Wednesday, October 8, 2008

"Done Deal" is undone: No Cyber Command at Barksdale

The Air Force has announced their intention to modify plans to stand up a separate Cyber Command, instead concentrating cyber units under a new numbered air force.

The cyber command mission will be taken over by Air Force Space Command which is located at Peterson AFB in Colorado.

You will recall that last fall Bossier City Mayor Lo Walker said that Air Force Cyber Command at Barksdale was a 'done deal'.

The done deal has been undone.

Despite warnings from Washington defense analyst John Pike, founder of GlobalSecurity.Org, that 'not all military information warfare initiatives have blossomed on the civilian side,' local officials pushed hard and raised $100,000,000 from the state, parish and city to build the Cyber Innovation Center and to establish the Cyber Research Center on Hwy 80.

Construction has already begun on the CIC.

Senator Mary Landrieu, who is engaged in a heated battle to retain her senate seat, still says that 'Barksdale remains the best positioned facility to ultimately play host to the Air Force cyber operation'.

Take that with a grain of salt. She is running for re-election, what is she going to say - forget it?

A more realistic view came from Retired Air Force Brig. Gen. Peyton Cole, former 2nd Bomb Wing commander, who said 'This thing is about as firm as trying to nail Jello to the wall'.

It is time for local officials, particulary Mayor Walker and Parish Administrator Bill Altimus, to wake up and smell the coffee. Take a long hard look at the CIC and come up with some reasonable alternatives to keep it from becoming a total boondoggle.

Complete story on the command shift in The Times.


  1. Read the entire article - good lord - you are as bad as the times - Cyber is being made a numbered air force (24th Air Force - commanded by a 3 start general) - it is at barksdale - and no decision has been made to locate the numbered air force - what we know today is that it will not be a Major Command (commanded by a 4 star general)- as Billy Bob Thorton said in Tombstone - "This is like playing cards with my kid's sister"

  2. This is from the Times article:

    ...Separate Cyber Command is out, but mission remains
    ...Space Command will lose its control of the service's nuclear missiles and will take control of the cyber mission.
    ...AFSPACECOM, as it is called, is headquartered at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo.

    Our $100,000,000 investment was based on gaining 'up to 10,000 jobs'. Are you really saying that was realistic??

    Skin that smokewagon . . .

  3. Jim, I wrote the article. Please read the full monty in the paper tomorrow and pay close attention to what BG Cole said. It's easier for the USAF to accomplish a numbered AF, which doesn't require senate approval, than it does to create a major command and carve new three-star positions and the senate approvals needed. This bureacratic changes wipes out a lot of the politics.

  4. I read the article this morning. It is a good, in-depth look at what is going on.
    I am nervous about a couple of things.
    1. The Bossier Parish Police Jury, which couldn't even keep its own website up last year because, well, it wasn't theirs but belonged to an individual in California who used to be on the Police Jury, (he still owns the site), is suddenly offering its members as experts on 'cyber' issues. These guys can't even keep the temperature regulated in the courthouse, but are overseeing a $100,000,000 investment in CIC.
    My point is that whatever happens, we really should have a 'plan B' in place for use of the facility on Hwy 80. Just in case.


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