Air Force elects new head of ISR, cyber effects


Written by Mark Pomerleau

Maj. Gen. Leah Lauderback has been selected as the Air Force’s next deputy chief of staff for intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance and cyber effects operations, the Pentagon announced Thursday night.

If her appointment is confirmed by the Senate, she will take over from Lt. Gen. Mary O’Brien, who was elected Joint Staff CIO in April and leads the Pentagon’s Joint All-Domain Command and Control (JADC2) effort.

Lauderback, who will also be pinning her third star, currently serves as the Deputy Chief of Space Operations for Intelligence at Space Force Headquarters.

This office serves as the administrative and policy office for intelligence, cyber and electromagnetic spectrum operations. It focuses on people, concepts, training, platforms and tools as well as the integration of the various skills in its area of ​​responsibility. The 16th Air Force, the service’s information warfare organization, has operational responsibility for these capabilities.

In 2020, the ISR and Cyber ​​Effects Office added electromagnetic spectrum operations to its portfolio and incorporated the Office of Electromagnetic Spectrum Management into its purview. It also now houses the Office of Electromagnetic Spectrum Superiority, formerly under the Air Staff Planning Directorate.

Lauderback’s selection follows the announcement earlier this week that Maj. Gen. Kevin Kennedy has been elected commander of the 16th Air Force, replacing Lt. Gen. Timothy Haugh. Kennedy is currently the U.S. Cyber ​​Command’s chief of operations.


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