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Air Force Information, Technology, and Cyberpower Conference.

Maxwell AFB, Montgomery, AL--6 Sept 2016


STONE: I'm Colonel David Stone from the Air Force Cyber College and it's my privilege to introduce our keynote speaker this morning. In full disclosure, backstage he told me I could simply say "General Hyten", but I feel compelled to offer a little bit more. General Hyten is the Commander, Air Force Space Command, where he is responsible for organizing, training, equipping and maintaining space and cyberspace forces and capabilities. He is a National Defense Fellow and a graduate from Harvard University with a degree in engineering and applied sciences and he also holds an MBA from Auburn. He has previously commanded at squadron group and wing levels and he has served as the Director of Space Forces during Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom. Ladies and gentlemen, please join me in welcoming the Commander, Air Force Space Command, General John E. Hyten.

HYTEN: Thanks very much. Good morning, everybody. It is--it's actually great to be back where it started for me because it started for me here in Montgomery as a second lieutenant in 1981, across town at Gunter Air Force Station--now I guess it's Gunter Annex, but it was Gunter Air Force Station back in the day. There was no such thing as Dickinson Highway because Congressman Dickinson basically built that whole area over there, and then they named the road after him. But I saw some folks last night; I saw folks that were my boss, I saw folks that were second lieutenants with me at the same time. It's amazing how life goes when you're making plans because this was not the plan, that's for sure. The plan was to get out of the Air Force after four years and go make my fortune. I found out that there was actually a fortune to be made in the United States Air Force; it doesn't show up in my bank account, but it shows up in my life every day. So I love being here. Thanks very much for the invite--and first of all, I think I need to say thanks to General Kwast, thanks to the Chamber, thanks to the City of Montgomery for bringing this conference back after four years of being away--well done.


This is an important conference because it brings the community together--a community that needs to get together, a community that needs to discuss where we're going in the future because cyberspace in particular is critical to the security of this nation, it's critical to our future, it's critical to our Air Force, and we have to basically talk about it, and so I like the way the conference is set up where I get to talk to you a little bit, but you get to talk to me as well. So we have time for questions and answer at the end, so I know there are ways to feed the questions up; you can ask me anything you want--as long as it doesn't go classified, I'll be glad to answer.

So let's go ahead and throw the first chart up because let's talk about military cyberspace.

They said it would work. I trusted them. So there it is; there's the first chart of a military cyberspace discussion.

It actually is because what do those two vehicles have in common? The first thing those two vehicles have in common is that they're both driven by members of Air Force Space Command. I drive the one on the right. There's an Airman at the 252nd Cyber Operations ...

You may think that's funny, but it's true because the 252nd Cyber Operations Group at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, member of the Air National Guard, it's a very interesting unit. You walk into that unit--when I pulled up, and I pulled up at that time because I was TDY. I pulled up in my massive Ford Fusion hybrid staff car and I was looking sharp and I pull in and a car pulls in next to me and it's the Tesla-S. And I had seen a Tesla-S before in the parking lot at SpaceX in Hawthorne--I'm not sure whose car that was, but my guess it was the owner's--but that's the only other Tesla-S I've ever seen, and out of the Tesla-S jumps a Senior Airman and goes running in because he's late. And he goes running in, so my first reaction is nerves because what the heck is a senior Airman doing driving that car? But it turns out that that senior Airman--well, let's just say that the National Guard doesn't quite pay him his salary. His salary is paid for by a small computer company there in Washington, and you can probably figure out which one. Actually, it could be one of two because there's a group that kind of fill out that squadron and that fill out that group and it's amazing. The Cyber Operations Group Commander is a Vice President at Microsoft and it's just amazing the kind of capabilities you can bring into our Guard and Reserve. We'll come back to that here in a second.

