39 IOS unveils advanced cyber schoolhouse addition

Col. Michael Convertino, 318th Information Operations Group commander, and Lt. Col. Dean Clothier, 39th Information Operations Squadron commander, cut the ribbon during a ceremony celebrating the completion of the 4,500 sq. ft. facility addition to the 39 IOS information operations and cyber schoolhouse.   The new state-of-the-art facility will facilitate training future cyber warriors in multiple network warfare, electronic warfare and influence operations related courses.

Col. Michael Convertino, 318th Information Operations Group commander, and Lt. Col. Dean Clothier, 39th Information Operations Squadron commander, cut the ribbon during a ceremony celebrating the completion of the 4,500 sq. ft. facility addition to the 39 IOS information operations and cyber schoolhouse. The new state-of-the-art facility will facilitate training future cyber warriors in multiple network warfare, electronic warfare and influence operations related courses. (US Air Force photo)

HURLBURT FIELD, Fla. -- Members of the Air Force's sole information operations and cyber formal training unit celebrated a milestone July 20, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony to mark the completion of the long-awaited 4,500 sq. ft. facility addition.

"We're at an all time high of graduating more than 480 students this year," said Lt. Col. Dean Clothier, 39th Information Operations Squadron commander. "We're moving from four to 10 courses and as we shift the undergraduate pieces to Undergraduate Cyber Training at Keesler Air Force Base, Miss., we'll grow more and more into mission qualification training which is made up of smaller teams of specialized training. This new type of training requires a new type of facility."

Along with instructing MQTs, the staff will also teach initial qualification training courses such as the unit's cornerstone Information Operations Integration Course as well as other influence operations and network warfare disciplines.

The new state-of-the-art facility will house 10 different network connections including classified and unclassified to accommodate the required training, video teleconference capability and nearly 200 computers to facilitate the education of more than 60 students at one time.

"Over the course of the last three to four years, the Air Force has gone on a journey developing cyber leaders and actually embedding cyber and IO activities into operations," said Col. Michael Convertino, 318th Information Operations Group commander. "It's a better and more efficient way of dealing with operations, and this facility is key to that."

The group commander added that the 39th is at the leading edge of ensuring our warriors are trained properly in connection with the demands of operations we see every day.

"This facility will be agile," said Colonel Convertino. "There are a lot of courses here that will change fairly often and that's a good thing because the nature of our business changes almost daily."

The $1.3 million military construction project was made possible through the collaboration of the host wing and Air Force Space Command tenant unit.

"Hurlburt Field is a dynamic, aggressive growing base with mission growth that is reflected in facilities growth," said Colonel Clothier. "By plugging into the civil engineer and contracting squadrons here to rapidly execute this emergency MILCON project we're extremely grateful for the support and teamwork from the wing."