An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

NEWS | Nov. 22, 2022

CYBER 101 - Sixteenth Air Force (AFCYBER)

By U.S. Cyber Command Public Affairs

There are no barriers for the United States Air Force (USAF). With more than 3,600 aircraft and 500,000 personnel around the world, the Air Force has global reach and is unmatched in its ability to secure the skies, respond to crisis, and provide valuable air support and reconnaissance to forces on the ground.

In the modern age, these operations occur simultaneously across the domains of airspace, cyberspace, and the information environment. The 16th Air Force (Air Forces Cyber) forms the USAF component to U.S. Cyber Command and is responsible for leveraging its’ expertise as an Information Warfare Numbered Air Force in cyber, information operations (IO); electromagnetic warfare (EW); intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR); and Public Affairs (PA) to respond to this new reality.

Reestablished in 2019 and headquartered at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas – AFCYBER includes nine wings across the United States - the 9th Reconnaissance Wing, 55th Wing, 67th Cyberspace Wing, 70th Intelligence Surveillance, and Reconnaissance Wing; 319th Reconnaissance Wing; 363rd Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance Wing; 480th Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance Wing; 557th Weather Wing; and the 688th Cyberspace Wing. Additionally, the 16th includes one center, Air Force Technical Applications Center, responsible for nuclear treaty monitoring. AFCYBER contributes 39 teams to the Cyber Mission Force at U.S. Cyber Command.



Like all components of U.S. Cyber Command – AFCYBER is capable of conducting both defensive (DCO) and offensive cyberspace operations (OCO) against adversarial nation states and groups who seek to harm the Air Force Information Network (AFIN), USAF pilots, and critical infrastructure across the United States.


Information Operations (IO)

Adversarial nations and groups make decisions based off the best information currently available. They may seek to relay time sensitive information to exploit temporary vulnerabilities and bring harm to members of the United States Armed Forces or U.S. citizens. AFCYBER is responsible for denying our adversaries these capabilities.

Likewise, information operations can be used to confuse adversaries and influence their decision making process into making mistakes or deterring their actions all together.


Electromagnetic Warfare (EW)

Modern technology allows the U.S. Armed Forces to communicate across the battlefield in real time. Provided this is done in a secure manner, it confers a great advantage. AFCYBER is able to conduct Electromagnetic Warfare operations that protect friendly communications equipment, disrupt adversarial targeting systems, and intercept unfriendly communications. AFCYBER’s unique aerial capabilities make it an invaluable component of U.S. Cyber Command.


Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR)

There are few greater advantages in peacetime or conflict than knowing where your adversary is, what they’re thinking, and what they intend to do. AFCYBER uses its cutting edge technologies and expertise to provide commanders and decision makers with the most up-to-date and accurate information on battlefield or global conditions. ISR operations take shape through many means, such drone overflights or intelligence analysis.



The weather mission is to exploit timely, accurate, and relevant weather information anytime and everywhere on the globe. We do this by providing around-the-clock authoritative terrestrial and space-environmental data, analyses, forecasts, threat-warning and threat-mitigation products and services for the Department of Defense, military services, all geographic and functional combatant commands, the National Intelligence Community, White House Situation Room, interagency, allied and coalition partners around the world across multiple security enclaves. Our weather and cyber professionals enable warfighters to achieve multi-domain decision superiority by mitigating atmospheric and solar threats to execution from the strategic to operational to tactical levels of warfare.