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Thu, Aug 13, 2009

Air Force Announces Decision On Location Of 24th Air Force

Numbered Air Force Conducts Cyber Operations Integrated With Air And Space Missions

The U.S. Air Force announced today that Lackland Air Force Base, Texas, has been selected as the permanent location of the 24th Air Force headquarters, a numbered air force (NAF) designed to conduct cyber operations activities for the Air Force.
The selection of the 24th Air Force headquarters location follows completion of the Environmental Impact Analysis Process required by the National Environmental Policy Act. "The thorough evaluation process, which included a 30-day public comment period, determined a finding of no significant impact," said Kathleen Ferguson, deputy assistant secretary for installations. 
Lackland Air Force Base, Texas, was previously identified as the Air Force's preferred alternative and Peterson Air Force Base, CO, was another alternative considered in this process. "The standup of this NAF will provide clear lines of authority and responsibility dedicated to cyber operations," said, Maj. Gen. Richard Webber, who will assume command of 24th Air Force later this month.

In October 2008, Air Force officials announced the creation a Cyber-Numbered Air Force under Air Force Space Command. The Air Force announced the six candidate bases for the numbered Air Force headquarters Jan. 21, and then began site surveys that teams completed on March 6.  "Site survey teams used previously approved criteria to gather information, assess capabilities, and refine initial data to thoroughly evaluate all candidate locations in accordance with our basing process," said Kathleen Ferguson, the deputy secretary of the Air Force for installations. "She added that these basing selections were made using a measured and deliberate process to ensure that the final decision is the best possible outcome for national defense and is in compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act."

This information was then evaluated during a Headquarters Air Force-level review to select the preferred alternative, she added.

In selecting a preferred alternative for the cyber mission, Air Force officials considered cyber Numbered Air Force mission synergy (including proximity to other cyber operational missions and access to scientific and technical expertise) as well as communication and bandwidth capabilities. Other criteria evaluated included facilities and infrastructure, support capacity, security and transportation/access considerations.



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