CSAF sees cyber, ISR as future major command

General Mark A. Welsh III, United States Air Force Chief of Staff, addresses members of the 24th and 25th Air Forces at the Pfingston Basic Military Training Center, and praises their work in the cyber and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance domains. (U.S. Air Force photo by William B. Belcher/Released)

General Mark A. Welsh III, United States Air Force Chief of Staff, addresses members of the 24th and 25th Air Forces at the Pfingston Basic Military Training Center, and praises their work in the cyber and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance domains. (U.S. Air Force photo by William B. Belcher/Released)

General Mark A. Welsh III, United States Air Force Chief of Staff, addresses members of the 24th and 25th Air Forces at the Pfingston Basic Military Training Center, and praises their work in the cyber and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance domains. (U.S. Air Force photo by William B. Belcher/Released)

General Mark A. Welsh III, United States Air Force Chief of Staff, addresses members of the 24th and 25th Air Forces at the Pfingston Basic Military Training Center, and praises their work in the cyber and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance domains. (U.S. Air Force photo by William B. Belcher/Released)

Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas -- Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III and his wife, Betty, visited 24th and 25th Air Forces Aug. 25-27 to gain a first-hand look at cyber and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance mission synergy.

During an all call, which included members from both numbered air forces and the Air Force Installation and Mission Support Center, Welsh emphasized the future of cyber and ISR.

"In about 10 to 12 years, I think we should have a major command focused on information. It should be about collecting it, processing it, and disseminating it," he said. "With 24th and 25th Air Force, we've just stood up the first two building blocks."

He continued that the number of people and organizations in the cyber and ISR mission areas will continue to expand.

"It's an institution we have to build, we have to fund, we have to develop, and we have to be thinking about long term," said Welsh. "Cyber and ISR are the two biggest growth areas in our Air Force and they'll continue to be the biggest growth areas in the joint force for years. What you do is critically important every day to everything the United States military does. You know that; you should know that everybody else knows it too."

To reinforce the importance placed on ISR, specifically, Welsh highlighted the approximately 35,000 people who now support the ISR enterprise.

"It's the people, the skills, the sensors, the architecture; it's everything that collects, moves, processes, analyzes, and shares data and information," he said.  "It's fantastic and how far you've come is just remarkable. Keep charging. We've got a long way to go."