AFIT’s Cyber 200 course recalibrated with increased operational focus

  • Published
  • By Katie Scott
  • Air Force Institute of Technology

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio -- The Air Force Institute of Technology’s School of Strategic Force Studies’ Joint Intermediate Cyber Operations course was recently recalibrated to complement the tactical cyber content with an increased focus on operational specialties and the interaction between the two mission sets.

Cyber 200 is an intermediate skills course to develop cyberspace professionals’ capabilities and facilitate the transition from a tactical to an operational mindset while delivering a refresher on cyberspace tactics and an overview of joint planning and execution processes for cyber operations. 

“Today, the cyberspace operations officer career field has four different specialties - two that are aligned towards cyber and two that are aligned towards warfighter communications,” said Lt. Col. Kaitlin Kenny, director of Cyber Professional Continuing Education within AFIT’s School of Strategic Force Studies.

The recent curriculum changes to Cyber 200 were done in recognition that some of the operational warfighter communications specialties in the career field were not properly represented in the course.

The curriculum is structured to leverage the students’ experience and training to plan and demonstrate offensive, defensive and Department of Defense information network maintenance operations.  The course is one of two required for cyberspace operations officers for a badge upgrade.

“Cyber 200 is a critical and required professional continuing education opportunity for all Air Force cyber officers and is a key gate in 17X development,” said Col. Chris Landwehr, dean of AFIT’s School of Strategic Force Studies.  “The herculean work by our cyber cadre further allows students to expand their skills after graduation and more importantly ensures vital crossflow between 17S, 17D and our enlisted and civilian teammates to share experiences and perspectives; that collaboration is essential.”

The first offering of the redesigned curriculum finished in March to a class of 55 students including officers, enlisted and civilian Airmen.

Cyber 200 consists of an on-line session that the students complete prior to attending the 15-day in-resident portion.  Students complete exercises aligned to offensive, defensive, DODIN and expeditionary mission areas.  Next steps in the course recalibration will include a comprehensive, role-based capstone project where students break out into specialties to address a mission scenario.

“We really value bringing the students together here in person,” Kenny said.  “One for the networking, but two for the team building. It's really cool to watch them come together and learn, especially with subject material that maybe none of them, or few of them, are familiar with.”

A deliberate focus on teaching planning concepts in the course is crucial to ensuring the military’s mission success. 

“Planning concepts will end up applying to new and emerging tech and new and emerging threats,” Kenny said.  “How we teach them to approach a problem and frame that problem is something that they can take forward into any situation.”

Completing the first offering of Cyber 200 has been exciting for the team of 13 instructors who continued to teach other courses as they researched and revised the Cyber 200 curriculum.

“We've been working really, really hard on getting this material ready,” said Kenny.  “Actually seeing it live in front of students is really rewarding.”

Cyber 200 is offered seven times a year with the remaining 2023 offerings starting in July, August and September.  More information is available at

AFIT’s School of Strategic Force Studies is responsible for delivering professional continuing education in nuclear deterrence policy and theory, nuclear command, control, communications, and cyberspace operations.  The school’s mission is to develop Airmen, joint service members, and international partners to deter and if necessary, prevail in current and future conflicts by providing relevant and responsive nuclear and cyberspace PCE and cyberspace upgrade training. On average, the school educates 3,000 Department of the Air Force and DoD students annually.  Visit for more information.