By Josh Rogin
Nov. 17, 2006
The Air Force moved one step closer to the cyber frontier yesterday when
more than two dozen senior leaders met at the Pentagon for a Cyber
Summit. The meetings were meant to solidify the services plans to bring
full-scale military operations to cyberspace and chart the way,
On Nov. 2, Air Force Secretary Michael Wynne announced that a new Cyber
Command will be formed from the 8th Air Force, headquartered at
Barksdale Air Force Base, La. The command will coordinate offensive and
defensive network and electronic warfare and will eventually become a
major command, Wynne said.
We are past the talking, past academic discussions about definitions,
and on to moving this to operational reality, said Lani Kass, director
of the Cyberspace Task Force, at the meeting. The new command will
integrate the full range of effects in air, space and cyberspace, she
Wynne and Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Michael Moseley hosted the
summit, which included representatives of the Air Force Combat Command,
Air Force Space Command, Air Education and Training Command, and Air
Force Materiel Command, according to an Air Force spokesman.
Leaders discussed the global strategic environment and the need to think
of cyberspace as a warfighting arena, equal to land, air, sea or space,
the spokesman said. The leaders agreed to create new career paths for
leaders in cyber roles and to train Air Force members to perform cyber
operations, he added.
Lt. Gen. Robert Elder, who will lead the Cyber Command, was directed to
study the acquisitions and technological challenges that face the Air
Force as it develops new cyber systems. Elder will report his findings
when service leaders meet in February.
In May, the Air Force altered its mission statement to reflect
cyberspaces importance. The new mission, it states, is to deliver
sovereign options for the defense of the United States of America and
its global interests to fly and fight in air, space and cyberspace.
"Cyberspace as a war fighting domain is no longer a question," Moseley
said. We are fighting there every day.
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