USAF to activate new information warfare command

20 September 2019 (Last Updated September 20th, 2019 11:10)

The US Air Force (USAF) has announced that it will create a new information warfare command, called the 16th Air Force.

USAF to activate new information warfare command
USAF will create a new information warfare command 16th Air Force. Credit: Erin Smith.

The US Air Force (USAF) has announced that it will create a new information warfare command, called 16th Air Force.

Air Combat Command commander-general Mike Holmes made the announcement at the Air Force Association’s Air, Space & Cyber Conference in National Harbor, Maryland.

16th Air Force will be formed integrating the 24th Air Force and 25th Air Force capabilities.

The new organisation will operate under a single commander, who will handle duties such as providing information warfare capabilities to combatant commanders.

Mike Holmes said: “By having cyber and all the intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance tools together, one of the things it allows me to do is build a collection plan in advance before I do something and am able to have better information to support better decisions for our warfighters.

“The Air Force is not going to run independent information warfare campaigns, but we’ll build those, organise, train and equip tools for combatant commanders.”

Creating the 16th Air Force demonstrates the organisation’s early adoption of integrated information systems and technologies such as remotely piloted aircraft.

The new information warfare command will be located at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas.

Air Combat Command will hold the 16th Air Force activation ceremony later this year.

Holmes added: “We want to arm our leaders with options they can use that are proportional to the things that peer adversaries are doing.

“The activation of 16th Air Force will synchronise the mission areas of ISR, electronic warfare, cyber and information operations capabilities.

“This integrated capability will provide multi-domain options to component and combatant commanders around the globe.”

The Command supported the USAF’s intelligence operations during the Balkans air campaigns in the 1990s.