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16th Air Force established as cyberwarfare unit

By Ed Adamczyk
16th Air Force established as cyberwarfare unit
Lt. Gen. Timothy Haugh R, assumes command of Sixteenth Air Force from Gen. Mike Holmes, Air Combat Command commander, L, in a ceremony at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas, on Oct. 11. Photo by TSgt. R.J. Biermann

Oct. 16 (UPI) -- The newest numbered air force, the 16th Air Force, dedicated to cyberwarfare, has been established in a ceremony at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas.

Lt. Gen. Timothy Haugh assumed command in a ceremony on Oct.11. The 24th and 25th Air Forces were inactivated and integrated into the new force, the Air Force announced this week.

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The "16th Air Force (Air Forces Cyber)," created in March by the U.S. Air Force, is now the single headquarters for global intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, cyber, electronic warfare and information operations.

It encompasses wings dedicated to reconnaissance, aircraft, cyberspace and intelligence, as well as the Air Force Technical Applications Center, and the involvement of 32,000 Air Force personnel and civilians.

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"This is an important and historic day for our Air Force... the stand-up of the 16th Air Force as an information warfare-focused numbered air force," said Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David L. Goldfein. "Today's ceremony isn't just about pulling organizations together, it is creating opportunity for new operational art to compete against transregional, all-domain and multifunctional challenges and conduct operations in the information environment."

As a "numbered air force," the new organization takes the name of the group involved with the Strategic Air Command in the 1950s and inactivated in 2014.

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The 16th Air Force is charged with operating, maintaining and defending the branch's information networks, as well as direction mission critical cyber terrain, provides multisource intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance products. The command will also serve as the service cryptologic component working with the National Security Agency and Central Security Service for other Air Force-related cryptologic activities.

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