But let's talk about those two cars, the Tesla and the Jeep. A lot of people saw the Jeep news last year. July 2015, Wired Magazine did the hack of the Jeep, figured out a way--two guys from a basement ten miles away took over the Jeep, made the windshield wipers go back and forth, turned the radio off and on, and then turned the Jeep off the road--actually kind of scary--but hacked into the Jeep. A lot of people didn't realize that the next month, Wired Magazine did a hack on the Tesla, but it's kind of an interesting dynamic because what it shows is that it doesn't matter how modern the capability is, that capability can get hacked some way. But in order to get into the Tesla, it took two very expert people two years of experimentation and they finally figured out that there was a cord, a cable, right behind the dashboard; they could get into that cable, use the interface on that cable, hook it up into a laptop and from that laptop they could then basically do the electronic equivalent of hotwiring the car and they could own the car. But what's also interesting is that Tesla built their car really from scratch. Jeep built their car--and I love the Jeep; I love driving the Jeep, especially in Colorado--but Jeep built their car on the model that they have created over a hundred years. Tesla started from scratch. So the Tesla vehicle is actually built from an information age mindset. It's built right from the beginning, and so there is a gateway in between the infotainment system and the actual operation of the vehicle. There's a gateway that blocks that and even if you got into that operation of the vehicle, if somehow the power is impacted, or whatever, the Tesla, if you're going more than 5 miles an hour, switches into neutral, you still have control of the hand brake and the steering wheel--that can't be taken over; you maintain control of the car safely so you can stop it. Even if you did--and then the interesting part is that Jeep had to do a recall of all million and a half vehicles that Jeep had or send a USB port out to their owners for them to update. Tesla, when they figured out the problem, all you had to do is on one day hit a button and everything uploaded through a virtual network. Tesla had built the security in it right from the beginning and they knew that as good as they built the security, that they would still have a vulnerability someday, so they built a way in that that vulnerability could immediately push to the entire fleet instantaneously.


Well, I tell you what--the United States Air Force is more like the Jeep than it is the Tesla. Well, heck, we still fly B52s and U-2s and systems that were--that pre-date the Jeep, for gosh sakes. It's just amazing the ancient nature of our business--but the nature of our weapons systems is not the most important thing to worry about. The most important thing to worry about is actually the way we think about dealing with cyber and the way we think about dealing with our weapons systems because we think about it in an industrial age model, not an information age model, and that is actually a bigger danger than the fact that we deal with old infrastructure and old equipment.

So let's talk about what we do in the Air Force--next chart.

So this is the cyberspace terrain. You know, if you see most pictures of the cyberspace terrain in a thing, and I'll show you the next one--in fact, if we can go back and forth--go to the next chart real quick. There you go; there's the cyberspace terrain. That's the one everybody shows you, right? All the lightning bolts, arrows, things going back--but go back. That's the cyberspace terrain. That's the cyberspace terrain in the United States Air Force. Let's start with the little airplane in the middle. F-22 is a fairly significant airplane for the United States Air Force. It is our air superiority fighter. It is the most important element of all because if you can't achieve air superiority in the Air Force, you can't do anything. But a lot of people don't realize a couple of things about the F22. Number one, there's a squadron at Eglin Air Force Base called the 36th Electronic Warfare Squadron that builds the mission data load for every F-22 in the entire Air Force--every day--and they ship it out to wherever the F-22 is and the F-22 then loads it up. It ships it out over a secure network--but if you think about Tesla, don't care how modern it is, there's always a vulnerability in a network. And every mission data load that comes out of Eglin--it doesn't matter whether the fighter's in Hickam, whether it's in Alaska, whether it's deployed overseas--it doesn't matter; it has to have that mission data load. If it doesn't, it can't fly. It's hooked to cyber every day. The F-22 has a great comm connectivity inside the fifth generation airplanes. Works great inside the fifth generation. How does it do talking from fifth generation to fourth generation? It can't. We have a big program in TENCAP, the Tactical Exploitation of National Capabilities Program right now to try to build a program called Talon HATE to allow the fifth generation fighters to be able to put information on Link-16 to talk to the fourth generation fighters. What the heck are we thinking about if we build a fifth generation fighter that can't talk to everything in the world? The F-35 is going to have just remarkable sensors. How's it talk to everybody? Poorly, because we don't think about that stuff. We think about everything in our own little world. Everything is connected. Everything in that chart is connected in one way or the other including the rocket that you see there on the left. The rocket that you see there on the left is the new SpaceX Falcon 9 owned by the same man that builds the Tesla X. Interesting--next year they're going to begin walking into a new capability called the 'automated flight safety system'. Why is the automated flight safety system important? How does it hook to anything? Because right now, we maintain this ancient range on both the East Coast and the West Coast, the Eastern Range and the Western Range, so that we can launch these giant rockets out to the east, down to the south, out over the Atlantic, out over the Pacific, and we can do it safely in that huge range--but in order to do that, and we have radars and telemetry systems and they're ancient and they're falling apart and they cost hundreds of millions of dollars to maintain every year--when if you build it right, you can build an autonomous flight safety system that works with GPS and a very simple link, through a satellite communications system if you want, on orbit, back to the Cape and give all the information you need and do it for pennies on the dollar and do it much more securely. People say "Well, you would introduce cyber vulnerabilities into the system when you do that." Well, that's true, but it's not like we don't have cyber vulnerabilities anyway; it's just that now we'll be able to focus on cyber vulnerabilities; we'll know where they are; we can defend where they are instead of having them spread all out over the Cape, all out over the Western Range, over the Atlantic, over the Pacific, all over the place, and we have no idea how to defend that capability against people that want to get into it. I'm more concerned about the feasibility of our existing range than I am about the cyber threats in the autonomous flight safety system. I am concerned about the autonomous flight safety system, but if we do it right, it will be more secure than our legacy. But for some reason, we have a tough time getting out of our own way and thinking about 'How do we do business fundamentally differently in the 21st century to make ourselves more capable, more secure, and to be able to fight effectively?' We just won't get out of our own way. 'We can always do it better the traditional way that was built in the 1960s and the 1970s. Yes, it will be more safe, it will be more secure.' Ladies and gentlemen, it will not. It will not be more secure and we have to get over that. And almost everything you see on this chart comes from that mindset. The satellite that you see on the left, that's the space-based infrared system, the SBIRS satellite--the most advanced missile warning system in the world. It has sensors on board that will water your eyes. You should see the capabilities. I wish I could show you some pictures, but I can't. But it is an amazing capability to see basically anything hot on the surface of the earth. That's what an infrared system sees when it looks down.


