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September 17, 2009—Maj. Gen. Richard Webber, commander of 24th Air Force at Lackland AFB, Tex., USAF’s new organization for cyber operations, says he wants to fill his ranks with cyber warriors who have “feet planted firmly” in the communications world and in the intelligence world.

Speaking Sept. 14 at AFA’s Air & Space Conference, Webber said he wants to foster a "promotable, identifiable" career path for these airmen that is not tied to any single template.

He expects that Air Guardsmen and Air Force Reservists will play a significant role in 24th AF, saying they could apply the lessons of how they have been integrated into space operations to support the active duty component.

Webber also said he wants to avoid scenarios in which a cyber warrior comes to 24th AF after 18 months of training, but only remains in the organization for six months before moving on.

Instead, he said he'd like to see 18 months to 24 months of assignment, and possibly even back-to-back assignments during which an airman would spend the first assignment in 24th AF and then move on to a joint cyber role.

(For more from Webber’s AFA appearance, see Crawl, Walk, Run.)