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First class of Information Operations Airmen completes 14F initial skills training course

A silver badge shaped like a sphere with a chess piece in the center and lightning bolts on each side.

The 14F functional badge depicts a gridlined sphere which represents the global domain of operations and the need to integrate information operations into Air Force and joint efforts across the globe, the chess piece portrays strategic thinking, while the lightning bolts symbolize the three core disciplines of Air Force Information Operations--military information support operations, operations security and military deception.

HURLBURT FIELD, Fla. --

In a ceremony that appropriately reflected their future operating environment, nine Airmen graduated from the first iteration of the 14F Information Operations (IO) Initial Skills Training course Dec. 11.

Due the COVID restrictions, the ceremony was held via video teleconference with the students and faculty in place at the 39th Information Operations Squadron, while 67th Cyberspace Wing leaders and guest speaker Brig. Gen. Eric DeLange, Director of Cyberspace Operations and Warfighter Communications, attended virtually.

The four and a half month long 14F Initial Skills Course’s curriculum covered critical thinking and applied social sciences, joint planning, joint targeting, information related capabilities, and training in each of the 14F core disciplines of military information support operations, operations security, and military deception. Class 20-01 was comprised of members of the 67th CW, Air Force Special Operations Command, National Air and Space Intelligence Center, 363rd Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance Wing, and the US Air Force Academy, who completed their training while simultaneously enduring a global pandemic and three hurricanes that drenched the Florida panhandle.

“[regardless of your backgrounds] one thing you all have in common is that you are all going to be part of the first class of the 14F Initial Skills course,” said DeLange.

As the 14F Functional Manager, DeLange has high hopes for the new graduates.

“I think about you as you graduate and where we are with regard to Information Warfare and Information Operations, and where we will be when you become senior leaders,” he said. “You will be the future experts as we go forward. The Air Force will rely on you to make the vision of IO a reality.”

Prior to the creation of the 14F Information Operations AFSC, Airmen from various Air Force Specialty Codes served in IO positions as career-broadening experiences for a limited period. Because these Airmen then returned to their primary career fields, the Air Force was limited in its ability to sustain institutional knowledge and practice of IO tactics, techniques and procedures. With the creation of the 14F AFSC, the Air Force is now able to standardize education and training for Airmen, build a foundation to cultivate IO expertise, and improve commanders’ ability to operate in more pervasive and connected information and operational environments.