Air Force pushes cyber warrior training

Air Force pushes cyber warrior training
Air Force pushes cyber warrior training 

By Peter Buxbaum
December 6, 2007

The Air Force is establishing a professional force of cyber operators 
and developing cyber career paths for officers, enlisted personnel and 
civilians. The new Air Force Cyber Command and the Air National Guard 
are among the focal points of the plan.

Were asking ourselves, What is a cyber warrior?? Col. Anthony Buntyn, 
who is in line to become a brigadier general, told an industry audience 
at the Air Force IT Day sponsored by AFCEA in McLean, Va., Dec. 5. What 
skills and equipment do they need? We are developing basic criteria.

The Air Force intends to provide some basic cyber training to all who 
enter the service, said Maj. Gen. Charles Ickes, special assistant to 
the deputy chief of staff for operations, and plans and requirements at 
the Air National Guard.

In addition, as many as 40,000 cyber warfare specialists will be trained 
as warriors, advocates and visionaries for cyber operations. Ickes said.

The scope of the training involved will differ based on the assigned 
duties and could take six to 15 months. It could take seven to 10 years 
to develop the career cyber force the Air Force is envisioning, Ickes 

Were trying to look at the best way to integrate air, space and cyber 
operations in everything we do, Ickes added.

Cyber operators need the same freedom to maneuver as warfighters in the 
air or on the sea or land, Buntyn said.

>From a network standpoint, our priority is to ensure our networks are 
survivable under attack, Buntyn added.

Ickes said the Air Force is working with universities, the Air Force 
Academy and the Doctrine Center to develop programs and curricula for 
cyber trainees. One result, he added, has been the development of a new 
Net Warfare Training course for enlisted personnel.

The enlisted force will be performing the preponderance of this work, 
Ickes said. We are trying to create a career path and to make this a 
dynamic opportunity. I think it could be a very appealing career field 
for young kids as the come into the military.

The officer force needs more broad training in the cyber area in 
addition to education about a particular area of expertise.

For Buntyn, connecting with private industry will be one key to 
developing the Air Forces cyber skills. Ickes said the Air National 
Guard will provide one conduit for the transfer of cyber knowledge and 
skills to Air Force personnel.

Buxbaum is a freelancer writer in Bethesda, Md.

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