Biden nominates new Air Force cyber chief
Martin Matishak May 25, 2022

Biden nominates new Air Force cyber chief

Martin Matishak

May 25, 2022

Biden nominates new Air Force cyber chief

President Joe Biden has chosen a senior U.S. Cyber Command official to be next chief of the Air Force’s information warfare branch, the latest in a series of moves among top cybersecurity leaders within the military services.

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin on Wednesday announced that Biden had tapped Air Force Maj Gen. Kevin Kennedy — who has served Cyber Command’s director of operations since 2020 — to receive his third star and become the next head of the 16th Air Force (Air Forces Cyber).

If confirmed by the Senate, Kennedy would replace Lt. Gen. Timothy Haugh, who the president nominated to be Cyber Command’s new No. 2 and who could be confirmed to his new post as soon as this week.

Kennedy would manage a number of missions that the service consolidated into a single information warfare entity in 2019, including cyber and electronic warfare operations.

In his role as Cyber Command’s director of operations, Kennedy “plans, coordinates, integrates and conducts mission command of full-spectrum Department of Defense Information Networks, defensive, offensive, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance operations in order to enable actions in all domains, ensure U.S. and allied freedom of action in through cyberspace and deny the same to our adversaries,” according to his service biography.

He previously served in various cyber-related posts within Air Force headquarters staff at the Pentagon, the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Office of the Secretary of Defense.

A command pilot, Kennedy also held a variety of flying positions within the Air Force.

It is unclear when the Senate will take up his nomination.

Martin is a senior cybersecurity reporter for The Record. He spent the last five years at Politico, where he covered Congress, the Pentagon and the U.S. intelligence community and was a driving force behind the publication's cybersecurity newsletter.