But how did we build the ground system and the capabilities on the ground to enable us to get the information off of the space-based infrared system? We built it just like the F-22--in other words, we built it for itself and when it got down to the ground, we have all this amazing information and we can't get it to anybody that needs it. Well, we're working to fix that; just like the F-22 is working with Talon HATE to fix that, we're working with SBIRS to fix that; we're figuring out a way through a new capability offline from the main capability to somehow figure out how to get all that tactical information out to the warfighter. It shouldn't be that hard. But, oh my gosh, we make it hard. And the bottom line is that that special forces guy over on the right, he's as tied through cyber with everything that he does anyway. Most of his information comes through cyber. Most of his information comes through a comm link. He gets intelligence information, he gets comm, he gets enemy order of battle--he gets everything through comm and he just assumes that it's going to be there all the time, and he expects it to be there all the time--he does. And it is there all the time, which is amazing, but we don't think about it and we don't defend it correctly. Why is that? Go to the next chart.


Because that's the way we still think about cyber. We think about cyber not in the effects that we create; we think about cyber in the beeps and squeaks that we use it for. And oh, by the way, I grew up in a world of beeps and squeaks. I had four years in Communications Command. Yes, there used to be a Communications Command in the United States Air Force. There was, I was in it. I liked it. It was good. There was a focal point for comm, but it was also very similar to Space Command in many ways. In that we created our own culture--our own culture of beeps and squeaks. We liked to use the language that we understood, that was our language. It doesn't matter whether you're a comm cyber guy or whether you're a space guy, you develop your own culture and your own language, and that's the way we were. And when we went out to the rest of the world and we used that language, nobody understood what the heck we were talking about--but we did and we thought it was cool. It took me about 20 years to figure out it wasn't cool. It took me about 20 years to figure out that it was actually counterproductive to what we're doing because you know the interesting thing about that chart is that chart is not controlled by the United States military; that chart is controlled by the Cyber industry. We're just a minority player. You could put a space chart up there and we're still one of the big gorillas in the space business, but in the cyberspace business, no matter what you think, we're not going to be one of the big gorillas. We're just not. We have to figure out how to work with that, how to work in that kind of environment. We have to figure out, you know what? It's really quite simple--and it's the same in space and cyberspace. It's really quite simple. It's the same as the air, the maritime, or the ground. What's so simple about it is all we do in all five of those domains--land, sea, air, space and cyberspace--all we do is conduct missions. That's what we do. We conduct missions in those domains, and every time we think about ourselves as special, we lose track of the fact that we're just conducting missions in those domains. And every time we think about the fact that we're just conducting mission in those domains, it's actually a straightforward problem, and it's a straightforward problem that every element of our military can understand because we do operations every day. And so, if you're wearing the cyber badge or the space badge ...

