Science and Technology News

Monday, November 2, 2015

JBSA-Lackland hosts USAF first Cyberspace LVC workshop

by Jessica Turner
24th Air Force Public Affairs

10/30/2015 - JBSA-LACKLAND, San Antonio, Texas -- The U.S. Air Force conducted its first Cyberspace Live, Virtual and Constructive (LVC) workshop at JBSA-Lackland 20 - 22 October.  In conjunction with 24th Air Force - AFCYBER, the Air Force Agency for Modeling and Simulation (AFAMS) led the 3-day workshop focused on enterprise LVC and cyberspace technologies.

AFAMS is the lead agent for centralized management of Air Force cross-functional and shared Live, Virtual and Constructive Operational Training (LVC-OT) foundational capabilities, and resources supporting the Air Force Core Missions. Organizers developed the workshop not only based on cyber threats facing the nation, but emphasized the importance of continued integration of cyber technology and LVC.

The workshop also consisted of briefings and discussion panels to develop recommendations and capture action items focused on training for cyber operators and warfighters who depend on cyber capabilities.

Maj. Gen. Ed Wilson, 24th Air Force commander, provided the keynote address, detailing a number of initiatives to align the efforts of 24 AF with those of the Combat Air Forces.  He explained the concept of implementing a Director of Cyber Forces (DIRCYFOR), and how a new leadership position can provide the critical link to coordinate cyber activities with those of the air operations center.  As a leader in realistic cyber training and operations, the general emphasized an AF need for LVC in strengthening warfighter readiness; reiterating the commitment of Air Force leadership and continued integration of air, space and cyberspace training into full-spectrum capabilities.

The workshop was not limited to cyberspace professionals.  Col. Cloyce Adams, USAFE Warrior Preparation Center commander, talked about his experience as an Electronic Warfare Officer and how 700 hours of combat experience in the F-15 Strike Eagle and F-14 Tomcat prepared him for the rapid development of AF cyber technology.  As the commander of a premier AF training center focused on honing warfighter skills, Adams is aware of the requirement to integrate cyber not only into AF training programs, but also planning and operational execution.

The workshop brought together a broad audience of participants to also discuss current cyber events and the future of cyber-security training and operations.  In attendance were military and industry representatives including Headquarters Air Force, Office of the Under Secretary of Defense - Acquisitions, Technology, & Logistics, Pacific Command, five AF Major Commands, the Air Force Research Lab and several subordinate units.  Other support entities included the U.S. Army and several national research labs.

The workshop was a success with the efforts and coordination by Mr. James Hird, Distributed Mission Operations Center (DMOC-Cyber) director, and the entire staff at the 90th Information Operation Squadron as hosts to this year's event.  "While we hoped for a larger audience, the depth and breadth of the participation was fantastic," said Hird.  "We couldn't have had a better group to cover this multi-dimensional problem."

AFAMS facilitator and DoD LVC Integration lead, Mr. Mike McGee is also optimistic. "I think we hit a homerun with this workshop!  However, we must remember we are still in the first inning.  There is more work to be done," McGee stated.

Lt. Col. Kylie Weigle, 24 AF Chief of Operations and Training, and LVC workshop facilitator agreed and suggested annual workshops in an effort to continue the working relationships and strategic development between cyber and LVC. "We are already looking at next year's calendar and determining an appropriate time between major exercises for our next workshop," Weigle said.  "We don't want to lose the momentum we've started.  With more time to plan next year's workshop, we can be even more effective at identifying solutions to the challenges that exist today," he added.

"LVC is the best way to be ready; to have the best tools out there. The goal is to sustain and enhance readiness by enabling effective, relevant, realistic, and efficient training and test in a secure, persistent, and ultimately global LVC domain for Air, Space, and Cyberspace," said McGee.

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