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James McLaughlin: Air Force Eyes ‘Proactive Stance’ in Cybersecurity

Maj. Gen. James McLaughlin

Maj. Gen. James McLaughlin, formerly 24th Air Force commander, credited the soldiers under his command for their work to bolster the service’s cyber defense in his farewell address to the organization.

McLaughlin said at the Aug. 5 ceremony that soldiers have taken steps to defend the digital landscape, operate the Air Force Information Network, protect mission systems and deliver cyber tools to joint war troops.

“It isn’t about what I have done, but what the team has done. They have really facilitated a critical transition in cyber security,” McLaughlin said.

McLaughlin served as the commander of 24th AF and Air Forces Cyber between June 2013 and July 2014, when he was selected for the deputy commander role at Cyber Command.

Cyber threats call for “a different approach,” he said in his speech.

“Previously, we had a static defense posture; we updated software and protections in defense. Now we are transitioning to a more proactive stance and actively shaping and defending the cyber terrain,” he said.

“The Air Force has a long history of operating in the air domain and decades in the space domain, but cyber domain is still brand new and we’ve taken a major step towards how we defend in the cyber domain,” McLaughlin added.

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