Cyber Defense Mission
Published February 02, 2012
Truly an organization developing its own future relevance is the 110th Communications flight, which has recently undertaken a new cyber defense mission. The initial mission was stood up in 2009 in coordination with Air National Guard. The initiative empowers 5 Communications Flights and 1 Combat Communications Squadron to provide cyber defense, Guard Global Information Grid Net Assurance (GNA) coverage across all FEMA regions. The ANG brings significant capabilities to the cyberspace domain in support of the Department of Defense (DoD) vision for developing, structuring and employing cyberspace forces. Invaluable cyber work experience derived through civilian training, education and hands-on application coupled with military derived capabilities makes the ANG an invaluable asset. Air National Guard communication organizations exist in every state, territory, and in major metropolitan areas. The proximity of these units to Air Force bases and Critical Infrastructure/Key Resources (CI/KR) provides a distinct advantage to the Air Force for network defense, analysis, response, and remediation - plus the opportunity to work with State government and the Defense Industrial Base (DIB) for assisting in vulnerability assessment and defense of CI/KR.
The desired effects will provide additional GNA capability in support of computer network defense and critical infrastructure protection by providing sensors at selected ANG base communication and combat communication organizations to analyze network traffic in order to identify and prevent potential malicious behavior. GNA capability will be enhanced by on-going network surveillance and response at the base level, and also by utilizing existing ANG communication organizations to capitalize on current talent and leverage civilian expertise and experience. This increased capability will be leveraged in support of the Air National Guard's Domestic Operations (DOMOPS) mission with regards to the defense of CI/KR. Initial discussions have established the following areas that could be finalized as cyberspace requirements in support of the ANG's 299th Network Operating Support System (NOSS) and the Air Force Integrated Network Operation & Security Center (AF I-NOSC) as the Air Force Network migration matures. Focus areas to include: Detection of Rogue Systems (hardware & software), Network Traffic Anomaly Prevention & Detection, Software Action Anomaly and Security Practices Assessment.
The time horizon of the operational concept is present through 2015. This concept supports the planning and implementation processes that will allow the ANG to translate capability decisions into organize, train and equip activities. One Combat Communication Squadron, five Base Communication Flights, and the 299th Network Operations Support System (NOSS) have been identified as pilot units for the testing and validation of this concept with initial operating capability (IOC) planned for early Fiscal Year 2012. Upon successful implementation within the pilot units, additional ANG communication organizations will be selected for implementation in Fiscal Year 2013 with the final phase of implementation and all units IOC scheduled to be complete by Fiscal Year 2015.