Air Force Academy Stands Up CyberWorx

A new USAF cyber initiative, based at the Air Force Academy reached initial operational capability last month. CyberWorx is a public-private partnership that uses principles of Design Thinking methodology to solve operational problems in the cyber realm. Design Thinking “uses techniques of rapid, low-fidelity prototyping” to quickly consider a broad range of ideas that might fit a particular problem set, said CyberWorx director Col. Jeff Collins, according to a press release. The program maintains semester-long research projects, but also conducts focused, weeklong “design sprint” problem-solving sessions. One of the primary applications of its work is cyber defense of space systems. “CyberWorx is already helping us address our problems,” said Gen. Jay Raymond, the commander of Air Force Space Command, in the release. Currently, the group is working to “define and refine the command and control relationships affecting today’s communications squadrons as they transition to become cyber squadrons,” according to a fact sheet on the program. This process will involve developing a new concept of operations and recommending revisions to Air Force instructions. So far CyberWorx has partnered with a host of private companies, including Boecore Inc., Boeing, LinQuest, Fourth Axis Games, Spark Mindset, and Braxton Technologies, according to an Academy spokesperson. At full capacity, CyberWorx expects to be able to maintain 10 simultaneous projects.