Cyberspace Denial

The United State’s adversaries are looking to exploit the Defense Department’s dependence on space-based technology and cut-off communication necessary to conduct combat operations, said retired Lt. Gen. David Deptula, at AFA’s annual Air & Space Conference. “We are facing what I call a fourth-generation cyberspace denial problem today, which, in comparison to past years, has grown at an explosive rate,” said Deptula, the Air Force’s first intelligence-surveillance-reconnaissance boss. He added, “If this trend continues—and I’m betting you all it will—we’ll face a highly contested cyberspace arena in our next conflict and we’re not even close to being ready for that challenge.” However, he said the Air Force is aware of the challenge and “is working on it.” Still, he said, in the past he has considered such challenges “somewhere in the future.” That’s no longer the case. He said US air dominance in space and cyberspace “will be contested” and it’s likely to happen in the near future. “In this decade we will see these problems move from the flight test phase to the fully operational and fielded phase,” he said.