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Friday, May 29, 2009

Cyber security a top priority for Obama, and a chunk of the work is happening here

President Barak Obama announced today that he's creating a new office for cybersecurity with a cyberspace coordinator. That person will be a member of the National Security Staff and the National Economic Coucil, both groups are top advisors to the President.

The announcement came after a 60-day policy review that yielded a report more than 70 pages long.

The military has been catching the wave of all things cyber and the Air Force tried to create a major command, only to be trumped by nuclear operations. Given the ups and downs of nuclear ops in the last year or so and the lack of nuclear ops doctrine -- which was written at Maxwell and recently approved -- it makes sense to create a command that deals with it.

Instead, the Air Force opted to create a Numbered Air Force to deal with cyber issues and has done so. It's still standing up but there's talk now of a sub-unified command for cyber operations under the Department of Defense. The New York Times ran a story today on it today that Obama would order DOD to create such a command, but defense officials are staying mum. The Times has reported that the cyber command would fall under U.S. Strategic Command, which already deals with some cyber missions.

Air Force Times reported earlier this month that the head of STRATCOM, Air Force Gen. Kevin Chilton wants DOD to consolidate its cyber units under STRATCOM, at Offutt AFB in Nebraska.

A Pentagon spokesman told me that nothing has been decided and that until that happens, they aren't speculating or release any details of the maybe, maybe not cyber command.

Maxwell and the Montgomery area had been in the running for the Air Force's cyber command the NAF, but didn't make the cut on either. Montgomery is a cyber hub for the Air Force, but a few other areas like Barksdale AFB in Louisiana and Hanscom AFB in Massachussettes are also major hubs and units at Gunter Annex report to Hanscom.

The 24th Air Force, falls under Air Force Space Command, and the basing decision is still in the works. Lackland AFB in Texas has been named as the prefered location.


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I grew up in the military. Mom was an Air Force nurse for a few years, dad was a navigator on B-52s, among other things. One grandfather served in World War II, uncle is retired Navy, other grandfather and great-uncle served in Korea and a cousin is currently serving in the Marine Corps. Currently, I'm the military reporter for the Great Falls Tribune in Montana. Previously, 

As a military kids, we moved all over. As an adult, I've traveled all over and moved for work. But now, I'm putting down roots in Montana with my boyfriend. We just bought a house and are slowly but surely making it our home. We have more land that we know what to do with at the moment. Now we're getting a garden started, tearing down walls and having loads of fun at what we call the Homestead.

In a part life, I did PR for the guy who built the Vietnam Veterans Memorial on the National Mall, social media for the National Museum of Health and Medicine, before that, edited two military technology magazines for a publishing group in the DC area and before that, I was the military reporter (among other things) at the Montgomery Advertiser, covering Maxwell Air Force Base, the Alabama National Guard, veterans and anything else military related in the area. And in between all of that, I leave town, preferably the country, whenever possible. It all started when I spent a semester in New Zealand.

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