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Maj. Gen. Ed Wilson, comma​nder of 24th Air Force and Air Force Cyber Command,​ speaking at ASC15 Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2015. Staff photo by Kristina Parrill.

Air Force cyber operators are looking at how to operationalize cyber capabilities, including ways to integrate cyber technology into existing air and space capabilities. For example, cyber operators have found that they can put a tool onto an electronic warfare platform like the EC-130H Compass Call and be able to touch or manipulate a closed network, Maj. Gen. Ed Wilson, commander of 24th Air Force and Air Force Cyber Command, told reporters at ASC15 Tuesday. The idea was to see if they could use platforms traditionally used for jamming to access networks, he said, and though the answer is “yes,” there are still questions about how to use that capability. During a different forum at ASC15, Air Combat Command boss Gen. Hawk Carlisle said cyber threats and technology are out there “and putting our head in the sand is not the right answer.” Questions remain about how effective cyber operations are, where the authorities are, and “how we do it without being as bad as the bad guys,” Carlisle said. “We’ve got to understand how to use it, how to take advantage of it. … How do we penetrate anti-access, area-denial components and what is cyber’s piece of that? What do we need to build in our Air Force in cyber capability to support the JFAC and the joint warfighter?”