Year of Progress

Although the Air Force in mid August put its plans on hold to activate a major command for cyberspace on Oct. 1, the work of the service’s provisional cyber organization in the past year has significantly advanced the Air Force’s understanding of how it will train, organize, equip, fight—and prevail—in this realm, says the service’s point man for these efforts. “That’s something we didn’t have a year ago,” said Maj. Gen. William Lord, commander of Air Force Cyber Command (Provisional) at Barksdale AFB, La. He continued: “We’ve figured all that out. We’ve outlined how to organize cyber forces, i.e., what capabilities fall into, or not into, a cyber organization.” Indeed, no matter what organizational construct the Air Force leadership opts for in the coming days, the efforts by his “tremendously talented and dedicated” staff have “laid the foundation” for “a strong future cyberspace capability,” he said. Along the way, AFCYBER(P) has fostered better integration of air, cyber, and space assets, contributed to better integration with the other services and government agencies, and influenced how the US industrial base is shaped to support cyber, he said. And while the deliberations continue over the fate of the Air Force’s cyber organization, the service is not pausing to establish new cyberspace career fields and training opportunities, including the new master’s degree program in cyber operations, Lord said. (Barksdale report by Karen Petitt)