5/15/2009 - WASHINGTON (AFNS) -- Air Force officials here announced May 15 that Lackland Air Force Base, Texas, is the preferred alternative for the permanent location of 24th Air Force, a new numbered Air Force headquarters focused on the cyber mission.
Although Lackland AFB has been identified as the preferred alternative, a final basing decision will not be made until the environmental process required under the National Environmental Policy Act is completed.
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. The six candidate bases were Barksdale AFB, La.; Lackland AFB, Texas; Langley AFB, Va.; Offutt AFB, Neb.; Peterson AFB, Colo.; and Scott AFB, Ill.
"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.
Following the completion of the environmental impact analysis, Air Force officials intend to make a final base selection this summer.