You know, I take great pride in my first assignment here in Montgomery. I got to love the Air Force here in Montgomery. I really did. I mean, I was going to be in the Air Force four years and get out, but there was a group of people at Gunter in comm command, that was in the Air Force automated systems program office, soon to be called the 'data systems design office' and the 'data systems design center,' 'the standard system center'--man, it's changed names a hundred times, but they taught me how to love the Air Force. And when they did that, they taught me how to be an Airman--and that's who I am. I'm not a space guy. I'm not a cyber guy. I proudly wear these badges because I earned them, but what identifies me is the uniform, not the badges. Because the uniform is the uniform of an Airman, and an Airman understands something very simple: How to fly, fight and, win in three domains--air, space, and cyberspace. And it's amazing how our tribes forget that--all of us. We forget it all the time. And we end up focused on our own little world and our own little element of cyberspace or our own little element of space or we focus on GPS, or we focus on SBIRS, or we focus on launch, or we focus on this element of cyber, when what we really do is we fly, fight and win in air, space, and cyberspace. And when we think about that and we get it right, oh my gosh, the power that we can bring to the problem is just amazing. And when we get it wrong, we fight against each other and we create little stovepipes and little tribes--but holy cow, look at the uniforms in this room. And the other thing that's interesting is look at the badges in this room. There's lots of badges. General Kwast is not wearing either one of the badges that I wear--neither one. He wears a different badge. Guess what? General Kwast is an Airman just like me. That's the way it works. And I'm proud to be part of the transition into everybody just realizing that we're Airmen because it's critically important that as we transition to the future, we remember that, that we remember that our job is to defend the United States against threats to the domains that we operate in, and there are three. And when we don't care where the effect is created from, oh my gosh, the power of the Air Force is unbelievable. But we still think of ourselves as an industrial age Air Force--because the biggest difference between and industrial age Air Force and an information age Air Force is the seams between the tribes go away in an information age Air Force. In an industrial age Air Force, it's just fine. In an information age Air Force, it doesn't work. Next chart.


Cyberspace Squadron Next. General Bender talked about this; I think he called it Comm Squadron Next yesterday when he talked to you. I prefer to call it 'Cyberspace Squadron Next'--and there's a cyber warrior. Because why are we going through this whole transition? We're going through this whole transition because if you look at our budget two years ago in Air Force Space Command, 90% of the Air Force Space Command budget went to building and operating the Air Force network as part of the DoDIN, 10% went to offense and defense. I'm proud to report that last year, we went all the way up to 15% to offense and defense and 85% operating our networks. Those folks here in uniform today, go find an industry partner somewhere in this audience that does enterprise services, talk to them about how they do enterprise services. I was at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration about six weeks ago now. They outsourced all of their enterprise services--email, SharePoint, file sharing, all that stuff, to, I won't say which vendor, to a vendor five years ago. Since that time, they've had no security issues and no downtime. I always point out to folks just think about in your mind--I won't do the thing because it's a huge audience, but just think about how many problems you've had with your commercial email this year so far, and think about how many problems you've had with your DoD email, wherever it is. But we can do it better, just like we can operate a range better. We can operate a closed system around a fighter better if we don't talk to anybody. We make the same mistake in cyber as we do everything else. We always think about doing business the old way. Talk to the folks that are in this conference about how they do their business because they can actually do it fine. And we need to hire them to do our basic NIPRNet email because, oh my gosh, I spend so much time on stinking NIPRNet email, and I tell you what--if email goes down tomorrow, my life is miserable because I'll get a call from every four-star--Kwast will probably even call me and say "What's going on with my email?" But you know what? If it goes down tomorrow, the United States Air Force fights just fine--with the exception of a little TACC at Scott, maybe. But the rest of the Air Force operates just fine. If I lose GPS tonight, the world's a hurt. If I can't fly the F-22 tomorrow, the Air Force is in trouble. And just translate that across B-2s, B-21s, C-17s, KC-135s. If I lose the ability to operate any of those platforms, we're in trouble. And how much time do we spend defending those weapons systems? Well, look where the money is. The money is 90%--well, 85% now going after the Air Force network and 15% going at offense and defense. That's just ridiculous. So it's not that we can't operate our enterprise services just fine--we can, but we can also hire somebody to do that and at the same time, we can't hire somebody to do that. We need people on the flight line that are hooked up. That's an Airman on the flight line in Alaska working on an F-22--and guess what? He is hooked up to the network when he is maintaining the F-22. Just like they will be on the B-21 and the KC-46, and every weapons system we operate is hooked up to the network, and so we have to transition, so 10 years from now our airmen are focused on defending our weapons systems across the entire Air Force and not just operating our networks because we have the best and brightest airmen. They come in. They want to do that and they operate our networks and they do fabulously well. But they'll never be as well-resourced in operating our networks as Microsoft, Amazon Web, Google. Those companies will always be better resources to operate those, but those companies will not be resources to do that. Only airmen can do that job, and we have to equip them and train them and make them ready to do that and they have to be cyber professionals--that's why that's the Cyberspace Squadron Next. And we're exploring this now, and one of the places we're exploring it, with a Pathfinder, is at Schriever Air Force Base. And we can do it pretty easily at Schriever Air Force Base because we have a network operations group. We have a former network--actually two of them, two commanders in the room right now, that commanded that group and they have the right people to do that. And so we've just carved out folks and said "Okay, your job is to defend this wing against enemies that want to come at us through cyber." And it's just amazing the progress we've made in just the last few months--just remarkable what we're learning and how fast we're going--and that's with almost no resources. That's just giving airmen a task and saying "Go--figure it out. Go fast." And they are, and they're doing amazing things. So next chart.


