The defensive Cyberspace Vulnerability Assessment/Hunter (CVA/H) Weapon System reached full operational capability (FOC) on Feb. 12, only the second cyberspace weapon system to do so, the Air Force said Friday.
The CVA/H system is a cyber defense tool operating inside the boundaries of a defended cyber system that allows for the execution of vulnerability assessments, adversary threat detection, and compliance evaluations. Air Force Cyber Protection Teams (CPTs) will be equipped with the CVA/H weapon system.
Achieving FOC means the system “is fully capable to serve as the premier enclave defense platform for prioritized traffic in the Air Force Information network (AFIN),” Air Force Space Command said.
The first, and also defensive, cyberspace weapons system, the Air Force Intranet Control (AFINC) Weapon System, earlier reached FOC on Jan. 7 (Defense Daily, Jan. 20).
CVA/H was first designated a weapon system March 2013 by the Air Force Chief of Staff. It achieved initial operational capability (IOC) in June 2013. In this case, the Air Force weapon system designation acts “to identify requirements and critical resources to ensure that they receive comprehensive and equitable consideration for program-associated funding and does not mean that the particular resource is a weapon as defined by the AF and DoD,” Space Command said.
The system provides the CPTS with the ability to find, fix, track, target, engage, and assess advanced persistent threats to Air Force missions on prioritized network enclaves within the AFIN. It consists of four main components: the Mobile Interceptor Platform, the Deployable Interceptor Program, the Garrison Interceptor Platform, and the Information Operations Platform-Fly Away Kit.
The Air Force highlighted CVA/H operators focus on providing vulnerability assessment and the Hunter mission. That mission gives the 24th Air Force commander and supported combatant commands with a deployable, precision capability to identify, pursue within network boundaries, and mitigate cyberspace threats that impact critical links and nodes in support of theater or functional operations.
The system also provides a security capability offering in-depth assessment of information system assets like computers, infrastructure, applications, data, and cyberspace operations, the Air Force said.
“This achievement underscores our commitment to the U.S. Cyber Command Cyber Protection Team mission and to the defense of prioritized cyberspace terrain in the Air Force portion of the Department of Defense Information Network (DODIN).,” Brig. Gen. Stephen Whiting, AFSPC Director of Integrated Air, Space, Cyberspace and ISR Operations, said in a statement.
“CVA/H defends the Air Force’s ability to fly, fight and win in air, space and cyberspace.”
Active Duty weapon system operations are conducted by the 92nd Cyberspace Operations Squadron (COS) and the 834th COS, located at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas; as well as the 835th COS and 837th COS located at Scott Air Force Base AFB, Ill.
The Air Force Reserve Command is building a classic associate unit at Scott to use the CVA/H while 12 Air National Guard units employ the system, the Air Force said.
“Witnessing Gen Whiting signing the FOC declaration for CVA/H culminated years of effort towards maturing and normalizing the many programmatic activities associated with developing and fielding a weapon system,” Lt. Col. Greg McCulley, Chief of the Air Force Space Command’s Defensive Operations Branch and former commander of the 92nd COS, said in a statement,
Additional cyberspace weapon systems include the Air Force Cyberspace Defense Weapon System, the Cyber Security and Control System Weapon System, the Cyber Command and Control Mission System Weapon System, and the Cyberspace Defense Analysis Weapon System.