Air Force IT Conference returns with ‘cyberpower’ addition Published March 15, 2016 By Phil Berube 42nd Air Base Wing Public Affairs MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. (AFNS) -- The Air Force Information Technology Conference held annually in Montgomery, Alabama, which has been canceled since 2012 due to budget constraints, is returning to the state capital this year with an emphasis on cyberpower. The rebranded Air Force Information Technology and Cyberpower Conference will be held at the Renaissance Montgomery Hotel and Spa at the Convention Center, Aug. 29-31. The theme for the conference is “America: Living Free, Secure and Productive in a Cyber World.” Historically, the conference was sponsored by the Air Force Program Executive Office-Business Enterprise Systems, an Air Force Life Cycle Management Center unit on Maxwell’s Gunter Annex. The rebranded conference is now sponsored by Air University, the Air Force’s accredited education system that provides professional military and professional continuing education. “Given the advances in technology and cyber operations in the years since the last conference, the commander of Air University decided to reinstate it and include strong cyber and academic elements,” said Col. Michael Anderson, AFITC chair. The conference is one of the primary tools for keeping Air Force and private industry cyber leaders and experts current on the latest concepts, strategies, technologies and capabilities in both the military and civilian sectors. Attendees will get firsthand insights from leading government and industry experts on what challenges America is facing in the defense of the United States. The new Air Force Cyber College at Air University will lead the conference academic tracks that will jointly evolve the collaboration, concepts, methods, IT applications and strategies to ensure national security and economic vitality for America. The college will lead collaborative focus groups with the aim of building a network of professionals for public-private action to foster trusted partnerships between government and industry to drive the development of a plan geared toward policy changes to strengthen the country’s national and economic security. “The purpose of the groups is to continue the cyber dialogue we began at the Cyberpower Conference series in 2011 and 2012 at Air University,” said Dr. Pano Yannakogeorgos, dean of the Air Force Cyber College. “AFITC offers a platform to reinvigorate this network. Cyber College will serve as the steward of a trusted collaborative process to identify problems, discover solutions and design strategies to inform recommendations to decision leaders.” The cyber and academic elements will bring together cyber professionals, decision makers, commercial businesses, Air Force professionals and Air University students and academicians with the common goal of advancing the effectiveness, thought and discussion of the nation’s and Air Force’s approach to the cyber domain. Air University understands that success in national cyber security requires an improved and robust digital relationship with private industry to combat the sophisticated cyber threats present today. Ideally, this conference will generate the “whole of nation” strategies and processes aimed at overcoming challenges and ambiguities of an increasing digital world. “A major goal will be to help forge a path for future cyber strategies and initiatives that will help maintain the nation’s leadership in this critical domain,” said Col. Ronald Banks, the vice commandant of Air War College and faculty member of Cyber College. The Air Force Program Executive Office-Business Enterprise Systems will offer tracks on information and operational technology, cyberspace defense, agile acquisition and continuing education. AFITC 2016 is expected to attract more than 150 vendors and more than 2,000 attendees. Registration is open to Defense Department personnel, military retirees, government contractors and local and state employees. The conference will also hold an education day for high school students focusing on science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM, education. For more information and to register, visit the AFITC website here.