Air Force

June 1, 2012

Weapons school integrates cyber warfare

By 1st Lt. Ken Lustig
99th Air Base Wing Public Affairs

NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. – Every day, an invisible war is being fought on the world’s communication networks – a war the Air Force’s cyberspace warriors are training to win.

This June, eight students will complete the very first Cyber Weapons Instructor Course, taught at the 328th Weapons Squadron of the U.S. Air Force Weapons School, and join the ranks of the Air Force’s weapons officers. The WIC students are primarily cyber warfare officers, but the course also accepts qualified applicants from the intelligence, space & missile and engineer career fields.

Weapons officers are tactical experts trained in the art of battlespace dominance who instruct the Air Force’s instructor corps and serve as advisors to military leaders at all levels.

Although this cyber class is the school’s first, Maj. Brent Wells, 328th Weapons Squadron director of operations for the Cyber WIC, says the graduates’ accomplishment will ultimately reduce the distinction between cyber and traditional operational specialties.

“Although we ‘deep dive’ into the cyber curriculum during the first phase of our academics, what we’re really trying to get across to our students is this: You’re not a cyber officer first, not an intel or space officer first – you’re a weapons officer and your job is to provide advice and counsel to our leaders and be that expert on all Air Force capabilities,” Wells said.

“The purpose of this course is to refine these officers’ cyber skills and round them out by teaching them to be expert instructors, problem solvers, leaders and tacticians, ultimately teaching them how to integrate the cyber piece with the entire spectrum of Air Force and Joint capabilities,” he said.

To this end, all of the approximately 115 students from the USAFWS’ 18 weapons squadrons – each specializing in one of 24 ‘platforms’ (battle concepts or weapons systems) – are brought together at regular intervals and must rely on each other for critical knowledge and coordinated planning. After the first third of the course, the academics broaden to give all students a clear picture of how all of their capabilities are used in conjunction, both within the Air Force and with those of the joint services.

Wells said that the addition of the cyber WIC is part of a bigger Air Force effort to further integrate and operationalize its cyber capabilities.

“In the past, we have often thought of cyber in terms of monitoring networks and responding to trouble tickets – a maintenance mindset,” he said. “But as our adversaries become increasingly effective and sophisticated at engaging in the cyber realm, it is clear that the cyber domain has become a key terrain of the battlefield, and we have to move beyond the old way of thinking.”

Lt. Col. Bob Reeves, 328th Weapons Squadron commander, says the school’s space course was created in 1996; it addressed but did not deeply delve into cyber operations. The new cyber WIC was created in part to help the Air Force take its cyber capability in new directions.

“We want our graduates to transform and inspire our nation’s combat power, to bring the cyber piece to operational planning, but also to help build the cyber force to recognize that they are part of the overall picture and a capability we are providing to the combatant commander.”

Reeves said the lessons learned at weapons school are applied across the force.

“It is not enough just to train our weapons officers. We are taking the lessons learned from our exercises and planning, and feeding that innovation into other exercises and even real-world operations where those techniques and tactics can be validated,” he said. “We take what works and export it.”




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Air Force fighters, bombers conduct strikes against ISIL targets in Syria

TAMPA, Fla. — U.S. military forces and partner nations, including the Kingdom of Bahrain, the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, undertook military action against ISIL terrorists in Syria Sept. 22, using a mix of fighter, bomber, remotely piloted aircraft and Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles to...
 
 
page-one

End of an era: 65th AGRS set to deactivate

NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. – After almost a decade of unyielding service, the 65th Aggressor Squadron will be deactivating. Since being reactivated Sept. 15, 2005, the 65th AGRS helped provide air combat training for militar...
 
 
U.S. Air Force photo by Scott Ash

Air Force leaders sign Total-Force Aircrew Management charter

U.S. Air Force photo by Scott Ash Leaders of the Air Force and the Air Reserve Component sign the Total Force Aircrew Management charter Sept. 18, during the Aircrew Summit at Joint Base Andrews, Maryland. From left to right, D...
 

 
U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Matt Davis

ACC commander outlines imperatives for the Combat Air Force

U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Matt Davis Gen. Mike Hostage, commander of Air Combat Command, speaks to the audience on the importance of maintaining combat capabilities with minimal resources during the Air Force Associati...
 
 
U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Mikaley Towle

AFAS helps ease financial stress

U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Mikaley Towle Hiroko Bush, 99th Force Support Squadron community readiness consultant, accepts a Nellis Airman’s Air Force Financial Aid Society application at the Airman and Family Re...
 
 

AF to change instructions for oaths

WASHINGTON — The Air Force has instructed force support offices across the service to allow both enlisted members and officers to omit the words “So help me God” from enlistment and officer appointment oaths if an Airman chooses. In response to concerns raised by Airmen, the Department of the Air Force requested an opinion from...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin