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.


 
 

 
U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Charles Larkin Sr.

First sergeant provides health, welfare for warriors

U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Charles Larkin Sr. Master Sgt. Phelipe Salinas speaks to his athletes during the 2014 Warrior Games at the Garry Berry Stadium in Colorado Springs, Colo., Oct. 2. Salinas is the first sergean...
 
 

Safeguarding, re-evaluating your digital footprint

SAN ANTONIO, Texas — Social media is a great resource for Airmen and their families to share information and stay connected to relatives at home and abroad. Although many depend on these wonderful tools, recent events have encouraged us to re-evaluate our digital footprint to ensure our personal and professional information is protected from online...
 
 

October is Energy Action Month: ‘I am Air Force Energy’

NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. — Summer has come to a close, and we’re all looking forward to more tolerable temperatures in the coming weeks. Even better news — this means your power bill is likely to go down. But if you think you pay a lot for energy, imagine paying Nellis’ bill of approximately $1 million...
 

 

Taming ‘tyranny of urgent’

VANCE AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. — Many Airmen lead incredibly busy lives, full of unfinished tasks that we often wish we had more hours in the day to fit it all in, and in our professional lives, budgets remain tight, the Air Force is shrinking, and we are challenged to do more with less. Yet...
 
 
U.S. Air Force photograph by Airman 1st Class Rachel Loftis

Armory: A home for weapons

U.S. Air Force photograph by Airman 1st Class Rachel Loftis Senior Airman Jaime Romo, 99th Security Forces Squadron armorer, puts a M-240 rifle away after clearing the weapon at the 99th SFS armory at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev...
 
 
U.S. Air Force photo

Nellis Open House brings history to life

U.S. Air Force photo The AT-6 Texan, which was originally flown in 1935 and flown here in the 1940s, will be one of many aircraft at the Nellis Air Force Base Open House on Nov. 8 and 9. It is a single-engine advanced trainer a...
 




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