So what's that chart have to do with anything here? So let's see--from the top left, that's Malcom, Morgan, James, Kaylynn and Matthew. See the little sign? They have a cool name, too--Team V'ger. I love that name. Grissom High School, Huntsville, Alabama--that's my high school. A year and a half ago, that's the team that won the CyberPatriot competition in the United States of America. My high school won the CyberPatriot competition--that's pretty awesome, and that's the team that did it. And that's a screen shot from CBS This Morning because they got to go on CBS This Morning--and they look happy--kinda geeky. But you know, I'm a geek, too. I love being a geek. But they rocked it. Oh my gosh, they rocked that competition. They know that stuff backwards, forwards, and sideways. So let's just carve off the two up on the right, Morgan Wagner and James Brahm. Where are they today? Well, they're just starting their second year at the Air Force Academy. Now they could have gone anywhere they wanted to in the country. James, in fact, had a 2400 on his SAT in high school as a sophomore. MIT recruited him hard as a junior and he was in. He was going on a full ride to MIT and that was the plan, but he did an internship with my brother--if you know my brother, that's very dangerous--and he was talking about what he wanted to do in life and he said "I want to do Cyber. I want to do hardcore cyber. I love this cyber stuff." And he said "Maybe you should talk to my brother." So I talked to James and James talked to Morgan, and I said "You can--I mean, you'll be unbelievably successful in this world, but the only place that you can actually do hardcore cyber is in the United States military." So they both showed up at the Air Force Academy. They're both majoring in cyber security; they both want to be cyber officers. They did spectacular as freshmen--no surprise. They're going to be spectacular wherever they go. But my big fear right now is that three years from now when they graduate, the United States Air Force will not be ready for them because we still have an industrial age model for how we deal with people, too. And this is the one that actually torques me off more than any other. All that other stuff annoys me, you can probably tell that. But this is the one that actually makes me angry. This makes me angry because right now, the rules are when James and Morgan come on active duty, they're going to go through the same training program that Donovan Routsis did, that Bob Skinner did, that every one of you guys in this room went through. Guess what? They're a little bit more advanced than I was when I went through. They're a whole lot more advanced than Skinner, for gosh sakes. But if we still do business the same way, we'll still put them through the same piece. And we talked about this amongst the four stars, and we realize that this is just not a cyber problem--this is an Air Force problem because we still have the same personnel system we had 50 years ago. And I wasn't in the Air Force 50 ago--I was close, but not quite--but it's still the same personnel model we have. Everything goes through the same cookie cutter approach. And you know what? It works just fine. You know, if they go through that nine months of training, they're going come out and because they're awesome, they're going to be awesome Airmen wherever they go. They will be. But we can do better than that. We can take advantage of their unique skills. We can put them in different training programs, more advanced training programs. We can help them to bring things forward because when they graduated from high school, for gosh sakes, they already knew this business. It is not like they never flew an airplane before, it's not like they never flew a satellite before, these guys have been doing this for a long time and they know it backwards and forwards. So how can we take advantage of that? How do we take advantage of the unique skill set that's coming into our military? We have to be able to do that. The Air Force, when they graduate three years from now, has got to be ready to accept them, and today we're not. And it is something that we all have to work on and it is fundamental that everybody embraces that concept because the only people that can change it is us--nobody else. But they are awesome--they really are. And they're gonna be Airmen that will just blow you away, so let's take advantage of them. Next.


