By 2nd Lt. Aileen Lauer, 2nd Bomb Wing Public Affairs
/ Published June 09, 2021
U.S Air Force Capt. Michael Jacobs, deputy branch chief of future operations headquarters United States European Command, discusses with Staff Sgt. Janeace Stampul, 2d Communication Squadron Mission Defense Team technician, about the capabilities of their Mission Assurance Capabilities Kit at Morón Air Base, Spain, June 2, 2021. Mission Defense Teams safeguard data analytics ensuring weapons systems are safe from adversaries. (U.S. Air Force photo by 2nd Lt Aileen Lauer)
The 2nd Communications Squadron’s Mission Defense Team is deployed for cyber system analysis as part of the Bomber Task Force, conducting operations out of Moron Air Base, Spain.
Deploying with the BTF provides the MDT the ability to perform timely analysis of the B-52 Stratofortress’ cyber systems in search for security risks and data abnormalities during and after bomber missions.
“It’s a critical time right now for industries that rely on information systems and the United States Air Force and it’s airframes are no exception,” said Capt. Ryan Hollister, 2nd Communication Squadron operations flight commander. “Our mission defense team is dedicated to not only look deep into the data that is being utilized by the B-52, but also its analysis for potentially unwanted programs, code, or other threats.”
Utilizing the MDT is a line of defense against our adversaries on a weapon system no one thought data be exploited from.
“This provides the necessary mission assurance that our equipment is safe and secure from any adversary, and we are able to carry out our mission,” said Hollister. “Our MDT is doing unprecedented work and has become a leading example of the steps taken to protect our data, information, and their systems.”
The MDT’s data analysis during the BTF is a step towards providing specialized cyber defense to all bomber operations and pushes towards modernization efforts of other cyber defense systems.
“Ensuring our Airmen continue to be innovative in how we accomplish our mission and enhances our overall readiness to respond to any challenge across the globe,” said Lt. Col. Christopher Duff, 96th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron commander. “The deployment of the MDT is an innovation that is establishing increased cyber defense capabilities for the BTF.”
When not deploying on BTFs, the MDT are updating their Mission Assurance Capabilities Kit and are redefining their standard operating procedures.