AFSPC activates 24th Air Force

  • Published
  • By Gen. C. Robert Kehler
  • Air Force Space Command
Today is a historic day for Air Force Space Command. After months of discussion, direction and dedicated work by hundreds throughout the command, 24th Air Force at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas, has officially been activated.

Our command team has developed an extensive blueprint outlining the first 100 days for 24 AF. This blueprint is our guide to integrate cyberspace operations with those in air and space to support military operations across the spectrum of conflicts. Every military member touches the cyberspace domain and maintaining our ability to operate, defend and exploit cyberspace is a requirement all must meet. Every Airman in this command must skillfully execute the cyber mission.

While extensive effort went into the stand up of this unit, a great deal of work remains for our new cyberspace team and the entire command. Many of the lessons learned in operationalizing the space domain over the past 27 years will apply to our efforts to bring military rigor to our Air Force networks. Fortunately, these two domains share many of the same characteristics so our hard-won lessons will still be applicable.

Space and cyberspace share three key characteristics: access, persistence and awareness. The cyberspace domain links our globally dispersed military, granting access around the world and into space in a matter of milliseconds. Cyberspace and space share a global characteristic of persistence, whereby the access granted by both provides enduring coverage, denying safe havens to our adversaries. Finally, awareness provides us the strategic view of the environment, allowing us to determine where capabilities would be best employed to achieve desired end-states. This is the key: combining our capabilities brings game-changing effects to our military.

We must all serve as cyberspace defenders. There is no security forces squadron in cyberspace; we are duty bound to act responsibly every time we access a network. Education will be a key component in protecting this domain; therefore, it is imperative everyone remain vigilant. A risk accepted by one is a risk taken by all. Dedicating time to obtain the right education (CBTs, briefings and staying current with updates on the 24 AF web site: will enable every Airman to be the front line of defense in cyberspace.

Adding 24 AF to the AFSPC team culminates a 2-year Air Force effort to centralize cyber capabilities in support of the Joint warfighter and to adapt an operational perspective for this domain. Each member of Air Force Space Command has a vital role in our new cyberspace mission. Welcome to the team, 24 AF.