Isn't that a cool picture? That's a U-2 coming back from a mission at Red Flag, the last Red Flag, 16-3. Just an awesome picture. It was taken by our command photographer, Tech. Sergeant David Salanitri. And because it's such a cool picture, it made a lot of press around the world. What's that got to do with space and cyber? Because the U-2 flew for the first time in 1955. Sputnik was 1957, right? There was no such thing as cyber in 1955, '57, '65, '67. So what's that got to do with it? Next chart.

So who's that on the left? That's Colonel Deanna Burt. Who's that on the right? That's Major Carl Maymi, the U-2 pilot from the previous picture. Deanna Burt is the 50th Space Wing Commander as Schriever Air Force Base. Why the heck is she talking to Major Maymi in a U-2 pilot's uniform? The answer is because Colonel Burt was the Air Expeditionary Wing Commander at Red Flag, and it was kind of interesting because a lot of the news that came out afterwards, for whatever reason--and this kind of torques me off, too--made a big deal because she was a woman. We are way past that. The big deal about that picture is the badge because it's a space badge, and she commanded the hundred aircraft including the U-2, the F-15, the F-16, the Marine F-35s--every aircraft that we operate, she commanded, and she did spectacularly well, and she was able to do things differently because she brought kinetic and non-kinetic together in ways that people hadn't seen before and it blew the Chief and the Secretary away. They saw it up close. They saw the power of the Air Force in the future and they saw the fact that the badge doesn't matter--it's what's below the badge that matters--the United States Air Force. And when you think about it that way, holy cow, we can bring new power to bear that we've never brought before.

And the other interesting thing about that Red Flag is the AOC Commander, the AOC Director, was Colonel Mike Dombrowski. Colonel Mike Dombrowski is a cyber guy, a 1-7. He is currently the 624th Op Center Commander at Joint Base San Antonio under 24th Air Force. He ran the entire AOC without a problem, and he integrated kinetic and non-kinetic. He integrated all the effects that the United States Air Force brings without a problem, and our leadership saw that, and Major Maymi saw it--and it was not stunning. It was really not a big deal to anybody because Airmen run the Air Force--and those are two Airmen and they do spectacularly well. Next. So I wanted to make sure I save time for questions at the end. I ran about a minute long, but for me that's pretty good. I'll tell you what, we have some amazing people in this Air Force; a lot of them are in this room. We have people that are coming on, like James and Morgan, and the two of you sitting right here, that are the future. And the thing that you guys need to remember is that those folks are all better than we were by a lot--by a lot. And we need to figure out how to take advantage of their talents. We don't force them into our mold; they're going to break the mold and we need to figure out how to do that.

So thank you very much for your time this morning. I'll be glad to take any questions. I think somebody's coming out to run questions.


MALE: Ladies and gentlemen, at this time we're going to open up the floor for questions. If you would like to submit a question for General Hyten, please follow the instructions on the screen to submit via email. If using a microphone located in the aisles, please introduce yourself and say where you are from before asking your question.

At this time, I believe we have some email questions, so Captain Granger, please go ahead and read the first question.

FEMALE: Sir, considering your comments on the hazards presented by special cultures, do you think the elevation of Cyber Com to a full combatant command is a move in the right direction?

