Virginia delegation urges Air Force to locate cyber operations squadron at Joint Base Langley-Eustis

congressU.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner (D-VA) and Tim Kaine (D-VA) along with U.S. Reps. Scott Rigell (R-VA-2), Bobby Scott (D-VA-3), Gerry Connolly (D-VA-11), Rob Wittman (R-VA-1), and Randy Forbes (R-VA-4), requested that the Air Force Space Command strongly consider locating a Cyber Operations Squadron (COS) at Joint Base Langley-Eustis (JBLE).

The bipartisan delegation of Virginia federal lawmakers made a similar push late last year to locate the cyber facility at JBLE on Virginia’s Peninsula. The Air Force is considering potential locations for as many as four Cyber Operations Squadrons, and site locations are widely expected to be announced sometime this summer.

In a letter to the Director of the Air National Guard today, the Virginia delegation members wrote that locating a Cyber Operations Squadron at JBLE will allow the Air National Guard to maximize its critical cyber mission, given JBLE’s highly skilled workforce, existing training capacity and security infrastructure.

“An April report by the Partnership for Public Service said the federal government is poorly positioned to recruit cyber personnel and has a weak pipeline of talent. We believe that locating a cyber squadron at JBLE would mitigate a number of the factors that contribute to the workforce problem. Virginia is home to seven higher-education institutions recognized by NSA as Centers of Academic Excellence, and JBLE is within a four-hour drive of ten such institutions.  Additionally, Virginia and Hampton Roads are home to the top defense and technology companies in the country – many of which are already supporting the cyber mission for national security,” the members wrote.

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