U.S. Air Force Gen. Mike Holmes, commander of Air Combatant Command shown here in February 2018 in Orlando, declared the 16th Air Force, also known as Air Force Cyber, fully operational in a virtual ceremony this month. Photo by Rusty Frank/U.S. Air Force
July 21 (UPI) -- The Sixteenth Air Force, also known as Air Forces Cyber, is now at full operating capacity, officials announced this month.
According to the Air Force, the declaration means the Air Force's Information Warfare organization "met a rigorous set of criteria, including an approved concept of operations and demonstrated performance of mission under stress in simulated and real-world conditions."
Gen. Mike Holmes, Air Combat Command commander and Lt. Gen. Timothy D. Haugh, Sixteenth Air Force (Air Forces Cyber) commander made the announcement during a virtual ceremony held at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland July 14.
"Today's declaration of FOC demonstrates the Air Force's trust and confidence in the Airmen of Sixteenth Air Force to deliver information warfare outcomes for the nation," Haugh said.
Holmes' said the new combined environment has streamlined the way the Sixteenth Air Force gathers, integrates, implements and communicates IW technologies and the opportunities the NAF has given to expedite experimentation and create these modes of ingenuity that we need as a joint force to maintain our advantage will be easier to come by.
The 16th Air Force is the newest numbered air force, and was established in October 2019 at a ceremony at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas.
It encompasses wings dedicated to reconnaissance, aircraft, cyberspace and intelligence.
It also includes the Air Force Technical Applications Center, and more than 32,000 Air Force personnel and civilians are involved.