Updated: Jan 2017

Specialty Summary

1B4X1 Cyber Warfare Operations Duties: Performs duties to develop, sustain, and enhance cyberspace capabilities to defend national interests from attack and to create effects in cyberspace to achieve national objectives. Conduct Offensive Cyberspace Operations (OCO) and Defensive Cyberspace Operations (DCO) using established tactics, techniques, and procedures to achieve Service, COCOM and national objectives. Executes command and control (C2) of assigned cyberspace forces and de-conflict cyberspace operations across the kinetic and non-kinetic spectrum. Supports cyberspace capability development, testing and implementation. Partners with DoD, interagency and Coalition Forces to detect, deny, disrupt, deceive, and mitigate adversarial access to sovereign national cyberspace systems.

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Tech School



Cyber Security

Duty Badge

Cyberspace ​Operator Badge








Total: 567

For Entry Into This Specialty


General: 64


40 lbs

  • A minimum score of 60 on the Air Force Electronic Data Processing Test.
  • For award and retention of these AFSCs, must attain and maintain a minimum Information Assurance Technical Level II certification.
  • Specialty requires routine access to Top Secret material or similar environment.

Duties and Responsibilities

Conducts OCO to project power by application of force in and through cyberspace. OCO may include targeting adversary cyberspace functions or using first-order effects in cyberspace to initiate cascading effects into the physical domains to affect weapon systems, C2 processes and critical infrastructure/key resources.

Conducts DCO to defend DoD and other friendly cyberspace. DCO includes passive and active cyberspace defense operations to preserve the ability to utilize friendly cyberspace capabilities and protect data, networks, net-centric capabilities and other designated systems. DCO by Cyber Warfare Operators does not include passive defense measures intended to maintain and operate the DODIN such as configuration control, patching and firewall operations.

Conducts specific cyberspace actions including cyberspace defense, cyberspace operations in support of intelligence operations, cyberspace operational preparation of the environment and cyberspace attack in order to support OCO and DCO

Provides C2 of cyberspace operations in support of DoD, interagency and Coalition Forces to establish situational awareness of both friendly and adversary operations. Develops operational tasks and orders, evaluates mission feedback, and aligns with strategic intent.

Develops and executes TTPs. Analyzes national defense guidance and strategic objectives to create operational policies. Implements policies through the development of TTPs in support of assigned cyber capability execution. Plans, conducts, and evaluates exercises to enhance operational readiness.

Establishes performance standards, trains and conducts evaluations to ensure personnel are proficient, qualified, and certified. Ensures units meet operational readiness goals and adhere to operational procedures.

Participates in research and development as well as operational testing and evaluation to determine possible new or modifications to existing capabilities. Assesses and reverse engineers network nodes and infrastructure devices (to include operating systems and software applications) to determine capabilities, functionalities, limitations and vulnerabilities.

Applies forensic and reverse engineering TTPs to determine the extent of the battle damage sustained during cyberspace attacks. These efforts may require partnering with other DoD, interagency and Coalition Forces.

Specialty Qualifications

Knowledge. Knowledge is mandatory of: computer operating systems, software applications, database concepts, common programming languages and hardware components.. Also mandatory, understanding of networking fundamentals to include protocols, network addressing, and, network infrastructure, telecommunications theory and data communications. They must be proficient on wireless technologies and understand cryptography, to include utilization and exploitation techniques. Must have understanding of applicable laws governing cyber operations.

Education. For entry into this specialty, completion of high school is mandatory. Additional courses in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) are desirable. Associate degree or higher in related fields or Information Technology (IT) certification is desirable.

Training. For award of AFSC 1B431, completion of Cyber Warfare Operations initial skills course is mandatory.

Experience. The following experience is mandatory for award of the AFSC indicated:

  • 1B451. Qualification in and possession of AFSC 1B431 and experience performing functions such as offensive and defensive cyber operations.
  • 1B471. Qualification in and possession of AFSC 1B451. Also, experience performing and supervising functions such as offensive and defensive cyber operations.

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