AF deputy chief information officer visits 509th Communications Squadron

William Marion, U.S. Air Force deputy chief information officer, operates a training remote target engagement system during a tour of the 509th Communications Squadron at Whiteman Air Force Base. Marion visited the base as part of a familiarization tour of Air Force Global Strike Command bases.

WHITEMAN AIR FORCE BASE — William Marion II, U.S. Air Force deputy chief information officer, met with airmen and leadership from the 509th Bomb Wing on Dec. 4 during an Air Force Global Strike Command familiarization tour.

During his visit, Marion met with airmen, viewed a B-2 Spirit, toured the A-10 Thunderbolt II flight simulator and hosted a communications and information all-call.

Marion discussed anticipated changes coming to cyber-security as the Air Force continues to enhance its capabilities.

“It’s not 1941 during World War II, this is the era that the war is going to start and end with cyber-security,” Marion said. “Cyber-security and cyberspace operations are foundational to warfighting now, especially with the Air Force Global Strike Command weapons systems.”

Marion said Whiteman is home to the most advanced air platform, the B-2 stealth bomber. He reiterated cyber-security is important to protecting these sophisticated weapons systems and allowing assets to quickly and effectively get in the fight.

“[Maintaining cyber-security] is a challenge that is so prevalent,” Marion said. “In warfighting, it’s constant mitigation of any risks or managing those insecure pieces so the weapons systems operate like we want them too.”

Whiteman AFB is a major cyberspace-defense hub, Marion said. He described the base and its mission as the “tip-end” of actually delivering payloads to the enemy, but also through data and intelligence allowing advanced decision-making.

“Critical communication systems and processes enable Whiteman AFB to provide both nuclear and conventional capabilities. They are essential to combatant commanders worldwide,” U.S. Air Force Maj. Daniel Ecklebe, 509th Operations Support Squadron, said. “Hosting Mr. Marion and having those discussions about the future of such capabilities was a great opportunity.”

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