On March 6, 2020, the Department of Defense Instruction 5200.48, Controlled Unclassified Information, was published. This instruction served as initial DoD guidance for the implementation of the CUI program and establishment of the DoD CUI Registry. Department of the Air Force personnel were already well versed with the necessity of protecting mission-critical unclassified information, but the release of the DoDI brought about additional responsibilities, procedures and dissemination controls, that warranted the development of new approaches to safeguard CUI.
Soon after the publication of the DoDI, work began on putting together DAF implementation policy and guidance. Coordination with key stakeholders ensued, culminating in the release of Air Force Guidance Memorandum 2020-16-01, CUI, July 23, 2020. While significant progress has been made in standing up this new program, safeguarding CUI is a mindset that must continually be reinforced. Proper protection and handling of CUI is critical to protecting the warfighter, ensuring mission success, and implementing the National Defense Strategy. It is also a key component in maintaining a strategic advantage against adversaries and foreign competitors.
In addition to publishing the AFGM, and in order to fully support implementation efforts, the Air Force established a CUI Working Group in July of 2020. The working group has served as a cross-functional and collaborative team focused on leading the way for CUI implementation across the DAF. The group is currently working several objectives, to include, the creation of an automated marking tool for CUI correspondence, as well as identifying methods and developing standard operating procedures to help reduce any potential risks to and/or unauthorized disclosure of CUI.
Lastly, one of the ways to ensure the protection of CUI and ensure DAF personnel were informed of their new responsibilities was to levy mandatory CUI training on all DAF personnel. The Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency/Center for Development of Security Excellence has provided the DoD services with the training material and it will soon be accessible on the new learning management system, “My Learning.” Once the training has been uploaded, notification will be sent out and there will be a 180 day suspense for all DAF personnel to complete the training; completion will be automatically tracked.
DAF personnel can access the CUI AFGM on the Air Force e-Publishing website and additional reference material, marking aids, etc. can be found on the newly created DoD CUI website, as well as the National Archives CUI website