Another Roadmap, This Time for Cyber

Fresh off the release of the Air Force’s nuclear roadmap, officials from Air Force Space Command and Air Force Cyber Command (Provisional) are creating another roadmap—one to establish the cyberspace mission within a new numbered air force under AFSPC. “There are a lot of questions that need to be answered, so developing this roadmap is our first priority,” Maj. Gen. William Lord, commander of AFCYBER (P), said in a USAF release Oct. 24. He continued, “Once we have that approved, we can move forward, and we expect that to happen in the coming months, if all goes well.” The Air Force leadership announced the plan to stand up a new NAF earlier this month, thereby nixing previous plans to form a cyber operations major command. Provisionally, the cyber NAF will be 24th AF. The location of the NAF and any subordinate units has not been finalized, although the Louisiana Congressional delegation has been told current cyber elements at Barksdale would remain there. Gen. Robert Kehler, AFPSC head, said work is already underway to establish the career fields, training, doctrine, and policy for cyber. The focus is not just on building a cyber NAF, but rather “a premiere cyberspace capability” for the Air Force, he said. “There won’t be a huge difference in what was being presented originally—cyber being its own command—with what will be done under AFSPC’s umbrella,” he said. Work is also ongoing to update a program action directive to formally establish and identify the units that will be associated with the cyberspace missions.