Air Force has launched a new cyber warfare workforce specifically selected, trained and prepared to lead a team of technical experts responsible for protecting networks, data and information systems.

On October 31, Air Force introduced two new employment categories — cyber warfare officer (CWO) and cyber warfare analyst (CWA). The first round of successful candidates will undergo an intensive six-month training program beginning in February.

This is an important step in realising the Fifth Generation Workforce capable of defending and protecting networked assets in and through the cyber domain.

The establishment of CWO and CWA employment categories will be primarily located at No. 462 Squadron at Defence, Science and Technology, RAAF Base Edinburgh in South Australia.

The Commanding Officer of No. 462 Squadron, Wing Commander David Clyde, said the new employment categories would professionalise and enhance current expertise in cyber warfare.

“We’ve been conducting cyber operations for some time but with the increase of computer and digital communications networks, protecting the airpower mission from cyber adversary attacks has become a critical capability," Wing Commander Clyde said.

“Our fifth generation Air Force is dependent on its networks, data links and information for operational success, therefore it’s imperative that Air Force’s information, systems and capabilities are protected from cyber attacks or exploitation.”

462 Squadron integrates with the broader joint environment, such as teams or individuals from the Joint Cyber Unit, as demonstrated at the recent Exercise Pink Pill.

The Director-General Personnel-Air Force, Air Commodore Geoffrey Harland, said the RAAF would  continue to collaborate with the Joint Cyber Directorate to ensure Air Force’s cyber warfare workforce made an important contribution to cyber warfare when called upon.

For those interested, expressions of interest for transfer will be released in the coming months in order to meet a rapidly increasing demand for these new cyber warfare skills.