Air Force officially opens IT office

The Air Force celebrated the first day of its new information technology organization May 10 with cake, punch and a blue-ribbon cutting ceremony.

With about 100 Air Force and industry personnel crowded into the E-ring hallway on the fourth floor of the Pentagon, service officials dedicated the Office of the Secretary of the Air Force, Chief of Warfighting Integration and Chief Information Officer. Lt. Gen. William "Tom" Hobbins, the head of the new organization that goes by SAF/XC, said the convergence of the service's business IT, warfighting IT and communications operations offices will let airmen better manage information to more quickly target and attack enemy forces.

Hobbins said he wants airmen "to become analyzers not just inputters of data." He also said he wants SAF/XC to build a reputation servicewide for "shortening the kill chain."

Michael Dominguez, acting secretary of the Air Force, called SAF/XC "a big step." He said the new office took longer than expected to create because "change is hard," but it will let the service "dominate air, space and information."

Dominguez recognized John Gilligan, outgoing Air Force CIO, for his work consolidating the service's computer servers and developing plans for IT investments and information resource management.

"The Air Force owes a lot to John Gilligan. He's done great things for us," Dominguez said.

Then, holding gargantuan scissors, Hobbins and Dominguez cut the blue ribbon officially opening the SAF/XC for business at 1:40 p.m.

In December, the Air Force announced the formation of SAF/XC to create a single organization for IT policy formulation and execution to better use current and future technologies. The new organization merges the former offices of the CIO, the deputy chief of staff for warfighting integration and the deputy chief of staff for installations and logistics.

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