Cyber Defense Correlation Cell for Space stands up

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Jonathan Whitely
  • 50th Space Wing Public Affairs

The Cyber Defense Correlation Cell for Space stood up Oct. 18 at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, and will operate at the enterprise level by detecting and responding to cyber threats against Air Force Space Command mission systems.

Shane Swenson, 50th Space Communication Squadron director of the CDCC-S, said this capability is critical to the security of our nation.

“It’s important to defend mission systems within the AFSPC portfolio against adversaries,” he said. “This cyberspace operations center is an [integral] piece of layered cyber defense.”

The CDCC-S is the first of its kind in the Air Force and has more than 50 civilian and military personnel working alongside 30 contractors.

“This was part of a pathfinder initiative,” he said. “[The Air Force] delegated it to the base level to figure out how to get cyber defense onto mission systems. We’ve been doing this longer than anyone else, we’re ahead of the curve.”

Maj. Gen. Stephen Whiting, 14th Air Force commander, was a speaker at the ribbon cutting and said the opening of the CDCC-S is a historic event.

“Having a bird’s eye view of the cyber defense posture and activity on our Air Force Space Command weapons is going to give us a unique perspective on what our potential space system cyber weaknesses are,” he said. “This will allow wing commanders across Air Force Space Command to improve cyber defense capabilities, increase our overall wing cyber threat awareness and allow commanders to make informed decisions about cyber defense and security.” 

The cyber warfighters in the CDCC-S are critical to the nation’s security, working 24/7, 365 to ensure unfettered access to the cyber domain.

“The cyber defense correlation cell will help mission defense teams by providing scalable defensive cyber operations and incident response support as part of a layered defense,” Whiting said.

He said the standup of the CDCC-S will provide a much-needed defensive capability to the Air Force’s space mission.

“Now more than ever we need to pivot from spending more time defending our email networks to defending our critical mission systems which execute combatant commander missions,” he said.

The CDCC-S will provide Air Force cyber operators to see and assess the threats facing its cyber-enabled mission systems, providing punctual and critical feedback to commanders.

“Our cyber defenses must be better today than they were yesterday and better tomorrow than they are today, and that pattern must continue indefinitely,” Whiting said. “Our space systems will be safer, and in the end, the work you do here today will keep America and our allies safer as well.”

The CDCC-S has three primary functions:

  • Detect: look for potential threats
  • Respond: come up with solutions for and responding to threats
  • Protect: network hardening

“Successful cyber defense is a unique partnership between the supported mission system owner, the cyber defense operator, the program offices, numbered Air Force and MAJCOMs,” Swenson said.

As AFSPC continues to grow, the standup of the CDCC-S on Oct. 18 will only improve the MAJCOMs cyberspace warfighting superiority.