Air Force Space Command will lose about 3,000 slots as it divests itself of its ICBM mission and absorbs the growing cyberwarfare role, taking on the new 24th Air Force, the service’s new cyberspace central. The Air Force is placing the ICBM force under the new Air Force Global Strike Command, along with nuclear-capable bombers. AFSPC boss Gen. Robert Kehler, speaking with reporters during a Space Foundation symposium in Colorado, said AFSPC would shift some 10,000 ICBM slots over to AFGSC over the next eight to 10 months and pick up some 7,000 positions with acquisition of 24th AF. “We think there are synergies,” Kehler said of the space and cyberspace mission areas, adding that much of what currently is performed in 14th Air Force (headquartered at Vandenberg AFB, Calif.) could be considered cyberspace operations. “It’s about moving and protecting ones and zeroes,” he added. Of the 7,000 cyber slots flowing into AFSPC, a portion will be Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve Command as well as contract support personnel—many of whom are currently working in other areas, such as the Air Force Communications Agency. As for the 24th AF headquarters location, Kehler said he anticipates the bed down location announcement in “the next couple of weeks” and is anticipating achieving initial operational capability in the fall.
More than 100 B-21s will be needed if the nation is to avoid creating a high demand/low capacity capability, panelists said on a Hudson Institute webinar. The B-21's flexibility, stealth, range and payload will be in high demand for a wide range of missions, both traditional and new.