JOINT BASE LANGLEY-EUSTIS, Va. –
The 185th Cyber Operations Squadron, the latest addition to the 192nd Fighter Wing Operations Group, is up and running. Director of Operations Maj. Nathan Brown is working hard to staff this new squadron because with a home-station mobilization on the horizon for the fall of 2018, there is no time to waste.
“I’m looking for people who have the aptitude and desire to learn about cyber security. I would love for them to have experience as well, but we can train them up as long as the aptitude and desire are there,” said Brown.
The mission for this cyber protection team will be to protect and defend any Department of Defense networks or weapons systems against adversary action.
“The environment for this squadron will be fast-paced with cutting-edge technology and an operational mentality,” said Brown. “Cyber security is in high demand on the outside. And the training experience Airmen get in the Air Force makes them extremely competitive in the civilian world as well.”
Approximately 70 airmen will be assigned to the cyber operations squadron, and it will directly support the Air Force and U.S. Cyber Command requirements as a cyber protection team.
“We are thrilled to have this new mission here not only for the 192nd Fighter Wing but also for this area and for Virginia. As we progress into the 21st century, cyber security is becoming more necessary. We’ve got a great opportunity here to provide that for our nation,” said 192nd Operations Group Commander Col. Thomas P. “Bear” McAtee.
Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe announced Dec. 9, 2015, that Virginia was one of four states to win the opportunity to stand up a new Air Force cyber operations squadron, and the Virginia Air National Guard was selected to establish the unit.
“Virginia’s selection as one of four states to stand up a new Air Force cyber unit is the result of a great team effort between state government, our congressional delegation, National Guard Bureau, the Virginia National Guard, and Joint Base Langley-Eustis,” said Governor McAuliffe.
“Virginia emerged as a frontrunner due to its existing facilities, strong defense industrial base with a cyber focus, and academic institutions to sustain recruiting and retention. It is also a testament to the outstanding reputation of the Virginia National Guard for excellent performance and dedication to mission accomplishment. This announcement is yet another success in our efforts to enhance our Commonwealth’s reputation as a leader in cyber security, which is a key element of our efforts to build a new Virginia economy.”
The cyber capability will add to the 192nd Fighter Wing’s list of current missions: air superiority via the F-22 Raptor; intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; global logistics; civil engineering; weather forecasting; and Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and high-yield Explosive, or CBRNE, Enhanced Response Force Package, or CERFP.