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Air Combat Command officially declares Full Operating Capability for Sixteenth Air Force (Air Forces Cyber)

  • Published
  • By Sharon Singleton and Jennifer Spires
  • Sixteenth Air Force (Air Forces Cyber)
Gen. Mike Holmes, Air Combat Command commander and Lt. Gen. Timothy D. Haugh, Sixteenth Air Force (Air Forces Cyber) commander declared Full Operating Capability for Sixteenth Air Force (Air Forces Cyber) during a virtual ceremony held here, Tuesday.

The declaration of FOC signifies that the Air Force’s Information Warfare organization met a rigorous set of criteria, including an approved concept of operations and demonstrated performance of mission under stress in simulated and real-world conditions.

“Today’s declaration of FOC demonstrates the Air Force’s trust and confidence in the Airmen of Sixteenth Air Force to deliver information warfare outcomes for the nation,” said Haugh.

In nine months and three days, the Airmen of the Sixteenth Air Force proved they are able to fully employ and maintain readiness to meet operational requirements. This is a testament to the commitment of every Airman who ensures the IW force is ready to defend the nation.

Haugh highlighted the IW Numbered Air Force’s readiness through the approach of convergence in response to our adversaries.  

“We have adopted an approach of convergence that enables a clear focus on these hard problems,” said Haugh. “Convergence takes a global viewpoint and uses access to data across each functional area to generate insights and…integrates IW capabilities to produce timely effects in the information environment.”

As the Sixteenth Air Force looks towards the future it will realize convergence by leveraging the inherent strengths of all the Sixteenth Air Force units.  

“Convergence has brought previously segmented elements in our enterprise together…to synchronize on common operational priorities that cross combatant command boundaries,” said Haugh.  “As we scale and build upon convergence in the information environment and implement material solutions that automate data awareness and sharing…we will begin to generate global outcomes at the speed of the information war.”

Holmes’ shared Haugh’s sentiments and believes the new combined environment has streamlined the way the Sixteenth Air Force gathers, integrates, implements and communicates IW technologies and the opportunities the NAF has given to expedite experimentation and create these modes of ingenuity that we need as a Joint Force to maintain our advantage will be easier to come by.
“Listening to everything the units are doing filled me with certainty that pulling this Numbered Air Force together was the right thing to do,” said Holmes.  “You’ve worked relentlessly to optimize the readiness, employment, and presentation of not just [intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance] resources but cyberspace, electromagnetic spectrum, and other information operation assets. It’s a great day for our United States and our combatant commanders as you have now presented new ways to use our assets to maintain our global superiority in this ever-evolving fight.”

Holmes concluded the ceremony by extending his thanks to the entire Sixteenth Air Force team and signing the FOC declaration.

“As you go forward I believe that it’s going to be crucial for you to continually develop the United States multi-domain warfighting capabilities and to ensure that our methods are the most effective, most lethal, and that they remain on the cutting edge. I believe that the establishment of the Sixteenth Air Force will help us to modernize the way information flows from Airmen to 4-star generals.” said Holmes.

The Sixteenth Air Force (Air Forces Cyber) is the first-of-its-kind NAF. Also known as the Air Force’s IW NAF, the Sixteenth Air Force integrates multisource ISR, cyber warfare, electronic warfare, information operations, and weather 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 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. Sixteenth Air Force is empowered Airmen delivering outcomes for the nation.