Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh signed a memorandum on March 20 establishing Task Force Cyber Secure, according to a March 31 release. The task force will focus on diagnosing cyber threats and vulnerabilities, develop a risk management plan that will allow USAF to operate in a “cyber-contested environment,” and “recommend investment priorities” to Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James and Welsh, said Lt. Gen. Bill Bender, USAF chief information officer, in the release. “This task force is fundamental to understanding the inherent risks within the cyberspace domain and instituting a culture change, in which our airmen realize the impact cybersecurity has on all the Air Force core missions,” said Welsh. Bender said the task force is meant to serve as a “comprehensive, enterprise-level look at the cyber threat.” It will be led by Pete Kim, acting director of USAF cyberspace operations and warfighting integration. “Many efforts for securing the core missions in cyberspace are currently distributed across multiple organizations and commands throughout the Air Force,” Kim said. “We have great leaders moving out on fixing ‘the problem’ within their functional areas, but the time is right to look into opportunities to synchronize and maximize resources at the corporate level in order to establish a foundational, consistent enterprise-wide approach in the future.”
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.