The Air Force Network Integration Center, located at Scott Air Force Base, Ill., is the Air Force's premier organization for Air Force Network integration, cyber simulation, and network standards, architecture and engineering services. Through these specialized technical services, AFNIC supports the nation's warfighters with decisive cyber capabilities for mission success.
The center, a field operating agency for Air Combat Command, is the focal point for integrating mission systems, business systems, commercial information technology products and other networks into the Air Force Network (AFNet). AFNIC's strategic-level network integration, architecture/standards, engineering and simulation services enable major commands, functional communities, and program offices to successfully and efficiently design, develop and deploy networthy capabilities for the Air Force.
As part of its integration mission, AFNIC also leads the Air Force's #1 cyber priority, Air Force Network Migration. This project consolidates the service's previous collection of standalone, unit-specific architectures into a single, centrally managed enterprise network that enhances security, reduces costs, and improves standardization.
AFNIC empowers Airmen with decisive and assured cyberspace capabilities by providing highly innovative network architecture, engineering, integration and simulation services with unrivaled expertise, experience and commitment.
Unleashing the power of cyberspace
Air Force Network Integration: AFNIC guides customers through all stages of product development, leading to optimally performing capabilities primed for smooth integration onto the Air Force Network. As part of this process, a robust, holistic assessment of security, interoperability, supportability, sustainability, usability, policy compliance, and network usage is conducted. These Networthiness criteria are evaluated and validated during analysis and end-to-end testing, allowing for issues to be identified and resolved early which improves security and interoperability, facilitates reciprocity, and reduces the time needed for cross-component fielding of information technology.
Cyber Simulation: AFNIC provides simulator-based education, training, crew certification and exercise capabilities to develop cyber warriors' skills in protection and defense of the Air Force Network. The center also maintains a comprehensive suite of network analysis capabilities that provide the communications architecture, modeling, simulation, and analysis necessary for AFNet integration requirements.
Network Standards, Architecture and Engineering: AFNIC's network experts design and document future Air Force Network architecture plans which serve as a blueprint to standardize network capabilities and integrate them onto the AFNet. AFNIC engineers provide technical expertise to integrate ground, air and space networks as well as produce AFNet compliant network designs.
Approximately 475 military, civilian and contractor cyber professionals are assigned performing the AFNIC mission.
The AFNIC is comprised of five directorates:
Network Architecture (NA): Designs and documents future AFNet infrastructure plans and standardizes network service capabilities. When a new system needs to be integrated onto the AFNet, NA reviews the system's architecture to identify and, if necessary, resolves any integration or compatibility issues between the programs and the network.
Network Engineering (NE): Provides technical network consulting to all Air Force organizations to help them properly connect their systems and products to the AFNet.
Network Validation (NV): Validates program performance against representative physical and simulated AFNet environments to assure network security, increase interoperability with the network, and maximize program functionality. NV also leverages AFNIC's advanced simulation capabilities to support cyber training and exercises.
Networthiness (NW): Leads the Networthiness assessment of all systems, applications and devices for effective integration onto the AFNet.
Plans and Programs (XP): Leads all operational, concept, functional and strategic support functions relating to local and enterprise strategic and integration planning.
The center traces its history back to the Army Airways Communications System (AACS), which was organized on Nov. 15, 1938 in the Directorate of Communications of the U.S. Army Air Corps. The official lineage of the AACS, as a separate unit, began on Apr. 13, 1943 with the constitution of the AACS Wing. The Wing was soon reassigned directly to HQ Army Air Forces, on July 14, 1943. Major command status was reached with the addition of Headquarters to the AACS name on Apr. 26, 1944.
On Mar. 13, 1946, AACS was redesignated as the Air Communications Service (ACS), and assigned to the Air Transport Command. The ACS was then redesignated the Airways and Air Communications Service (AACS) on Sept. 11, 1946, and subsequently reassigned to the Military Air Transport Service on June 1, 1948.
Airways and Air Communications Service became an Air Force major command on July 1, 1961, and was simultaneously redesignated Air Force Communications Service (AFCS).
AFCS was redesignated Air Force Communications Command (AFCC) on 15 November 1979. AFCC became a field operating agency on 1 July 1991, reporting to HQ United States Air Force and was redesignated Air Force Command, Control, Communications, and Computer Agency (AFC4A) on 28 May 1993; AFC4A was redesignated the Air Force Communications Agency (AFCA) on 13 June 1996 and on 1 April 1997 was assigned to the Headquarters Air Force Communications and Information Center. AFCA was reassigned to HQ United States Air Force on 1 October 2000.
In July 2009, the Air Force Network Integration Center was established from what was formerly AFCA, and aligned under Air Force Space Command, the Air Force's designated lead for cyber.
In July of 2018, the Air Force Network Integration Center was realigned under Air Combat command as a field operating agency.