Crawl, Walk, Run

The Air Force’s nascent cyber operations organization, 24th Air Force, is still very much in the process of standing up its headquarters at Lackland AFB, Tex., Maj. Gen. Richard Webber, commander of the new cyber arm, said Monday. Speaking to attendees at AFA’s Air & Space Conference, Webber said his headquarters staff is fairly small today, numbering only about 40 persons, but will grow to about 191. His operations center, which still needs to migrate from its old home at Barksdale AFB, La. (where the Air Force has its provisional cyber command), will have about 200 personnel at maturity. The Air Force activated 24th AF last month under Air Force Space Command. Unlike most other NAFs, Webber’s organization will not be the tenant at any installation where it has a presence, a position he called “a very important plus.” He explained that would allow 24th AF to be “much more heavily focused” on current operations. Some of the nearer term tasks on its agenda include developing a common operational picture for cyber and determining the procedures for disseminating and installing computer patches quickly across the entire Air Force to protect the service’s computer networks, Webber said.