HYTEN: So it's a good question; it's a question I've had before and I haven't changed my answer, yet. I may be in--I think Cyber Command is going to become its own command just because it's going to grow into that. But here's what I worry about with Cyber Command; it's the same thing I saw when we had a U.S. Space Command. When we had a U.S. Space Command--and I was part of U.S. Space Command; I was there, I saw it--we ended up focusing on space for space sake. We ended up focusing up, not down. You actually have to do both, you have to look at the entire thing. And I think Cyber Command will be elevated to a combatant command some day because it's logical, it makes sense. It's critically important, it's inside everything that we do. But what we have to guard against is cyber becoming insular and focused on the cyber networks and not the weapons systems that we operate. And we can control that. It's up to us again. We can structure it that way, but we said that at the beginning of U.S. Space Command, too, and U.S. Space Command was really formed just because Air Force Space Command was formed in 1982 and there was no joint command in the '80s, and so we--the government realized we needed to have a joint command doing space because space is joint, so they formed U.S. Space Command, and then who was U.S. Space Command? It was Air Force Space Command and we started adding a few Army and Navy guys, and they were all space guys, and so we all ended up kind of focused around space. That's actually a bad thing because it's more than a singular domain. You heard me talk a while ago, it is essential that we as a military just think about the effects that we create and we don't care where they come from. So if we have a domain-focused command, the risk is that they'll just think about themselves and not think about elsewhere. But nonetheless, I think we're going to have one, I think it makes sense. I don't think it's dangerous to have culture. There was some remark or some adjective in front of the culture back there--I think it was dangerous. Culture is important. You know, I have--there's a culture in Space Command; it's kind of a geek culture. I'm proud of that culture. I like it. But there's an Airman culture that kind of pervades everything. So it's not that you get rid of all your culture of your tribe, you bring that forward. You bring that forward with pride. You bring that forward in everything that you do, but there's an overarching culture of airmen, or of operators, that you just think about as the primary culture, and if you do it that way, it won't be a problem. But it's something we've gotta watch as we go forward in the future--no doubt. Next question.


MALE: Do we have additional questions in the booth?

FEMALE: Yes. Sir, how would you recommend we change the UTC process and personnel management process to better take advantage of the skills that those new Airmen present to us?

HYTEN: So we're going through a change right now in Space Command where we did not present our forces in a normal way in space or cyber. From the space side, it's called the Space Mission Force; cyber, it's called the Cyber Mission Force. The problem with the Cyber Mission Force--let me talk about the Space Mission Force first so you get the construct right. The Space Mission Force--used to be that squadrons in Air Force Space Command were assigned to the commander of STRATCOM under the Forces For Document. So if Admiral Haney as the Commander of STRATCOM wanted to actually employ GPS in a different way, the only unit he's got is the 2nd Space Operations Squadron at Schriever or the 2nd Space Warning Squadron at Buckley, or whatever the unit was, and if he wanted to actually stand up the backup, the backup in many cases is in the OSS, or Security Forces, or whatever it takes in order to deploy. None of those capabilities are assigned to him, therefore, he's got to come to me as the service provider, and I send them TDY in a wartime environment. That is stupid. So now we're doing two things: Number one, wings are assigned to STRATCOM in the Forces For document and we're aligning all our capabilities under UTCs because that's how the Air Force presents forces--so if you want to deploy a UTC, you can deploy a UTC. Cyber Mission Force--kind of the same way, but the Cyber Mission Force, the challenge there is that it's really only to the joint mission; it's only to the joint cyber mission. There is very little capacity in the service retained forces.

There are service retained forces with very little capacity--so think back to the Airman on the flight line at Elmendorf. Where does that capacity come from? We have to build that capacity in, and we're going to build it in similar ways to the Cyber Mission Force. That's the cyber squadron of the future, and we're going to align those normally and present forces normally so we can actually--people can look toward our capabilities, grab those capabilities, and put them in the right place at the right time. Again, if you just think about it like a war-fighting problem, it is not that hard. It's not--we've been doing this forever. But when we think about it as special, somehow it makes it very difficult and it's not.

MALE: Sir, we have time for one more question. We have one down front.

HYTEN: Is that Brundage?

MALE: Good morning, sir.

HYTEN: Man, you asked me the nasty question last time. But it worked out, didn't it?


MALE: It did--it was great. Sir, all of us appreciate what you're saying about the importance of being an Airman. That's something that I think in my latter years of my Air Force time that took over and solved a lot of the issues that the tribes and the other things had created for us. The reality is though, we still have, like you said, the industrial Air Force vestiges that are basically hard to get rid of because we still have tribe managers, we still have the folks that come in and go through, like you said, that very, very cookie cutter approach to developing our officers and our enlisted Airmen. What do you do in the grand scheme of, you know, the vision you just presented to allow a 17-Delta, 14-N-you know, space guy--any of the guys coming in with all the talents you're talking about to look at you standing on the stage today and say "I want to grow up and be the U.S. Space Command commander. I want to grow up and be the Cyber Comm combatant commander." Right now, the reality of tribe management obscures that vision for a lot of us--you know, a lot of our young folks. They say, you know, "I'm looking at what's happening now, how the promotion boards, the assignments and everything are going, and I just don't see us ever getting as a 17-Delta"--you know, you name the AFSC, they'd like to see the paths, and how do you build the Air Force so that you make that vision a reality and the actions that are taking place present that reality?

