Air Force transfers cyber responsibility to ACC
Air Force officials announced on June 7 the service’s cyber responsibilities will realign to Air Combat Command from Air Force Space Command.
“This move will drive faster decisions as we fight by realigning the cyber operations and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions under the same command,” Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson said.
Wilson pointed to the new National Defense Strategy that directs the U.S. military to invest in gaining and exploiting information and to deny adversaries the same ability.
“This initiative helps do both,” she said.
The realignment, directed by the secretary and chief of staff of the Air Force, designates ACC as the lead Air Force command responsible for organizing, training and equipping Air Forces to conduct effective full-spectrum cyber missions and operations. AFSPC will focus on space superiority and full-spectrum space capabilities integrated into multi-domain operations.
The two commands have been in close coordination on the realignment for the past 21 months to properly align roles, responsibilities and the presentation of ready forces.
“Under the guidance of the National Defense Strategy and the emergence of great power competition, we must be prepared for a future high-end fight,” said Chief of Staff of the Air Force Gen. David Goldfein. “We must organize, train and equip ourselves to compete, deter and win. This move integrates key capabilities and helps ensure that we are fully prepared to win today and in the future.”
Units realigning include 24th Air Force and subordinate units, as well as the Cyber Support Squadron, Air Force Network Integration Center and Air Force Spectrum Management Office, which are currently direct reporting units to AFSPC.
“Integrating cyber operations and intelligence in cyber capabilities under one command is a significant step towards enhancing our warfighting capabilities to conduct multi-domain operations,” said Gen. Jay Raymond, AFSPC commander. “Air Force Space Command will stay focused completely on gaining and maintaining space superiority and outpacing our adversaries in the space domain. Ultimately, this will generate powerful synergy and increased lethality for our Air Force and our joint warfighters.”
According to the National Defense Strategy, readiness requires innovative operational concepts, including changing the ways in which the military organizes and employs forces.
“Air Force cyber capabilities are intertwined with the intelligence, command and control, air superiority, personnel recovery and precision attack missions that we are responsible for,” ACC Commander Gen. Mike Holmes said. “This move streamlines how the Air Force presents forces to joint commanders, and it improves our ability to integrate cyber and air operations to improve our effectiveness in multiple domains.”
ACC is scheduled to assume cyber responsibilities this summer.