William Marion, Secretary of the Air Force deputy chief information officer, conducted a cyber personnel all-call
The all-call addressed changes coming to the Air Force’s cyber community and the importance of maintaining cyber readiness.
As the cyber industry transitions from Air Force Space Command to Air Combat Command, changes include: squadron transformation from communications squadrons to cyber squadrons, enterprise information technology as a service (EITaaS) and changes in leadership philosophy.
“Our vision is for a transformed enterprise that fully enables operations, agile combat support, service support and sustainment,” said Marion. “My commitment to you is that we will be dedicated to the retraining that comes from this change. We need every person in the Air Force Information Technology business. Our business is always changing, so it’s important that we support, mentor and develop one another.”
Marion commented on the need for a global, resilient, scalable network that thrives.
“Our business is fundamentally about speed now,” said Marion. “Ten years ago, we were afforded the luxury of being able to go at the speed we wanted to go to make sure we got everything right. I would argue that the longer we wait, the worse solution we deliver. That’s what you’re going to see with EITaaS. It’s driving commercial capabilities as common as possible with respect to standardization. It gives you scale and it gives you interoperability.”
Measures are being taken to address the coming transformation.
“We’re building a CONOP for the workforce transformation, because we recognize that’s going to be a pretty big shift,” said Marion. “What I foresee us doing as part of the EITaaS program, just like any other program, there’s re-tooling dollars and re-training dollars embedded in that program. That’s work we’re going through right now. We don‘t know what that training is yet, but there is a task force internally building that CONOPS out to capture those things and work the funding for it.”
Master Sgt. George Carabin, Air Force Special Operations Command A6 (communications and information directorate) warfighter and integration manager, commented on the importance of Marion’s all-call.
“This provided a vision for where cyber is heading, not just IT and communications,” said Carabin. “We’re very much interested in the comm squadron and the headquarters, so hearing his cyber vision was important. The move from space to ACC was an opportunity to re-do the way we do cyber within the Air Force. It’s not just an idea, it’s a mindset.”
Marion ended the all-call with a note of thanks to the cyber community this will impact.
“I want to say thank you,” said Marion. “I know the demands on you are incredible; readiness on the officer and enlisted side, deployments, all of those kind of things wear on you. The ops tempo is crazy. You are dedicated and you make things happen every single day. In this community, there’s a whole evolution to the warfighter, and you are right there. I just want to say thank you. I really appreciate everything you do.”