Information Warfare: 8th Air Force Returns To Its Roots


October 12, 2007: The U.S. Air Force, which has long pioneered Cyber War efforts, is now establishing job specialties (and career paths) for Cyber War specialists. Last year, the air force began assembling forces for a separate command to carry out its Cyber War operations. The air force has always aggressively sought out new work, and Cyber War is seen as a growth area.

In the past, the air force was quick to claim orbital space, and beyond, as its own. With the appearance, and growth of the Internet, the air force has been quick to develop competence in that area. Therefore, the Air Force Cyberspace Task Force quickly turned into the 8th Air Force, which is now the Cyber War Command for the air force. Officially it will be called the Air Force Cyberspace Command (AFCYBER).

The air force has long been a pioneer in electronic warfare, and began assembling teams of Internet warfare specialists in the late 1990s. This activity has grown to be one of the largest Cyber War organizations in the world. The new air force command will combine these new Cyber War activities, with some of the older electronic warfare ones.

Reviving the 8th Air Force for this task has tremendous historical meaning. During World War II, the 8th Air Force was responsible for the bombing of Germany, and other targets in Europe. This led to the first Cyber War. Allied and German electronic weapons, and countermeasures, showed up in combat at dizzying speed. Just about every type of electronic warfare weapon in use today, first showed up over the skies of Europe during World War II. In a way, the 8th Air Force is back in the same business it started out in.

Thousands of existing air force electronic warfare specialists will be assigned, or offered, jobs in AFCYBER. But with the new job specialties, the air force will begin recruiting officers and airmen for careers in Cyber War jobs.


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