About Sixteenth Air Force (Air Forces Cyber)

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.

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.

Who We Are?
Sixteenth Air Force operates globally across nine wings and two centers presenting capabilities to generate insights on our adversaries while simultaneously ensuring and having the capabilities and the capacity to persistently engage and respond appropriately to threats today, in the future, and across the competition continuum. The 16th Air Force commander has unique and distinct roles and responsibilities. 16th Air Force is responsible to: 

  • The Director, National Security Agency / Chief, Central Security Service, as the Air Force's authority for matters involving the conduct of cryptologic activities, including the spectrum of missions related to tactical war-fighting and national-level operations.  
  • The Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence and Security, as a Defense Intelligence Component, for performing foreign intelligence missions and functions, and providing intelligence oversight of those missions and functions. 
  • Air Combat Command and the air components for organizing, training, and equipping; and force presentation of assigned forces. 
  • U.S. Cyber Command and the U.S. Air Force for building, extending, operating, securing, and defending the Air Force portion of the Department of Defense information network. 
  • U.S. Cyber Command as the Commander of Air Force Forces (COMAFFOR), for presentation of cyber forces to other cyber components as directed. 
  • U.S. Cyber Command, U.S. European Command, U.S. Space Command, and U.S. Strategic Command, for performing operational planning and execution of offensive and defensive cyberspace operations. 

These responsibilities, unified under a single commander, are the cornerstone of 16th Air Force's ability to converge on problems and generate outcomes on strategic competition. It is the integration of the various operational capabilities and access to global data, leveraged against specific problems, with the appropriate organic authorities, and acting by, with and through partners, that forms the foundation of information warfare. 

16th Air Force (Air Forces Cyber) History


16AF Legacy Magazine16AF History (1957)
    16th Air Force Legacy 2021            16th Air Force 1957 History
 

Lines of Effort

  • Generate insights
    Understanding the adversary is the foundation of information warfare
  • Linking authorities and partnerships to deliver options that produce outcomes -- exposing adversary actions and refuting plausible deniability
  • Prepare for Escalation
    Preparing information warfare options that provide commanders opportunities to manage escalation