The Sixteenth Air Force (Air Forces Cyber), headquartered at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas, is the first-of-its-kind Numbered Air Force. Also known as the Air Force’s Information Warfare Numbered Air Force, the 16th integrates multisource intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance, cyber warfare, electronic warfare, and information operations capabilities across the conflict continuum to ensure that our Air Force is fast, lethal and fully integrated in both competition and in war. Sixteenth Air Force (Air Forces Cyber) provides mission integration of IW at operational and tactical levels… recognizing the role of information in creating dilemmas for adversaries in competition and, if necessary, future conflicts.
Intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance analyzes adversary intent and capabilities and conducts targeting to deter, dissuade, and defeat adversaries to achieve decision advantage. Cyber warfare conducts offensive and defensive cyber effects operations and delivers secure command and control through resilient warfighter communications. Electronic warfare spans the electromagnetic spectrum and includes protecting our interests and denying adversary electromagnetic spectrum advantage. Information operations defends missions through operations security via military and denial and deception operations.
Sixteenth Air Force (Air Forces Cyber) is the Service Cryptologic Component responsible to the National Security Agency/Central Security Service for Air Force matters involving the conduct of cryptologic activities, including the full spectrum of missions directly related to both tactical warfighting and national-level operations. In addition to commanding Sixteenth Air Force (Air Forces Cyber) the commander is the Joint Force Headquarters-Cyber (Air Force) director. Joint Force Headquarters-Cyber personnel perform operational planning as part of coordinated efforts to support Air Force component and combatant commanders and, upon approval of the President and/or Secretary of Defense, the execution of offensive cyberspace operations. All combined, Sixteenth Air Force (Air Forces Cyber) is empowered Airmen delivering outcomes for our nation.
What Is Information Warfare?
The employment of military capabilities in and through the information environment to deliberately affect adversary human and system behavior and preserve friendly freedom of action during cooperation, competition, and conflict. While any capability can be used to create an informational effect, the principal Air Force capabilities integrated and applied to achieve desired effects in the information environment are cyberspace operations; electronic warfare; information operations; and intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance.
Wings and Center
Sixteenth Air Force (Air Forces Cyber) operates globally across nine wings and one center to provide capabilities to persistently engage with the adversary of today and protect the future of our nation.
9th Reconnaissance Wing; Beale Air Force Base, California
The 9th RW provides strategic and tactical high-altitude imagery, signals, and ground moving target indicator collection to the highest levels of national leadership. The wing comprises four groups at Beale and multiple overseas operating locations supporting seven combatant commands, while operating and maintaining the Air Force’s fleet of U-2 and RQ-4 aircraft across the globe. The 9th RW mission is to train, deploy, and employ 9th RW Airmen and assets to deliver globally integrated high altitude reconnaissance in support of national objectives.
55th Wing; Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska
The 55th WG conducts a global flying mission providing worldwide reconnaissance, treaty verification, and agile combat support to national leadership and warfighters across the spectrum of conflict. The wing comprises five groups, 31 squadrons, and two detachments to execute missions from home base and operating locations around the world. Additionally, the wing partners with NSA, the Defense Threat Reduction Agency, and the Royal Air Force to provide dominant ISR, employ attack capabilities, deliver secure and survivable command and control, enable national treaty verification activities, and provide global presidential support. The 55th WG mission is to provide global information and electronic warfare dominance… any time, any place.
67th Cyberspace Wing, Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas
The 67th CW is the Air Force’s newest combat wing, serving as the Sixteenth Air Force (Air Forces Cyber) execution arm for generating, projecting, and sustaining combat power with the employment of the Cyberspace Vulnerability Assessment/Hunter weapon system. The wing comprises three groups and 26 units across seven operating locations, and employs more than 2,000 Airmen, civilians, and contractors to conduct network operations, defense, attack and exploitation in service of the Air Force, combatant commands and national agencies. The 67th CW mission is to operate and fight in and through cyberspace.
