By 2025, Mark Maybury, the Air Force’s chief scientist, hopes to see a cyber elite amongst airmen. He previewed Cyber Vision 2025, the Air Force’s long-range strategy to maintain cyber superiority, at an AFA-sponsored Air Force breakfast program speech on July 17 in Arlington, Va. The service’s cyber vision is a bold, challenging, and essential objective, and will require the Air Force to recruit young talent, said Maybury. “Passion about any subject is as important as innate talent,” he said. “It’s not sufficient, but it’s important.” He added that young people can be excited about the Air Force’s vision, citing AFA’s successful CyberPatriot program. In the United States, math scores are declining as cyber expertise becomes increasingly important. “We have not found a mission today that is not dependent on cyber,” he said. “That’s an important statement.” International trends in education have weighty implications for America’s economy and future security, he said. By 2025, Chinese universities will produce more than twice as many doctoral students as American universities, said Maybury.
The F-35 Joint Program Office has officially announced plans to issue multiple sole-source contracts to Pratt & Whitney to upgrade the fighter’s F135 engine—a widely expected move after Pentagon officials indicated they would do so earlier this year instead of developing an entirely new engine.