The Rise of IPv6: Benefits and Costs of Transforming Military Cyberspace
AIR UNIV MAXWELL AFB AL AIR FORCE RESEARCH INST
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As the US Air Force prepares for an age of strategic agility, we become excited with headline-grabbing emerging technologies such as hypersonic aircraft, nanotechnology, and remotely piloted and autonomous systems that will in time become core mission enablers.1 Too often overlooked are the invisible transmission control protocol TCP Internet protocol IP networking protocols that revolutionized the military and the world by changing how humans exchange and use information. This networking protocol enhances and enables the Air Force s five core missions air and space superiority intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance ISR rapid global mobility global strike and command and control. Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James notes in the recent strategy document America s Air Force A Call to the Future that this strategy challenges our Air Force to forge ahead with a path of strategic agility breaking paradigms and leveraging technology just as we did at our inception. 2 Today, the Department of Defense DOD, Air Force, and nation are focused on technologies important to future development. However, unbeknownst to many people, the structure of the Internet is changing for the first time in its history with the exhaustion of the IP version four IPv4 protocol and the adoption of IPv6. The DOD as well as the Air Force in particular has a tremendous opportunity and responsibility to lead the nation in the transition to IPv6 to enhance and enable core functions and missions, assuring that our cyber operators are educated and trained to keep pace with technological change. A recent report by the DOD inspector general found several missteps on the part of the department s chief information officer CIO, US Cyber Command, and the Defense Information Systems Agency in terms of making IPv6 a priority.
- Computer Systems Management and Standards
- Military Forces and Organizations