Software // Information Management
Commentary
5/13/2009
02:05 PM
Bob Evans
Bob Evans
Commentary
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CIO Title Evolution: CIO And Chief Of Warfighting Integration

In the wake of many CIOs taking on additional operational roles across the enterprise, the general heading the Air Force's Cyber Command has been promoted to the new position of CIO and chief of warfighting integration. It's another sign of how information flow - and the CIO position - are moving to the center of all strategic facets of large organizations.

In the wake of many CIOs taking on additional operational roles across the enterprise, the general heading the Air Force's Cyber Command has been promoted to the new position of CIO and chief of warfighting integration. It's another sign of how information flow - and the CIO position - are moving to the center of all strategic facets of large organizations.Major General William T. Lord "led the Air Force's valiant but ill-fated effort to run all cyber stuff within the Defense Department, losing out to the National Security Agency, designated last week as the Joint Functional Component Command for Network Warfare," according to NextGov.com.

Regardless of where the Defense Department centers its overall cybersecurity efforts, the promotion of Lord underscores the rapid ascendancy of cyber warfare operations within the U.S. military's overall strategy, and Major General Lord's new title - CIO and chief of warfighting integration - reflects that tightly coupled realization.

In an interview 13 months ago with the Council on Foreign Relations, Lord outlined the need for greatly increased emphasis on information systems and networks. These excerpts from that article reveal some significant insights into the type of warfighting integration Lord will be leading in his CIO role within the Air Force.

--"In this business, there are lots of peers because the price of admission is relatively low," Lord says. "Nation-states that don't have huge armed forces all of [a] sudden can begin to take nefarious activities on other nation-states [that] they wouldn't have thought of engaging if you think about traditional modern warfare."

--"On the first of October [2008], we will stand up a wing in the electronic warfare business; one in the information operations business; one that already exists in the network warfare business; and the traditional communications electronics wing. As we break this war into establishing the domain, using the domain, and operating in the domain, those will be the forces that we'll have assigned. Today we are looking at as I said about five hundred folks in the headquarters, and that will be a virtual headquarters initially spread around about a dozen different bases. And eventually with the combination of those subordinate units that I just described and the headquarters, about eight thousand people total."

--"Right now, [we're] strictly focused on defense of the Air Force domain, strictly focused on defense of the Air Force only. I think that as the command goes to full operational capabilities, they'll begin to roll in the Air Force offensive capabilities again as we present to a combatant commander depending on what they need and what they want. So we have to develop not only the defenses but develop techniques, tactics, procedures, tools to do the offensive piece."

--"And while not approved yet, it looks like that'll be about 5 billion dollars per year [for five years]. Not new money, this is existing programs that we are sweeping into one pile that we can now put concentrated force and mass on, to better integrate those cyber efforts. We've been doing cyber business for a long time, but we're not getting all our eggs in one basket so that we can properly focus resources on that problem."

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