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The Future of Information Warfare

Officer in uniform speaks to a group.

U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Timothy D. Haugh, 16th Air Force (Air Forces Cyber) commander, offers his opening remarks at the 2021 Senior Leadership Summit held at Joint Base San Antonio, Lackland, Nov. 8, 2021. The Senior Leadership Summit is an annual event that allows the 16th AF leadership and wing commanders to collaborate, listen and discuss innovations, initiatives, and challenges in the 16th AF organization.

Chief Master Sgt. Kenneth Bruce Jr. speaks to a group.

U.S. Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Kenneth Bruce Jr., 16th Air Force (Air Forces Cyber) command chief, speaks to the attendees at the 2021 Senior Leadership Summit held at Joint Base San Antonio - Lackland, Texas, Nov. 8, 2021. The Senior Leadership Summit is an annual event that allows 16th Air Force leadership and wing commanders to collaborate, listen and discuss innovations, initiatives, and challenges in the 16th Air Force organization.

Airman in uniform speaks to a group.

U.S. Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Sabrina Sullivan-Green, command chief of 480th Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance Wing, speaks at the 2021 Senior Leadership Summit at Joint Base San Antonio - Lackland, Nov. 8, 2021. The Senior Leadership Summit is an annual event that allows the 16th Air Force leadership and wing commanders to collaborate, listen and discuss innovations, initiatives, and challenges in the 16th Air Force organization.

Officer in uniform speaks to a group.

U.S. Air Force Col. Kayle Stevens, 480th Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance Wing commander, speaks at the 2021 Senior Leadership Summit at Joint Base San Antonio, Lackland, Nov. 08, 2021.The Senior Leadership Summit is an annual event that allows the 16th AF leadership and wing commanders to collaborate, listen and discuss innovations, initiatives, and challenges in the 16th AF organization.

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas -- Sixteenth Air Force leaders, various wing command teams, and group command teams gathered in-person and virtually here Nov. 8-9 to meet and discuss the future of the Air Force’s only Information Warfare command.

Lt. Gen. Timothy D. Haugh, 16th Air Force commander, said the main goal of the leadership summit was to collaborate as leaders and see how the various commanders are accepting the challenge at their local levels. Haugh noted that for this summit, his goal was to embrace and embody the principles of collaboration, connection, empowerment, innovation, and outcome focus in keeping with 16th Air Force Phoenix culture.

“I could not be more excited to have everyone in the same room,” Haugh said. “I am proud of how you have handled the challenges in front of you over the last couple of years.”

The summit's theme aligned with the Chief of Staff Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr.’s national strategic guidance initiative "Accelerate change or lose." Over two days, 16th Air Force leadership and Headquarters Air Force leaders spoke to wing commanders, command chiefs, and civilian leadership. They discussed multiple topics, including; operational outcomes, wing support, staff maturation, investing in Airmen, and diversity and inclusion.

Sixteenth Air Force Command Chief, Chief Master Sgt. Kenneth Bruce emphasized the information warfare community doesn’t move without the 16th Air Force, whether it is command and control, global ISR, or protecting Air Force networks. “I hope you use this week to connect with each other and see where you fit in the puzzle,” said Bruce.  “Understand how our Airmen are in the fight daily. None of it happens without this NAF. This NAF is the backbone of the United States Air Force.”

Col. Kayle Stevens, 480th Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance Wing commander, highlighted the 16th Air Force Senior Leadership Summit which provided senior leaders a moment to step back and consider the big picture.  The summit also provided a venue for leaders to listen and leverage the intellectual capital across the wings within the NAF and our National Air and Space Intelligence Center mission partners.  

“For me, the best part of the event is spending time with fellow wing commanders, senior enlisted leaders, and NAF senior leaders,” Stevens said. “Hearing how they are solving problems and accelerating change across their wings is inspiring.  I always learn something new from them and their leadership.”

According to Haugh, 16th Air Force is working to posture itself to better address the demands of the National Defense Strategy by driving the Air Force to operate more in the competition phase, as opposed to waiting until the conflict phase of warfare.

Sixteenth Air Force (Air Forces Cyber), headquartered at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas, is the first-of-its-kind NAF. Also known as the Air Force’s Information Warfare NAF, 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.