It’s a certainty that future battles will not only be fought on the battlefield but they will also be fought in Cyberspace.
That concerns Air Force commanders greatly because many Air Force weapons and command and control systems are directly tied to computer use.
Rest assured that America’s enemies are well-aware of this fact too.
That’s why protecting America’s military computers and the cyberspace that they operate in is paramount to America’s success in any future war.
That is where Air Force Cyber Surety Personnel come into play.
They are the Air Force members that take the lead in keeping cyber threats away from Air Force and other military computer systems.
The importance of this task cannot possibly be emphasized enough as America becomes more and more dependent on computer systems to gain an edge in future battles.
More on this critical US Air Force career field can be seen here on this YouTube video:
Air Force Cyber Surety Requirements and Qualifications
If you are interested in becoming an Air Force Cyber Surety Specialist, you will first have to fulfill all of these prerequisites before you can enter into training in this career field.
• Minimum ASVAB Score of 64 in the General category or an ASVAB score of 54 on General combined with a score of 60 or better on the Cyber Skills Test.
• Be between the ages of 17 and 39
• Possess a GED or high school diploma
• Have normal color vision and depth perception
• Be able to lift 40 lbs.
• Prior knowledge of information systems is preferred by not required
• Successful completion of 8.5 weeks of Air Force Basic Military Training held at Joint Base Lackland in San Antonio, TX (Not required of those with prior military experience or training)
• Completion of a current Single Scope Background Investigation (SSBI) that leads to the ability of an Airman being granted access to Top-Secret or similar level material
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Training and Career Path to Become an Air Force Air Force Cyber Surety Specialist
It takes much training to make sure that Air Force Cyber Surety personnel are capable of keeping military computer networks and online communications safe and secure.
Here is the training path it takes to become qualified to perform the duties of an Air Force Cyber Surety expert.
Air Force Technical Training Information
Technical training for this Air Force career field takes place at Keesler Air Force Base outside of Biloxi, Mississippi.
It lasts approximately 2 months long.
During this time a new recruit will learn the basics of Air Force computers and information systems and start to learn how to better protect them.
This will include such things as gaining knowledge and proficiency at using Air Force information systems and learning about their capabilities, technical protocols, and functions.
The Airman will also learn about networked Air Force information systems, computer network information flow, and their associated support components.
The new Cyber Surety recruit will also learn how to solve information system operation problems and learn what resources are at their disposal to secure Air Force information systems and to correct possible breaches of them.
On the Job Training
As with most Air Force jobs, the main core of learning for an Air Force Cyber Surety Specialist is done with hands-on training.
This will take place at the new recruits’ first permanent duty assignment.
During this training phase, the Airman will learn how to maintain and secure the specific Air Force information systems that they will be working with.
It most likely will take any Cyber Surety recruit several months of on the job training to become proficient enough at their job to function as an Air Force Cyber Surety Specialist on their own.
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How Much Are Air Force Cyber Surety Specialists Paid?
All military members regardless of their branch of service are paid by a combination of rank and time in service.
Most new Air Force Cyber Surety recruits will start out as an Airman Basic (E-1).
Those with prior computer system knowledge or IT training may be bumped up to Airman (E-2) or Airman First Class (E-3) ranks.
|Insignia||Pay Grade||Rank||Abbreviation||2020 Minimum Monthly Pay|
|E-3||Airman First Class||A1C||$2,043|
|E-8||Senior Master Sergeant||SMSgt||$4,480|
|E-9||Chief Master Sergeant||CMSgt||$5,473|
|E-9||Command Chief Master Sergeant||CCM||$5,473|
|E-9||Chief Master Sergeant Of The Air Force||CMSAF||$5,473|
Other forms of pay and incentives may include such things as:
• Housing allowance for those that live off base (BAH)
• Subsistence allowance (Food – BAS)
• Temporary duty pay
• Hazardous duty pay
• Cost of living incentives
• Tuition reimbursement
Of course, all health care requirements for Air Force members are always 100% paid for.
What’s Life Like as an Air Force Cyber Surety Specialist?
So what exactly do Cyber Surety Specialists do in the Air Force?
The list is long and contains many variables that relate directly to an Airman’s permanent duty station.
Here is a list of the responsibilities that come with being an Air Force Cyber Surety Specialist:
• Cyber Surety personnel ensure that Air Force and other military computer networks and online communications are kept secure; this includes the deterrence, detection, and elimination of cyber threats and attacks.
• Constantly conduct Air Force IT system risk and vulnerability assessments
• Points out weaknesses in Air Force IT and related online communication systems and makes timely recommendations for improvement.
• Makes sure that new and existing Air Force computer systems and related lines of communication are always kept in compliance with military security standards and protocols.
• Conduct audits of cybersecurity incidents to determine why they occurred and how to better prevent such incursions in the future; this will include follow up procedures and the conducting of IT forensic investigations.
• Constantly stay aware of current Air Force IT system policies and protocols and keep up to date on the latest and best cybersecurity techniques.
• Undergo constant training and learning that enables them to defend Air Force computer systems and related online communications from any potential cyber threats.
Whenever you work in a job that entails keeping computer information systems and their associated message flow secure, you will be working in a challenging and sometimes stressful environment.
You will, however, be working in a more comfortable office-style setting most of the time.
This is true even when working on more remote sites because computers and their associated support equipment need to be kept cool.
Although you may have to go on temporary duty assignments periodically as an Air Force Cyber Surety Specialist, most of the time you will be stationed on a base where you can have your family with you too.
That makes this a better than average military occupation for those that have families.
Those that have performed the duties of an Air Force Cyber Surety Specialist say it’s a faced paced and challenging job.
Most seem to like it besides the obvious drawbacks of working with constantly changing and evolving IT systems.
Here is what a few former Air Force Cyber Surety Specialists had to say on the website indeed.com about their experience working in this Air Force career:
Air Force Cyber Surety Civilian Career Opportunities
Anytime you have the ability to work with computers and keep them secure, you are very unlikely to ever find yourself without a job.
That is certainly the case with former Air Force Cyber Surety Specialists.
Each year computer systems worldwide seem to face more and more security threats.
That makes the skills Ex-Air Force Cyber Surety Specialists possess in high demand in the job marketplace.
Almost every business these days relies greatly on the computer and information systems found inside them and recognizes the need to keep them safe from cyber threats.
Here are some typical jobs that those with Air Force Cyber Surety skills usually qualify for:
• Cybersecurity analyst
• Computer inspection and cyber compliance specialist
• Network security specialist
• Cyber Surety and Information Assurance
• Risk management analyst
• IT quality assurance analyst
• Nuclear surety evaluator
These are some companies that are known to hire former Air Force Cyber Surety Specialists:
• ISHPI Information Technologies, Inc. (DBA ISHPI) – Portsmouth, VA
• Systems Planning and Analysis – Offutt AFB, NE
• US Department of the Air Force – Andrews AFB, MD
• VMware – Broomfield, CO
• Bechtel – Pueblo, CO
• BAE Systems – Hill AFB, UT
• WestRock – Atlanta, GA
Many civilian cyber surety jobs have excellent starting salaries that are oftentimes in excess of $60,000/year or more.
Those that land jobs as government cyber surety contractors will also have their military time count towards vacation days and retirement.
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