Assured C2 for Airpower: A Proposed US Air Force Cyber Strategy

The Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies is pleased to release the ninth entry in its Mitchell Forum paper series, Assured C2 for Airpower: A Proposed US Air Force Cyber Strategy, by Lt Gen Stan T. Kresge, USAF (Ret.).

Over the past 25 years, the US Air Force has enjoyed unchallenged command and control (C2) of its forces in combat. No adversary has successfully targeted Air Force networks and supporting cyber systems to a degree that has impacted operations. Kresge, the former commander of 13th Air Force and vice commander of Pacific Air Forces, believes this dominance is coming to an end as adversaries gain capability and seek to disrupt and attack the cyber networks which support modern aerospace operations.

In this paper Kresge looks at the nexus between cyber and C2 in modern operations by examining lessons from his own experiences in PACAF, how to reduce airpower’s vulnerability to cyber-attacks, and how to use cyber effectively to preserve the critical US Air Force dominance in C2. By improving training, key capabilities, and organizations, he argues, the service will better prepare its airmen to use cyber in future operations to protect our valuable C2 edge. “Cyber, in any conflict, will be everyone’s business,” Kresge notes.

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