So that's an awesome speech--with a whole bunch of awesome questions built in. So let's start from the fact that, you know, one of my biggest fears is that people watch me and don't want to grow up and be me, and we have to stop that because I tell you what--being the Commander of Space Command is awesome. It really is--and I hope everybody gets that when they meet me because it is a privilege of a lifetime. The second piece is anybody thinks they can grow up and be the Commander of Space Command, you're nuts--you're absolutely nuts. You should never be thinking about that because it is so far beyond the realm of reasonable expectations--you can't. But what you should do if you're an officer is you need to desire to grow up and be a commander. Just to be a commander. If you can be a commander--because guess what? All the four stars have a couple of things in common. Actually, a friend of mine says, number one, we're all circling the drain. That's true. Number two, we all wish we were you. But number three, we were all commanders at some point. That's what we were. That's where the commanders come from. Commanders come from commanders. You know, you heard it in the introduction--I got to command at multiple levels. And each time I commanded, I thought it was over. I mean, we bought our first retirement house in 2003, sold it in 2013--that didn't work out. But you know, you never expect to come up. But in order to be a commander, we need to grow people with broad expertise in the cyber career field, and so one of the mistakes we made is we pass out these pyramids and say "Here's what you have to do in your pyramid." And everybody that is a 1-7 has the same pyramid. Well, we have a 1-7D and a 1-7S, which is a little bit confusing at the moment as well, but neither one of those is right because the other interesting thing about every four star in the Air Force, none of us followed the pyramid. You know what all of us did, though, is we all became experts in something. We became really good at something and because we were really good at something, the Air Force let us command that something. And when we commanded that something, we started growing. And the interesting thing about us is that, you know, there was no "management" of our careers according to the pyramid, but there was in building our experience base. And so my belief--and I haven't actually said this in public before, but my belief is that we need to transition from a manpower and personnel structure to a human resources structure in the way we do business because the human resources structure of industry right now actually focuses on building individuals to support that company, not on building the individual in a cookie cutter approach for whatever that company needs because if they did business that way, their employees would run at the two, three-year point. They have to focus, and that's why if you go out into industry today, you won't find any manpower and personnel divisions in industry--you find human resources jobs, and the good human resources jobs are focused on individual employees, and when you have 600,000 people in the Air Force with 314,000 active duty, it's a challenge to figure out how to build it--but guess what? We can do that in today's day and age. We can focus on the individuals. We can build them from the beginning, and so we've got to move away from managing the herd to managing the individual, and that's what we're trying to get after right now, and we're making progress-but oh my gosh, it's tough. But it is one of the most important things we can all do is that we have to change the way we deal with people because our people are different now, and it's most important in cyber, but it actually applies to every element of our Air Force. The reason it applies to cyber is, in my opinion, that pyramid is so wrong because now there are so many paths outside the pyramid and back into the pyramid that you can't really--in order to be the commander of Cyber Command, you better have SIGINT somewhere in your background. There's no SIGINT in the 1-7 pyramid, so that means the 1-7 pyramid by definition doesn't end at the top with Cyber Command. The end of every pyramid should be a four-star even though nobody in here is probably going to grow up to be a four-star because I sat in here 35 years ago and there was no way I was going to grow up and be a four star. It was impossible. But we have to change that, every one of us. And all we can do is change it a little bit at a time because it is hard. And that bureaucracy is a hard bureaucracy to deal with, and it's built, and it's been very successful. We didn't get to become the greatest Air Force in the world just because we haphazardly threw people at problems. We built people better than any large organization in the world. We did. That's why we're the greatest Air Force in the world--not because of the stuff I showed on the screen, but because of the people that were on the screen. That's what makes us the greatest Air Force in the world, and if we focus on people, we'll continue to be the best Air Force in the world forever. And we came up with a lot of the manpower and personnel structures at the beginning, we were kind of the leaders of that. Well, now we're trailing and we gotta get back out in front of it. Anyway, you just--why do you always spin me up? So whoever is having dinner with Greg Brundage tonight, just slap him across the head and say "Stop that."

Alright, but thank you very much for the time. I really do love being here in Montgomery. General Kwast, thank you for working with the city, thank you for working with the chamber in bringing this back. This discussion is extremely important to the future of the United States of America and for the young people in the audience--this is your future. Thanks very much--appreciate it.
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Publication:Air Force Speeches
Article Type:Conference news
Date:Sep 6, 2016
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