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NEWS | Nov. 30, 2021

Sixteenth Air Force leaders discuss future of information warfare

By Joshua Rodriquez 16th Air Force (Air Forces Cyber) Public Affairs

Sixteenth Air Force leaders, various wing command teams, and group command teams gathered in-person and virtually at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland Nov. 8-9 to meet and discuss the future of the Air Force’s only Information Warfare command.

Lt. Gen. Timothy D. Haugh, Sixteenth Air Force commander, said the main goal of the leadership summit was to collaborate as leaders and see how the various commanders are accepting the challenge at their local levels. Haugh noted that for this summit, his goal was to embrace and embody the principles of collaboration, connection, empowerment, innovation, and outcome focus in keeping with the Sixteenth Air Force Phoenix culture.

“I could not be more excited to have everyone in the same room,” Haugh said. “I am proud of how you have handled the challenges in front of you over the last couple of years.”

The summit's theme aligned with the Chief of Staff Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr.’s national strategic guidance initiative "Accelerate change or lose." Over two days, Sixteenth Air Force leadership and Headquarters Air Force leaders spoke to wing commanders, command chiefs, and civilian leadership. They discussed multiple topics, including; operational outcomes, wing support, staff maturation, investing in Airmen, and diversity and inclusion.

Chief Master Sgt. Kenneth Bruce, Sixteenth Air Force Command Chief, emphasized the information warfare community doesn’t move without the Sixteenth Air Force, whether it is command and control, global ISR, or protecting Air Force networks.

“I hope you use this week to connect with each other and see where you fit in the puzzle,” Bruce said.  “Understand how our Airmen are in the fight daily. None of it happens without this NAF. This NAF is the backbone of the United States Air Force.”

Col. Kayle Stevens, 480th Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance Wing commander, highlighted the Sixteenth  Air Force Senior Leadership Summit which provided senior leaders a moment to step back and consider the big picture.  The summit also provided a venue for leaders to listen and leverage the intellectual capital across the wings within the NAF and our National Air and Space Intelligence Center mission partners.  

“For me, the best part of the event is spending time with fellow wing commanders, senior enlisted leaders, and NAF senior leaders,” Stevens said. “Hearing how they are solving problems and accelerating change across their wings is inspiring.  I always learn something new from them and their leadership.”

According to Haugh, Sixteenth Air Force is working to posture itself to better address the demands of the National Defense Strategy by driving the Air Force to operate more in the competition phase, as opposed to waiting until the conflict phase of warfare.