Friday, February 26, 2016

USAF: Second cyberspace weapon system reaches Full Operational Capability status

Air Force Space Command achieved a significant milestone February 12 when the Cyberspace Vulnerability Assessment/Hunter (CVA/H) Weapon System reached Full Operational Capability (FOC) status.

Achieving FOC means the CVA/H weapon system is fully capable to serve as the premier enclave defense platform for prioritized traffic in the Air Force Information Network (AFIN). The CVA/H weapon system enables execution of vulnerability assessments, adversary threat detection and compliance evaluations.

CVA/H is a tool for cyber defense, used inside the boundaries of the defended cyber system. The AF equips its Cyber Protection Teams (CPTs) with the CVA/H weapon system.
"This achievement underscores our commitment to the US Cyber Command Cyber Protection Team mission and to the defense of prioritized cyberspace terrain in the Air Force portion of the Department of Defense Information Network (DODIN).  CVA/H defends the Air Force's ability to fly, fight and win in air, space and cyberspace," said Brigadier General Stephen Whiting, AFSPC Director of Integrated Air, Space, Cyberspace and ISR Operations, who signed the FOC declaration.
The weapon system provides the ability to find, fix, track, target, engage and assess advanced persistent threats to AF missions on prioritized network enclaves within the AFIN.

CVA/H operators focus on providing vulnerability assessment and the Hunter mission.  The Hunter mission provides the 24th Air Force commander and supported combatant commanders with a deployable, precision capability to identify, pursue within network boundaries, and mitigate cyberspace threats impacting critical links and nodes in support of theater or functional operations.  The CVA/H weapon system provides a cyberspace security capability offering in-depth assessment of information system assets such as computers, infrastructure, applications, data, and cyberspace operations.

The CVA/H weapon system consists of four primary components: the Mobile Interceptor Platform, the Deployable Interceptor Platform, the Garrison Interceptor Platform, and the Information Operations Platform-Fly Away Kit.

Active duty weapon system operations are conducted by the 92nd Cyberspace Operations Squadron and the 834th Cyberspace Operations Squadron, located at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas; and the 835 COS and 837th Cyberspace Operations Squadron, located at Scott AFB, Illinois.  The Air Force Reserve Command is building a classic associate unit at Scott AFB to employ the CVA/H.  Also, 12 Air National Guard (ANG) units employ the weapon system.

"Witnessing Gen Whiting signing the FOC declaration for CVA/H culminated years of effort towards maturing and normalizing the many programmatic activities associated with developing and fielding a weapon system," said Lt Col Greg McCulley, Chief of the Air Force Space Command's Defensive Operations Branch and former commander of the 92nd Cyberspace Operations Squadron.

CVA/H was officially designated a weapon system by the Air Force Chief of Staff in March 2013 and achieved Initial Operational Capability (IOC) in June 2013.

"Weapons system" is a term used as a means to identify requirements and critical resources to ensure that they receive comprehensive and equitable consideration for program-associated funding and does not mean that the particular resource is a weapon as defined by the AF and DoD.
The Air Force Intranet Control Weapon System was the first Air Force cyberspace weapons system to reach FOC, which occurred on 7 January.  Other cyberspace weapon systems include the Air Force Cyberspace Defense Weapon System, the Cyber Security and Control System Weapon System, the Cyber Command and Control Mission System Weapon System, and the Cyberspace Defense Analysis Weapon System.