AF officials announce creation of Info Ops tech school

WASHINGTON (AFNS) -- Air Force officials have announced the creation of a new Information Operations technical training school, which is expected to open in fiscal year 2019.

The standup of a dedicated training school at Hurlburt Field, Florida, follows the Air Force’s creation of the Information Operations career field and Air Force specialty code in late 2016.

“Information Operations is not new to the Air Force,” said Col. Ziggy Schoepf, 14F career field manager. “However, this is the first time that the Air Force has codified this capability in a dedicated officer career field. With the creation of the career field and a dedicated schoolhouse, the Air Force is acknowledging the importance of Information Operations to the future of warfare.”

Prior to the creation of the 14F Information Operations AFSC, Airmen from various AFSCs served in IO positions as career broadening experiences for a limited period. Because these Airmen returned to their core AFSC following their service in IO positions, the Air Force was limited in its ability to sustain institutional knowledge and practice of IO tactics, techniques and procedures.

Creation of the 14F AFSC enabled the service to standardize education and training for Airmen, building a foundation to cultivate IO expertise and improve a commander’s ability to operate in more pervasive and connected information and operational environments.

The 14F Initial Skills Course will consolidate and integrate content from multiple IO-related training courses, such as IO intelligence integration, military deception, operational security and psychological operations. The 14-15 week-long courses will begin late fiscal 2019. Until the schoolhouse is fully operational, IO students receive training through a variety of Air Force and joint courses that cover the required subjects.

“Although our Airmen currently receive training on the same subject matters, standing up the 14F AFSC allowed us to create a continuum of learning to develop expertise and experience within the Air Force,” said Schoepf. “The course will provide students with cohesive training rooted in social science. Graduates will have the skills to build strategies and plans that sustain or change perceptions and attitudes driving the behavior and decision making of relevant actors.”