Taking Point on Cyberspace

Air Combat Command will “hang onto everything” right now as the new cyberspace command stands up because ACC owns 8th Air Force, said Gen. Ronald Keys, ACC commander, at a Thursday breakfast meeting for defense reporters. Keys reiterated the plan announced earlier this week by Air Force Secretary Michael Wynne in which 67th Network Warfare Wing, currently under 8th Air Force, would serve as the “core of cyber command.” As principal overseer of this startup effort, Keys is concerned about finding the right people for the command. Initially, he says, some people may have career qualms about entering this uncharted territory. He did say, though, that the plan is to “provide a home” for new cyber airmen and, essentially, raise them in the cyber field. The service then will have “senior officers who understand cyberspace,” explained Keys. And, despite there being “100 different definitions” of cyberspace, he said the start up effort would focus on network warfare and, in particular, ensuring the sanctity of the Air Force’s encryption apparatus. In protecting access to data, said Keys, the service needs “to make sure one of the entry points is not our air assets.”