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ACC A6 Leads the way in Force Design summit

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Dana Tourtellotte
  • HQ Air Combat Command Public Affairs

Brig. Gen. Heather W. Blackwell, Director of Cyberspace and Information Dominance, and Chief Information Officer, Headquarters Air Combat Command, hosted the Communications Squadron Force Design summit on behalf of Headquarters U.S. Air Force Director of Cyberspace Operations and Warfighter Communications. The summit ran from 24-27 January. 

“We hear you, you are all doing amazing work out there,” said Blackwell. “This summit is to ensure that all the changes that are coming down to you are accompanied by a good plan for organizing, equipping and adjusting to the changes in 2023 so you can continue to do great work for all our units around the world.”

The summit marks the beginning of institutional change across the Air Force Communications and Information Technology enterprise impacting 18,000 cyber warfare operations and cyber defense operations Airmen.

Discussions centered on optimizing the CS force structure to achieve mission essential tasks given broad changes brought by Agile Combat Employment, Air Force Force Generation, and Enterprise Information Technology as a Service.

Brig. Gen. Blackwell stressed that the attending leaders’ focus was on what their Airmen needed in order to accomplish the mission.  

Airmen can expect multiple documents and re-writing of AF Instructions that better support the AF’s and CS career field changes. The changes are slated to start to be implemented in calendar year 2023. 

ACC A6, as lead command, was chosen to host the summit because it’s perfectly poised to pull the right people together for the summit who will be able to produce the best strategic documents that can be utilized across the AF. 

Blackwell is proud of ACC’s CS Airmen, and she is excited to see them lead the way as the AF seeks to enhance their CS force design for the future fight.

“My vision for Communications Squadrons is that they are organized, trained and equipped with the capabilities that are coming in the future such as cloud or zero trust or software defining capabilities,” said Blackwell. “All those capabilities are fundamental to employing Agile Combat Employment and to supporting and defending some of the fifth-generation aircraft that we operate in ACC.”

The summit was hosted on behalf of Brig. Gen. Terrence Adams, Director of Cyberspace Operations and Warfighter Communications, Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance, and Cyber Effects Operations, Headquarters U.S. Air Force.