A joint panel of cyber experts from the Air Force, Army, and Marine Corps said their individual commands are relying on National Guard and Reserve forces to bridge capability gaps until the noncommissioned officer corps in their respective services gain more cyber experience. Brig. Gen. Charles Shugg, vice commander of 24th Air Force, USAF’s cyber operations organization, said he often gets asked where the service can find an NCO with 10 years or 15 years of cyber experience right now. “The answer is we will get [that airman] in 10 or 15 years,” Shugg told an audience at AFA’s Air Warfare Symposium in Orlando, Fla., last week. He added, “We are on a slow journey here . . . [and] the thing that is helping us on our journey right now is our Total Force.” Guardsmen and Reservists are able to leverage their civilian expertise and their connection to industry to help the military build its capabilities in this new domain.
The Air Force overall reduced its size by 120 aircraft in fiscal year 2021, but kept about the same number of fighter, bomber and attack aircraft, according to data supplied by the service. The F-35 fleet saw the biggest increase while the B-1B bomber fleet saw the largest decline.