New Tools for a New Terrain Air Force Support to Special Operations in the Cyber Environment
AIR COMMAND AND STAFF COLL MAXWELL AFB AL MAXWELL AFB United States
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In a world of global interconnection, terrorists and non-state actors have increased malicious actions in cyberspace to an unprecedented level, unbound by physical geography. This paper maintains this new terrain, the cyber terrain, must be recognized and mapped for the Special Operations Forces SOF operator to visualize and operate within a cyberspace plane of routes, nodes, and an emerging network of physical objects with unique cyber signatures, or the Internet of Things. This new reality should change the mindset of battlefield tactics. The purpose of this paper is to ask how Air Force Special Operations Command AFSOC can fulfill its mission to support the SOF operator with a range of cyber options in the battlespace environment of a cyber terrain. The research presented gives practical steps that must take place to integrate cyber effects into the AFSOC mission set, pushing cyber execution down to the tactical level and making cyber actions useable to operators on the ground and under fire. In doing so, the problemsolution framework is employed in examining the rapid globalization of cyber violence, the far-reaching effects of cyber actions, the significance of this reality to AFSOC operations, and in shaping recommendations. Measurement criteria assess three solutions US Special Operations Command USSOCOM cyber targeting cells at operations centers in every theater AFSOC Cyber Attack Teams performing live missions connected to the ground forces team in a virtual shooter role and individual hand-held cyber tools for SOF teams to deliver cyber fires effects cued on target. This research finds the creation of Cyber Attack Teams can fully realize todays need for a cyber-equipped SOF team, adept and agile in all five domains of this eras battlefield terrain.
- Computer Systems
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics