Cybersecurity · cyberwar · Information operations

The Cyber Edge: Posturing the US Air Force for the Information Age

By Lt Gen William J. Bender, USAF (Ret.)


The United States has assembled the best Air Force for the industrial age, and it must now transform itself to retain supremacy in the digital age. To effect this transformation, Airmen must think and act differently about how they will face adversaries in 21st century warfare. First, there must be a laser focus on mission assurance across all domains, and ensuring our cyber-connected platforms can achieve success through contested domains. Everything the service accomplishes must benefit the mission. Second, the Air Force must have a trained and ready workforce to meet the core mission requirements today and into the future. The service must consider partnering with private entities that provide services that will free Airmen to engage in more mission-direct tasks. Third, Airmen must treat data as a strategic asset. Placing the right information with the right person at the right time affords us the opportunity to make smart battlefield decisions before our adversaries can act. Finally, the Air Force must manage IT at the enterprise level. At the scale of our networks, if we continue to build local solutions to enterprise problems, the service and the Department of Defense won’t be able to sustain the costs. The Air Force must address each of these issues with a sense of urgency if the Air Force is going to adapt to and overcome future threats and adversaries in the 21st century.

Report available here.