Air Force seeks command and control system for cyber ops

Air Force seeks command and control system for cyber ops
Air Force seeks command and control system for cyber ops 

By Brian Robinson
December 28, 2007

As part of its evolving cyberwarfare strategy, the Air Force is looking 
for input on how to construct a command and control system that would 
support defensive and offensive operations in the event of an all-out 
attack on the countrys information infrastructure.

According to a draft document, the Cyber Control System would monitor 
network activity across the Air Force's segment of the military's Global 
Information Grid. If the system detected an attack, it would alert Air 
Force cybersecurity personnel and automatically take measures to 
mitigate and repair any damage to its networks.

The Cyber Control System would also give Air Force officials recommended 
responses or courses of action. Those responses might be limited to 
cyber operations or they might require coordination with traditional 
operations. Air Force officials believe that capability is vital.

Cyber forces "must be capable of producing real-time analysis and 
developing courses of action in shorter periods of time in order to 
execute selected [courses of action] and assess the impacts of their 
actionsbefore any potential adversary has time to react," the document 

Like traditional command and control systems, the Cyber Control System 
would generate various products, including tasking orders, battle damage 
assessments and incident reports.

The Air Force is in the process of building a Cyberspace Command under 
the jurisdiction of the 8th Air Force, with plans to formally establish 
it in 2008. Although the other military services have groups that focus 
on cyberspace, the new command is widely seen as establishing the Air 
Force as the leader in cyberwarfare.

Along with the overall need for a Cyber Control System, the Air Force 
said its cyber forces require real-time and predictive expert analysis, 
culled from information across the military and performed by an 
Enterprise Pattern and Integration Correlation engine.

Such an analysis would be able to determine, for example, if a network 
device should be disconnected, what data is associated with the device, 
what capabilities it provided, and what activities on the network depend 
on the device.

Funding for the systems development is tagged at $27 million for fiscal 
2008 and 2009, with future amounts to be determined. An industry day to 
explain the details of the new program is scheduled for Jan. 29, 2008, 
at Hanscom Air Force Base in Massachusetts.

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