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News > Training evolves to support cyber mission
Training evolves to support cyber mission

Posted 7/1/2009   Updated 7/1/2009 Email story   Print story


by Susan Griggs
81st Training WIng Public Affairs

7/1/2009 - KEESLER AiR FORCE BASE, Miss.  -- Keesler's training mission is expanding to support Air Force cyber warfare requirements.
"Our communications and information training mission, which will be restructured as the cyber training mission, has always been at Keesler," said Lt. Col. Scott Solomon, 333rd Training Squadron commander. 

"On the officer side, the biggest change is the stand-up of undergraduate cyber training, which will consist of the current material taught in the basic communications officer course, as well as information on cyber operations," Colonel Solomon explained. "The course will go from a 23-day temporary duty to a 23-week permanent change of station." 

A training planning team with Air Staff, Air Education and Training Command, Air Force Space Command, Air Force Institute of Technology and other agency representatives will meet at Keesler Aug. 3-7 to finalize curriculum. 

The meeting takes place at Stennis Hall, Keesler's sensitive compartmented information facility for top secret instruction. The existing 11,000-square-foot SCIF will be expanded to 20,000 square feet to accommodate student throughput. 

Officer training is projected to be 115 training days with an annual throughput of 385 students -- 227 new accessions and 158 Air National Guard, Reserve and civilian students. 

The course is scheduled to stand up in October 2010, but efforts are under way to accelerate the launch to June 2010 to capture the entire active-duty FY10 year group. 

Training will include information to design, secure, assess, exploit, attack and defend seven types of networks -- telephony, Internet protocol, satellite, land mobile radio, industrial control systems, integrated air defense and tactical data link. 

"On the enlisted side, about 230 enlisted members each year are expected to receive initial skills training following the stand-up of the cyber operator career fields," Colonel Solomon stated. "Facilities, equipment and instructors will be shared with the officer initial skills course. 

"In addition, we are developing new courses to meet the training needs for 3D Air Force Specialty Code transition," he continued. "For example, the creation of a dedicated 3D AFSC for information assurance is long overdue. Cyber surety professionals will help ensure the bad guys don't get in to our networks and also fills the current void of ensuring those within the domain are not stealing our data or performing illegal activities." 

An AETC site survey team found Keesler to be well-positioned for the restructured training, according to 333rd TRS officials. The team evaluated billeting, dining, classroom facilities and base team support, including utilities, community planning, communications capability, environmental planning factors and antiterrorism issues.

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