Twenty-Fourth Air Force
|Twenty-Fourth Air Force – Air Forces Cyber|
33d Network Warfare Squadron, Joint Base San Antonio
|Active||18 August 2009 – present|
|Branch||United States Air Force|
|Part of||Air Force Space Command|
|Garrison/HQ||Lackland Air Force Base, Texas|
|Maj Gen J. Kevin McLaughlin|
|Emblem of Twenty-Fourth Air Force|
The Twenty-Fourth Air Force (24 AF) - Air Forces Cyber (AFCYBER) is a Numbered Air Force (NAF) with the United States Air Force (USAF). The USAF has consolidated its cyberspace combat and support forces into 24 AF. The Twenty-Fourth Air Force is the Air Force component of U.S. Cyber Command (USCYBERCOM). The current commander is Major General J. Kevin McLaughlin, who assumed command June 2013.
The Twenty-Fourth Air Force (24 AF) was originally intended to be a part of the now-defunct Air Force Cyber Command (AFCYBER); however, 24 AF became a component of the Air Force Space Command (AFSPC) on 18 August 2009.
In August 2008, then-new Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton A. Schwartz placed a stop order suspending implementation of Air Force Cyber Command (AFCYBER), halting personnel assignments and activation of units. On 6 October 2008, following its annual Corona conference, the Air Force announced that the activation of AFCYBER would not take place, and that a Numbered Air Force, the Twenty-Fourth (24 AF), would gain the cyber warfare mission as part of Air Force Space Command (AFSPC).
One key element under 24 AF is the Air Force's primary network warfare wing, the 67th Network Warfare Wing (67 NWW), headquartered at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas. The new NAF also gained the following units:
- The 688th Information Operations Wing (688 IOW) – Lackland Air Force Base, Texas
- The 689th Combat Communications Wing (689 CCW) – Robins Air Force Base, Georgia
- The 624th Operations Center (624 OC) (taking over duty and personnel of the 608th Air Force Network Operations Center (AFNOC)) – Lackland Air Force Base, Texas
- Although administratively aligned directly under Air Force Space Command, the Air Force Network Integration Center (AFNIC), formerly the Air Force Communications Agency, works closely with 24 AF on its mission to build and sustain Air Force networks.
Over 14,000 airmen make up the work force of 24 AF. Many of these are in place at other organizations, and Air Force units host cyber specialists from other organizations. Before the command was officially activated, the Air Force had announced six possible locations for the headquarters of 24 AF. The candidate locations were: Barksdale AFB, LA, Lackland AFB, TX, Langley AFB, VA, Offutt AFB, NE, Peterson AFB, CO and Scott AFB, IL.
On 15 May 2009, Air Force officials announced that Lackland is the preferred alternative, and the decision was confirmed on 12 August 2009. The organization officially stood-up on 18 August 2009. On 22 January 2010, 24 AF was certified by AFSPC/CC for its Initial Operational Capability (IOC). Full Operational Capability (FOC) was declared on 1 October 2010.
In 2014, the 24th provided the "Cyber Mission Force" for the Red Flag exercise for the first time. During U.S. Strategic Command's Global Lightning 14, the 24th operated as a Joint Force Headquarters - Cyber in support of a combatant commander during a large joint exercise for the first time.
- 67th Cyberspace Wing, Lackland AFB
- 26th Network Operations Group, Lackland AFB
- 67th Network Warfare Group, Lackland AFB
- 690th Cyberspace Operations Group, Lackland AFB
- 688th Information Operations Wing, Lackland AFB
- 38th Cyberspace Engineering Installation Group, Tinker AFB
- 318th Information Operations Group, Lackland AFB
- 689th Combat Communications Wing, Robins AFB
- 3d Combat Communications Group, Tinker AFB
- 5th Combat Communications Group, Robins AFB
- Maj Gen Richard E. Webber, August 2009 - 29 April 2011, first commander
- Maj Gen Suzanne M. Vautrinot, 29 April 2011 - June 2013
- Maj Gen J. Kevin McLaughlin, June 2013 - present
- Lord, William T., Major General, USAF (Fall 2008), USAF Cyberspace Command To Fly and Fight in Cyberspace, Strategic Studies Quarterly, United States Air Force, p. 15
- "Lackland chosen as cyber numbered Air Force headquarters". Af.mil. Archived from the original on 17 Jul 2012. Retrieved 19 May 2011.
- Tech. Sgt. Scott McNabb. "24th AF becomes AFCYBER". Af.mil. Archived from the original on 20 Jul 2012. Retrieved 19 May 2011.
- Frequently Asked Questions
- USAF Bio for James K. "Kevin" McLaughlin
- "Air Force senior leaders take up key decisions". Archived from the original on 2012-07-19.
- "Lackland chosen as cyber numbered Air Force headquarters". Afspc.af.mil. 8 December 2009. Retrieved 19 May 2011.
- San Antonio Express-News, "New Cyber Command Activated At Lackland AFB", 18 August 2009.
- This story was written by Gen. C. Robert Kehler (19 August 2009). "Twenty-Fourth Air Force Activation". 24af.af.mil. Retrieved 19 May 2011.
- 24 AF link "Air Force Cyber Numbered Air Force achieves initital operational capability, 26 Jan 2010"
- "24th AF reaches full capability". Airforcetimes.com. Retrieved 19 May 2011.
- Eshel, Tamir (15 March 2014). "Cyber Operations Become Part of the Red-Flag Game Plan". defense-update.com. Defense Update. Retrieved 15 March 2014.
- Hein, Meredith (18 June 2014). "Global Lightning electrifies the joint fight". www.afspc.af.mil (USAF). Retrieved 19 June 2014.
- USAF Bio for Richard E. Webber
- USAF Bio for Suzanne M. "Zan" Vautrinot
- Air Force Reserve Command
- Twenty-Fourth Air Force revised structure
- 24th Air Force Website
- Maj Gen Suzanne M. Vautrinot