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NEWS | Dec. 28, 2016

Cyberspace Operations Group wins AFSPC level “CSAF Team Excellence Award”

The Operations Tasking Development Team from the 690th Cyberspace Operations Group (690th COG), 67th Cyberspace Wing, 24th Air Force (24th AF), Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas, won the Chief of Staff Team Excellence Award at the Air Force Space Command level September 20, 2016. 

The 690th COG global cyber operations team innovatively created and tirelessly implemented a first of its kind authoritative process to prioritize, plan, task, organize, and resource high-demand Air Force cyber forces to execute Department of Defense Information Network (DODIN) operations.  

While the process is innovative for enterprise cyber operations, it pulls its theory and operational construct from Joint Operations as described under Joint Publication 3-60.  The 690th COG mirrored the JP 3-60’s Joint Integrated Prioritized Target List (JIPTL) construct to create the Synchronized Cyber Integrated Task List (SCITL). 

The 690th COG prefers not to create new “cyber lingo,” referring to SCITL, but found it necessary to develop a new construct since ‘targeting’ in ‘blue’ cyberspace construed a different meaning that originally intended by the JIPTL. 

The SCITL is a key product in the overall DODIN Operations Tasking Process (DOT-P); which includes:

Defined entry point for all tasks requiring Air Force Cyber (AFCYBER) DODIN Ops Forces
Clear prioritization processes and approvals at appropriate organizational levels
Articulation of operational risk when resources are not available
Clear linkage of strategy to task for DODIN Ops missions
Alignment with existing 24th AF, 624th Operations Center  processes and doctrinal best practices
Utilization of DODIN force package construct to establish a defined set of resources available for each tasking

Through the 624th OC, Major Gen. Christopher Weggeman, 24th AF - AFCYBER commander, makes daily priority decisions which assigns tasks based on available forces.  However, not all force requirements are strictly in response to a threat. 

The main demand for DODIN forces is currently within the “Build” and “Secure” lines of effort.  In reality, the AFCYBER commander should be able to prioritize across all lines of effort applicable to DODIN forces: Build, Operate, Secure, Defend, Extend and Engage.  

Since establishment of the SCITL Coordination Board (SCB), Major Commands (MAJCOMS), military installations, and the Secretary of the Air Force Chief Information Officer have been able to provide additional justification to the AFCYBER commander based on the need to raise the priority of their request for DoDIN forces.  As the DOT-P evolves, proper on-boarding will reduce the current workload on DODIN forces, thus increasing capacity for DODIN forces to shift focus to proactive security of the cyber terrain.

Prior to the SCITL process, MAJCOM, Joint, and Service priorities conflicted in tasking the same limited cyber resources causing global mission impacts. 

Since launch, over 100 cyber operations have used this process resulting in the deployment of several hundred countermeasures to harden the cyber terrain; mitigating thousands of vulnerabilities while also deliberately creating maneuver space to ensure the Air Force can fly, fight, and win globally in and through cyberspace. The 690th COG is scheduled to compete at Headquarters Air Force in April 2017.