Making Cyber a Priority

Gen. William Shelton, Air Force Space Command boss, said Thursday he wants to see cyber tasking orders carry the same credence as air tasking orders. It’s critical that commanders understand that refusing such orders or delaying them can put troops in danger, he said in his address at AFA’s Air Warfare Symposium and Technology Exposition in Orlando, Fla. Changing the culture where airpower dominates all will require education and it’s not going to happen overnight, he acknowledged. “If a commander decides that a cyber tasking order is optional, to me, that leaves a vulnerability in our network and, unfortunately, that’s [a vulnerability] everyone gets to share because it leaves a hole in our network that can be penetrated,” he said. He added, “We need to bring the cyber business up in the operational discipline.” That’s something 24th Air Force—USAF’s cyber operations arm—is working “very hard” at, he said.