USAF adds cyber training for recruits and officers

Apr 12, 2010 By DAN ELLIOTT , Associated Press Writer

(AP) -- The Air Force will train all new recruits in the basics of cyberwarfare and add more advanced schooling for others to help combat the growing threat of attacks on U.S. computer networks, a top commander said Monday.

Four-star Gen. Robert Kehler said details are still being worked out on a component for basic training, but it would be brief, perhaps an hour or two total, and would cover only the fundamentals.

A more advanced, undergraduate-level training program will begin in June to train officers and enlisted personnel for a new career field in cyber operations, Kehler said.

He likened it to existing undergraduate training for pilots, navigators, missile operators and space operators.

Kehler, who heads the Air Force Space Command at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs, spoke to the annual National Space Symposium and in a separate interview. The Space Command oversees the Air Force's cyberwarfare operations.

Kehler said the basic training component would cover such basic precautions as using firewalls and passwords.

"We teach them at basic training fundamentals of an M-16 (rifle), for example, and an M-9 (pistol), and so we want them to know the fundamentals of the computer network that they're going to be operating in," he said.

The more advanced training will last six months and include skills currently taught to communications operators plus additional skills in and vulnerabilities. That will be followed by more specific training.

The first class will include about 16 officers. Kehler said several sessions are planned each year because the Air Force will need to produce about 400 officers annually with skills in cyberwarfare.

They will be assigned jobs across the Air Force, including the 24th Air Force, based in Lackland Air Force Base, Texas, a component of the Space Command responsible for cyberwarfare and Air Force computer networks.

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bhiestand
not rated yet Apr 14, 2010
Sounds a lot like the basic Information Assurance course they already make everyone go through to use the AF's network as it is. Pretty simple stuff: don't click bad stuff, report viruses, don't respond to emails that ask for your password, etc.

It's already annually required training for the entire Air Force, so it makes sense for them to cover it for an hour or two in basic and get that requirement knocked out before airmen report to their first duty station.