SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. --
Air Force Academy “Cyberworx” cadets visited Scott Air Force Base Feb. 3 as part of a semester-long research project to define and refine the command and control relationships affecting today’s communications squadrons as they transition to become Cyber Squadrons.
The Cyberworx class is taking on unique Air Force cyber challenges and is visiting bases to conduct interviews and make first-person observations to more clearly define problems and analyze workable solutions.
“The presence of the major command, numbered Air Force, wing, and mission partners at Scott AFB, make it a target rich environment to examine the cyber command and control structure at multiple levels,” said Chief Master Sgt. Diane Slazinik, 375th Communications Group superintendent.
Cadets met with 375th Communications Group, 688th Cyber Operations Group, and 618th Air Operations Center servicemembers to explore different perspectives related to cyber command and control.
“As we maneuver our forces to defend cyberspace and increase our capabilities in that area, we continue to face challenges due to resource and financial constraints that impact the way we provide network and communications capabilities at the base and MAJCOM level,” said Slazinik.
“There are many things that still need to be decided about the future of our command and control structure, but we do know that increasing the diversity of the types of teams looking at the problem will lead us to better solutions in the end.”
As a result of the visit, the Cyberworx team will recommend changes to Air Force regulations to clarify operational reporting lines for cyber squadrons, taking into consideration the Air Force core missions, and the necessary support relationships with 24th Air Force.
“We were excited to share the challenges each organizational level experiences related to the current cyber C2 structure and provide real-world examples the team can use to inform their recommendations for the future,” said Slazinik. “The team was given more than enough information, but they were also given contact information to reach back to the personnel they visited, as they work on their project throughout the rest of the semester.”
“The visit went really well,” said Lt. Col. Jennifer Veigel, Cyberworx class trainer. “Slazinik coordinated a fantastic itinerary for us, and all of the units we visited were incredibly welcoming and helpful.
“Before they can attempt to design a better solution, they first need to understand the user experience.
“I think the team benefited a great deal from not only speaking directly with the users, but also seeing where they worked, viewing the types of documents and messages they received, and observing interactions within the work centers.
“All of these aspects provide clues into what the user experience is really like, and information that is difficult to gather from a teleconference.”