70th Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance Wing; Fort George G. Meade, Maryland
The 70th ISRW conducts global ISR in air, space, and cyberspace. The wing comprises six groups, 21 squadrons, and six detachments across 36 operating locations. Additionally, wing Airmen predominantly work alongside NSA and U.S. Cyber Command professionals in support of national intelligence requirements; and build partnerships across the intelligence community in support of Air Force needs. The 70 ISRW mission is to execute global signals, cyber, and space ISR for national decision makers and combatant commanders.
319th Reconnaissance Wing; Grand Forks Air Force Base, North Dakota
The 319th RW delivers air, space, and cyberspace capabilities to combatant commands. The wing comprises two groups and nine squadrons operating globally. Additionally, the wing supports the U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) Office of Air and Marine–North Dakota Air Branch and its National Air Security Operations Center. The CBP operates MQ-9 Predator B aircraft out of Grand Forks and provides high-quality streaming video to first responders. The 319th Communication Squadron operates the High Frequency Global Communications System, providing operational support of senior leader communications for all DoD agencies, including the President of the United States. The 319th RW is responsible for providing the infrastructure and operational support to the 69th Reconnaissance Group’s RQ-4 Global Hawk mission.
363d Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance Wing; Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia
The 363d ISRW conducts lethal, resilient, and ready operations in four core mission areas: analysis for air, space, and cyber operations; full-spectrum targeting; special operations ISR; and ISR testing, tactics development and advanced training. The wing comprises three groups and two detachments with a footprint spanning 15 states, as well as England and Japan. The wing produces tailored geospatial and comprehensive threat analysis products to Air Force units employing air power. The 363d ISRW mission is to deliver integrated content-dominant analytical expertise, precision targeting, production, and special operations ISR support to the operational and tactical warfighter enabling combat power in air, space, and cyberspace.
480th Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance Wing; Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia
The 480th ISRW provides a comprehensive set of ISR capabilities for the Air Force Distributed Common Ground System (DCGS), as well as the national cryptologic, information technology, cyber ISR, tactical analysis, Combined Forces Air Component Commander (CFACC)-support, and national-to-tactical signals intelligence integration. The wing comprises six groups, 23 squadrons, and three detachments operating in four locations. The 480th ISRW is functionally aligned to span the full spectrum of ISR operations, from humanitarian assistance to major theater conflict, leveraging federated mission partners to synchronize timely, relevant intelligence regionally aligned to support combatant command operations.
557th Weather Wing; Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska
The 557th Weather Wing, headquartered at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska, is the Air Force’s only weather wing. Comprised of 1,450 personnel and spanning 19 globally dispersed locations, the mission of the 557th Weather Wing is to exploit timely, accurate, and relevant weather information anytime and everywhere on the globe. This is accomplished through around-the-clock authoritative terrestrial and space-environmental data, analyses, forecasts, threat-warning and threat-mitigation products and services for the Department of Defense, the National Intelligence Community, White House Situation Room, interagency, and allied and coalition partners around the world. The 557th empowers decision makers to “Choose the weather for battle” and achieve our nation’s objectives.
688th Cyberspace Wing, Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas
The 688th CW is the Air Force's premier cyberspace warfighting organization dedicated to deployable tactical communications, engineering and installation capabilities, defensive cyber operations, and network operations across the Air Force enterprise. The wing comprises four groups and 18 squadrons across 10 operating locations. The 688th CW mission is to deliver innovative and responsive combat capabilities in defense of the nation.
Air Force Technical Applications Center, Patrick Air Force Base, Florida
AFTAC is a wing-equivalent center that provides national authorities quality technical measurements to monitor nuclear treaty compliance, and develops advanced proliferation detection technologies to preserve our nation’s security. The center comprises two groups, seven squadrons, 10 detachments, and six operating locations to monitor nuclear event detection and compliance. AFTAC operates and maintains the U.S. Atomic Energy Detection System, using scientific means to obtain and evaluate technical data on nuclear treaty monitoring and compliance to signatory foreign government nations.