The 39 total force teams, comprising more than 1,700 Airmen, civilians and contractors, were deemed sufficiently manned, trained and fully mission-ready more than four months ahead of the September 30 U.S. Cyber Command deadline.
“We’ve reached an enormous military cyber milestone and we’re excited about what AFCYBER can deliver to our service and the joint cyber fight,” said Maj. Gen. Chris Weggeman, AFCYBER commander. “Our teams are integral in performing and achieving the common-core mission of cyberspace superiority shared across all Department of Defense services.”
As the action arm of CYBERCOM, the 133-team CMF executes the command’s mission to direct, synchronize, and coordinate cyberspace operations in defense of the nation’s interests.
The Air Force began building its contribution to the CMF in 2013, along with the Army’s 41 teams, Navy’s 40 teams and Marine Corps’ 13 teams. The Air Force build includes 15 Air National Guard squadrons and one Air Force Reserve squadron, which provide both continuously mobilized forces as well as increased surge capacity.
This FOC milestone completes the personnel and training aspects of the CMF build. Now the respective service commanders can focus on mission readiness of the force.
“I’m very proud of the total force team as this is an important milestone in maintaining cyber superiority,” said Gen. Jay Raymond, Commander of Air Force Space Command. “All efforts now focus on continuing to improve readiness to increase warfighting lethality in support of the National Defense Strategy.”
Once manned and trained, AFCYBER assessed each Air Force team’s ability to defend against and engage simulated cyber threats during themed exercises. These results were then validated by CYBERCOM to declare the team’s operational capability.
To maintain each team’s readiness level, many CMF Airmen will fulfill back-to-back CMF assignments as new Airmen are continually trained and added to teams.
“This is the battlefield of today and our cyber forces are ready,” said Weggeman. “The need for this CMF will remain long into the future, and we will continue to evolve our cyber experts to combat the malicious cyber actors seeking to do us harm.”