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Published:June 24th, 2008 10:33 EST
The U.S. Needs To Control Cyber Domain

The U.S. Needs To Control Cyber Domain

By SOP newswire2

In separate speeches during an Air Force Cyberspace Symposium today, two senior leaders explained their service`s critical need to control the cyberspace domain and reasons why they need a new command to do so. 

Air Force Cyberspace First to speak was Lt. Gen. Robert J. Elder, 8th Air Force (Air Forces Strategic) commander, who serves as the air component commander to U.S. Strategic Command for strategic deterrence, global strike, strategic reconnaissance and cyberspace operations, and is also responsible for the security and defense of the Air Force`s global computer enterprise network. He stressed the critical importance of controlling the domain to safeguard the information used to conduct operations. 

"Cyber is absolute critical to everything we do," said Gen. Elder. "You can`t just be an air or space operator . . . if you are not a cyber operator, you are going to fail. If you can`t control and ensure your cyberspace, and you haven`t been prepared to deal with the fact that [this domain] will come under attack, than you will not be successful as a military operator." 

Next was Maj. Gen. William T. Lord, who is the commander of Air Force Cyberspace Command (Provisional). He`s responsible for overseeing the stand up the new AFCYBER command by Oct. 1 and is responsible for the organization, training, and equipping of cyber forces. 

"What is the stand up of an Air Cyber Command about?" said Gen. Lord. "It`s an Air Force focus on the Air Force protection and defense of the Air Force`s abilities to command and control our forces that we bring to the joint fight." 

He clarified that AFCYBER is an organization designed to protect and defend Air Force networks and provide forces to combatant commanders when needed for operational missions. 

In defining what it`s not, he stressed that it`s not the Air Force protecting all of America or even the Department of Defense as has been stated by some. Cyberspace, he said, is complex and that many federal organizations will work together to ensure safe operations in every aspect of cyberspace. 

The generals were also joined by a number of other key Air Force and DoD leaders who discussed the emerging and ever-expanding cyber challenges facing the nation. The theme for the symposium was "Equipping the Cyber Warrior to Fight in Cyberspace." 

It was the second cooperative symposium to focus on the Air Force`s efforts to develop its warfighting cyberspace capabilities. The first, hosted by the AFCYBER (P) and 8th AF was held in November 2007. This year`s event was also co-hosted by Hanscom AFB`s Electronic Systems Center and the Air Force Association`s Paul Revere Chapter.