. These elements provide reachback to 24th AF’s 624th Operations Center at Lackland AFB, Tex., and are redefining what combat operations mean. “Cross domain synergies are absolutely foundational to the new American brand of warfare today,” Basla said, from combat operations in Afghanistan to relief operations in Haiti or Japan or Chile. Undergraduate cyber training at Keesler AFB, Miss. is now up and running and turning out about 312 graduates a year, Basla noted, and next July the first cyber warfare course at the Air Force Weapons School will begin. Normalizing the cyber domain will involve a lot of the same rigor and standards used to normalize air and space operations, Basla said and added that much work remains to be done.