Scott Air Force Base News

Air Force COMSEC centralized at Scott

Lt. Col. Eric Trias, Cyberspace Support Squadron commander, and Scott Ferguson, Air Force Communications Security Field Support team lead, review communications security functions within the CYSS tri-fold.
Lt. Col. Eric Trias, Cyberspace Support Squadron commander, and Scott Ferguson, Air Force Communications Security Field Support team lead, review communications security functions within the CYSS tri-fold.

A Team Scott mission partner and a key cog of Air Force Space Command, the Cyberspace Support Squadron’s impact is on display as it centrally manages communications security for the Air Force.

As their tagline indicates, this “unique and diverse squadron supporting all things cyber” highlights that role when it comes to COMSEC.

As we conclude the journey through this year’s National Cyber Security Awareness Month, it’s important to emphasize that COMSEC is a critical enabler of secure, interoperable communications. We have to get this right to ensure our enemies don’t. CYSS is proud to be at the forefront of protecting secure communications on every Air Force platform.

Lt. Col. Eric Trias, CYSS commander

COMSEC provides the infrastructure to manage an extensive Department of Defense capability to encrypt/decrypt data at rest, transit, and usage. COMSEC delivers the strongest confidentiality and integrity guarantees to the country’s communications.

Further, COMSEC denies unauthorized persons information derived from U.S. government information systems, and ensures those systems are authentic. With national security at risk, the procedural and physical measures and controls leveraged under COMSEC are perhaps more important today than any time in our history—every Air Force operation depends upon COMSEC to deny adversaries information. COMSEC directly prevents our adversaries from listening, reading, or manipulating our mission data.

As part of National Cyber Security Awareness Month, an interview with Scott Ferguson, of CYSS’ Cyberspace Security Flight, provides insight into the squadron’s dominate role in the delivery of COMSEC. Ferguson helps lead the oversight of 320 worldwide COMSEC accounts and is a retired Chief Master Sergeant with 24 years of experience in COMSEC, at multiple organizational levels. Like chiefs often do, he keeps it simple and cuts to the chase.

“Voice, video, and data stay secure through the policies and execution of COMSEC,” Ferguson said. “Imagine if you couldn’t communicate securely in air, space, or cyberspace ... what’s the impact?

Consolidating COMSEC functions into a single organization, like CYSS, creates operational and management efficiencies as each function is a key component of the Air Force’s ability to operate in and defend its warfighting domains, particularly cyberspace.

“In fact, the global reach, global power of Air Mobility Command is honed under the umbrella of COMSEC as it ensures airborne communications are secure from adversaries and prevents exploitation and frequency jamming.”

Ferguson adds that under AFSPC leadership, CYSS, in coordination with the National Security Agency, manages seven distinct COMSEC functions: AF COMSEC Field Support, Cryptographic-Modernization, Key Management Infrastructure, Space COMSEC, Air & Ground COMSEC, Algorithm/Cryptographic Transition, and COMSEC Audit.

Consolidating COMSEC functions into a single organization, like CYSS, creates operational and management efficiencies as each function is a key component of the Air Force’s ability to operate in and defend its warfighting domains, particularly cyberspace.

From cradle-to-grave accounting and audit of COMSEC equipment and material, to subject matter expertise on policy and encryption requirements, the military, civilians, and contractors in the Cyberspace Security Flight help provide Air Force commanders the rigor and protection needed to get their missions done.

This former AMC COMSEC chief also reminds us that while the Air Force is all about the prosecution of war, its global importance can also be felt through its support and humanitarian roles, such as during recent Hurricane Harvey relief efforts—where COMSEC’s capabilities again stood tall, as equipment and processes under its charter protected assets in transit to desperate citizens of our nation.

The CYSS commander, Lt. Col. Eric Trias, depends upon experts like Ferguson to strengthen the Air Force’s COMSEC posture and promote a culture of Air Force-wide compliance.

Imagine if you couldn’t communicate securely in air, space, or cyberspace ... what’s the impact? In fact, the global reach, global power of Air Mobility Command is honed under the umbrella of COMSEC as it ensures airborne communications are secure from adversaries and prevents exploitation and frequency jamming.

Scott Ferguson, Air Force Communications Security Field Support team lead

“As we conclude the journey through this year’s National Cyber Security Awareness Month, it’s important to emphasize that COMSEC is a critical enabler of secure, interoperable communications,” Trias said. “We have to get this right to ensure our enemies don’t. CYSS is proud to be at the forefront of protecting secure communications on every Air Force platform.”

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