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Air Force's Cyber Command in holding pattern
Published: 2008-08-14

The U.S. Air Force suffered a setback this week in its mission to become top gun among the military services in cyberspace.

Following a NextGov report that the service had suspended the development of its Cyber Command program, the U.S. Air Force announced on Thursday that it was making "a fresh assessment of all our efforts". The Cyber Command would be the tenth command within the U.S. Air Force and had made public efforts, including recruiting videos, to set itself apart as the leading contender to defend the nation's cyberspace.

"The Secretary and Chief of Staff of the Air Force have considered delaying currently planned actions on Air Force Cyber Command to allow ample time for a comprehensive assessment of all AFCYBER requirements and to synchronize the AFCYBER mission with other key Air Force initiatives," the service said in a statement released Thursday.

The Air Force announced the Cyber Command -- originally referred to as the Cyberspace Command -- in 2006. The command set up shop at Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana, but intended to announce its permanent residence later this year. Other services also have cyberspace capabilities and the National Security Agency has taken an active role in cyber operations, including a broad, and controversial, wiretapping program.

U.S. companies and government agencies are constantly scouted out by potential attackers from all over the world. The Department of Defense has warned that China, in particular, could be a formidable adversary in cyberspace.

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Posted by: Robert Lemos
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