Ever since Top Gun proved to hostile nations that American pilots like Tom Cruise and Val Kilmer are unbeatable in the sky, the Air Force has been looking for other arenas to flex its billion-dollar muscle: first it was tasked with protecting space from enemy satellites and belligerent aliens, and a little over a year ago, its mandate expanded to include cyberspace as well. Instead of just setting up a .gov domain and calling it a day, however, the branch has revealed a much more ambitious plan to guard civilian and military networks with a new command led by the 8th Air Force working out of Louisiana's Barksdale Air Force Base. Assuming that the proper funding and legislative approval are secured, the four-star general-led command could begin operations as soon as October 2008, and will attempt to thwart potentially catastrophic attacks that could destroy the economy and force bloggers like us to go out and get real jobs at print publications. When asked exactly what he thought the Air Force's role in cyberspace would be, senator and IT expert Ted Stevens said that he envisioned swarms of miniature UAVs
patrolling the vulnerable "series of tubes" 24/7, destroying malicious bots and rogue packets with a hail of tiny bullets.