Success in the cyber domain requires “big brains” instead of “big guns and big brawn,” said Lt. Gen. Michael Basla, vice commander of Air Force Space Command. Speaking at AFA’s first-ever CyberFutures Conference, Basla said the Air Force needs “CSI types” who can look at complicated code, figure out how to reverse engineer it, and then use it against America’s adversaries, if necessary. USAF also needs airmen, who, as programmers, are capable of understanding the complicated ins and outs of the cyber world, including the way information moves from one spectrum to another, he said. It’s also going to be vital that airmen who specialize in intelligence, acquisition, and engineering remain in the cyber domain throughout their careers, so they can competently address the constant changes, said Basla. “The key will be stability through operational and skilled people,” he said.
U.S. Air Force F-35s and F-22s regularly deploy deep into the Pacific region from Alaska, Utah, and Hawaii. In the future, though, the head of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command would like to see the Air Force permanently station fifth-generation aircraft west of the international date line—closer to China.