September 26, 2006—The Air Force’s new mission statement, written by Air Force Secretary Michael Wynne and Chief of Staff Gen. Michael Moseley, has not been widely understood, admitted Lani Kass, director of the Air Force cyberspace task force. Specifically puzzling for many was the reference to flying and fighting in cyberspace. Kass told attendees Tuesday at AFA's Air & Space Conference in Washington that the cyberspace goal has the same objectives as flying and fighting in air or space.
The objectives include having freedom from attack and freedom to attack—remembering that cyber favors the offensive—and attaining global effects at the speed of light. Kass said the service leaders meant the Air Force can’t dominate air and space without dominating cyberspace.
This new domain is the "center of gravity" for the United States, because if attacked, our way of life would be at risk, said Kass. “Airplanes will literally fall out of the sky,” she remarked.
Kass said that the Air Force is pursuing creation of a new cyber command, as noted in its recent vision statement. She explained that the new command is still in the planning stage but outlined its mission, which, of course, begins with flying and fighting in cyberspace. She said the command would employ global cyber power across the entire spectrum of conflict, as either a supported or supporting component of the Joint Force.
And, the cyber command would seek to integrate the full range of cyber effects 24/7/365, sending cyber strike packages to combatant commands, as needed. The mission also includes organizing, training, and equipping what Kass calls “cyber warriors.” Kass says future cyber airmen must maintain a warfighter ethos because “non-kinetic [warfare] doesn’t mean non-lethal.”
For the cyber command, Kass is looking for a wide range of airmen and civilians to include cultural experts, intelligence officers, electronic warfare officers, and lawyers because there are no international laws defining “how you function in cyberspace.”
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