March 19, 2019
SAN ANTONIO – Col. Scott O’Malley, Vice Commander of the USAF’s 688th Cyberspace Wing at JBSA-Lackland, spoke to members of the Alamo-area AFCEA group on Tuesday. Col. O’Malley discussed challenges they’ve encountered in transitioning multiple pre-existing entities to new roles, and provided some insight in nto how the 688th plans to move forward.
In a nutshell, according to Col. O’Malley, the 67th and 688th have traded roles- of course, this sort of thing isn’t necessarily as simple as changing signage and issuing new letterhead. Part of this process involves reorganizing or reallocating multiple squadrons of personnel. For some, it means changing their specific role or procedures, and for others, they might not notice any difference at all. “We want to make our tactical airman as capable as possible,” O’Malley said.
Which hurdle is the first to be tackled? “Our primary focus is training, transition affects how airmen are able to be effective in their roles.” Naturally, shutting operations down for a hard reset isn’t an option. So how are they coping? O’Malley says they want to make sure that decisions are being pushed out to the lowest level possible.
The biggest hurdle? According to Col O’Malley, its going to be “EITaaS” (Enterprise IT-as-a-Service). “This is absolutely critical to our future ability to do our job well. If we don’t get that right, we will not be where we need to be. Our commanders must understand the importance of making that transition properly.”
“Mission readiness is critical for us. Each of these units brings something different to the fight. And we aren’t necessarily talking about actions of a foreign entity- this includes the Tyndall recovery, and now recovery responsibilities for Offutt AFB as well thanks to the flooding in that area.” O’Malley said the news isn’t all bad, “This does present an opportunity for us to make changes at these facilities, to reassess placement and engineering of resources and equipment.”
A final question from the audience touched on a subject long whispered about in these circles. “I think you may see something happen with the 24th and 25th Air Force, I know it’s been discussed for some time. It’s not off the table. Stay tuned.”