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Human Capital Management for the USAF Cyber Force

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In late 2006, the Air Force announced that cyberspace would constitute a new mission domain for the service, along with air and space domains. Since that announcement, the Air Force has developed an organizational construct in which Air Force Space Command will oversee the preparation of combat-ready forces to conduct sustained offensive and defensive global operations in and through cyberspace and will present cyberspace forces to combatant commanders through a component numbered Air Force. A vital component of the Air Forces envisioned cyber capabilities is the human capital that will make up the cyber force. The human capital management and development policies will have far-reaching implications for the kind of skilled cyber force the Air Force has today and in the future. The research described in this report was sponsored by three Headquarters United States Air Force HAF offices Warfighting Integration SAFXC, Cyber Operations AFA3O-C, and the Development Directorate within Manpower and Personnel AFA1D. Its objective was to identify and analyze the human capital management issues associated with the creation and management of a cyber force. The work was performed as part of a fiscal year 2007 study, USAF Specialty Code Restructuring, and conducted within the Manpower, Personnel, and Training Program of RAND Project AIR FORCE. This documented briefing contains slides and text that describe the background, methodology, and findings of the study. It concludes with recommendations about how the Air Force should pursue the creation and management of a highly skilled cyber force. The documented briefing should be of interest to those involved in human capital management policy and the design of workforce development strategies for computer network operations capabilities in the armed forces and many government agencies.

Subject Categories:

  • Computer Systems Management and Standards
  • Cybernetics
  • Military Forces and Organizations

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