By Capt. Carrie L. Kessler
39th Information Operations Squadron
HURLBURT FIELD, Fla. -- Members of the Air Force's sole information
operations and cyber formal training unit celebrated a milestone July
20, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony to mark the completion of the
long-awaited 4,500 sq. ft. facility addition.
"We're at an all time high of graduating more than 480 students this
year," said Lt. Col. Dean Clothier, 39th Information Operations Squadron
commander. "We're moving from four to 10 courses and as we shift the
undergraduate pieces to Undergraduate Cyber Training at Keesler Air
Force Base, Miss., we'll grow more and more into mission qualification
training which is made up of smaller teams of specialized training. This
new type of training requires a new type of facility."
Along with instructing MQTs, the staff will also teach initial
qualification training courses such as the unit's cornerstone
Information Operations Integration Course as well as other influence
operations and network warfare disciplines.
The new state-of-the-art facility will house 10 different network
connections including classified and unclassified to accommodate the
required training, video teleconference capability and nearly 200
computers to facilitate the education of more than 60 students at one
"Over the course of the last three to four years, the Air Force has gone
on a journey developing cyber leaders and actually embedding cyber and
IO activities into operations," said Col. Michael Convertino, 318th
Information Operations Group commander. "It's a better and more
efficient way of dealing with operations, and this facility is key to
The group commander added that the 39th is at the leading edge of
ensuring our warriors are trained properly in connection with the
demands of operations we see every day.
"This facility will be agile," said Colonel Convertino. "There are a lot
of courses here that will change fairly often and that's a good thing
because the nature of our business changes almost daily."
The $1.3 million military construction project was made possible through
the collaboration of the host wing and Air Force Space Command tenant
"Hurlburt Field is a dynamic, aggressive growing base with mission
growth that is reflected in facilities growth," said Colonel Clothier.
"By plugging into the civil engineer and contracting squadrons here to
rapidly execute this emergency MILCON project we're extremely grateful
for the support and teamwork from the wing."
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