24th Air Force Lead Robert Skinner: Lethal Workforce, Partnerships, New Tools Are Top Priorities in Cyber

Maj. Gen. Robert Skinner, commander of the 24th Air Force, wants to build a lethal workforce in the cyberspace, build more partnerships and promote enterprise information technology as a service to improve cyber capabilities for the service branch, Fifth Domain reported Monday.

In an interview with C4ISRNET, Skinner said his top priorities are a proficient force in cyberspace, faster acquisition, advanced tactics and leveraging partnerships. “If you have that then, in my eyes, we’re able to compete, deter and win as necessary in a domain, which isn’t just for cyber, it’s for the joint missions that we’ve been assigned,” he said.

The 24th Air Force commander said the service has launched a pilot with AT&T and Microsoft to assess infrastructures at bases and determine requirements for future IT initiatives. While discussing the Air Force’s strategy in the changing cyber arena, Skinner said the service is working on a “defense forward” approach focusing on persistent engagement with adversaries.

“It’s really saying where adversaries operate is where we want to operate,” he said. Skinner said the new authorities provided to the Air Force enables the service to improve the interagency process to share information and decision making. “Everyone has their say at the right place and based on the delegations from the White House down to the individual departments, it allows for them greater flexibility and agility,” the commander said. 

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