1/25/2010 - PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. (AFNS) -- The commander of Air Force Space Command certified 24th Air Force for its initial operational capability Jan. 22 here.
This milestone designation means that 24th Air Force Airmen are capable of performing critical elements of their mission.
As a part of reaching IOC, the 24th Air Force staff and its operations center were inspected by the Air Force Space Command Inspector General staff, earning a "ready" rating.
"This is a big day for the United States Air Force," said Gen. C. Robert Kehler, the Air Force Space Command commander. "We've reached all the milestones established by the secretary of the Air Force and chief of staff of the Air Force and after a very rigorous inspector general inspection, the 24th Air Force team has proven their capability to meet their initial operational responsibilities."
"Reaching IOC is a validation of what our people can accomplish," said Maj. Gen. Richard E. Webber, the 24th Air Force commander. "Our job to ensure the Air Force network supports the joint warfighter mission is well under way."
The 24th Air Force, activated Aug. 18, 2009, on Lackland Air Force Base, Texas, is a component numbered Air Force subordinate to Air Force Space Command located at Peterson AFB.
"Cyberspace operations represent one of the critical and major areas of growth within the Air Force today," General Webber said. "The challenge of maintaining our freedom of action in cyberspace is of substantial importance to military operations around the world."
The 24th Air Force is composed of the 67th Network Warfare and 688th Information Operations Wings, both located at Lackland AFB, and the 689th Combat Communications Wing at Robins AFB, Ga. The numbered Air Force is also supported by Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve units across the country.
The 24th Air Force mission is to extend, operate and defend the Air Force portion of the Department of Defense network and to provide full spectrum capabilities for the joint warfighter.
"Cyber mission assurance is a top priority of the Air Force," General Webber said. "The domain we are tasked to operate within touches every part of the Air Force and joint mission."