Governor McAuliffe announces Virginia Air National Guard to stand up new cyber unit
Governor Terry McAuliffe announced today that Virginia is one of four states to win the opportunity to stand up a new Air Force Cyber Operations Squadron, and the Virginia Air National Guard will establish the unit at Langley Air Force Base in Hampton, Virginia.
“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 front-runner 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.”
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. The Cyber Operations Squadron’s primary mission will be cyberspace mission defense protecting Air Force and U.S. critical infrastructure against cyber attacks.
The cyber capability will add to the Virginia Air National Guard’s current primary missions of: air superiority; intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; civil engineering; and weather forecasting. The Cyber Operations Squadron will also fit well with the National Guard’s traditional homeland defense missions.
Securing cyber assets for Virginia remains a top priority for Governor McAuliffe and was identified as the fourth recommendation in the “Growing the Military Mission in the Commonwealth of Virginia” report released in July 2015.