December 22, 2014

Virginia Delegation Calls For Consideration Of Joint Base Langley-Eustis For New Air National Guard Cyber Operations Squadron

Recent high profile cybersecurity breaches heighten need for skilled personnel to manage cyber defense system

WASHINGTON, D.C. – In a joint letter, U.S. Senators Mark Warner, Tim Kaine and U.S. Congressmen Bobby Scott, Randy Forbes, Scott Rigell, Rob Wittman and Gerry Connolly urged the Director of the Air National Guard to consider the Virginia Air National Guard at Joint Base Langley-Eustis as a designation for an Air Force Space Command’s Cyber Operations Squadron (COS).  

“Our nation’s defense depends upon a robust and innovative cyber force that is trained and ready to respond to dynamic threats,” the members wrote. “Attacks and intrusions on internal and external networks and cyber systems can directly impair continuity of government operations and even continuity of government itself.  We believe the Virginia Air National Guard (VANG) is an excellent candidate for a COS due to a highly skilled workforce, existing training and security infrastructure in the region, and alignment of existing missions currently located at JBLE.”

 

The full text of the letter can be found below:

Lieutenant General Stanley E. Clarke III

Director, Air National Guard

1000 Air Force Pentagon, 5C1052

Washington, D.C. 20330-1000 

Dear Lieutenant General Clarke:

Cybersecurity is one of the greatest challenges for our national security today and in the future.  Our military, government and local communities depend upon secure and reliable cyberspace for critical infrastructure, communications, and coordination.  To counter the persistent cyber threat, it is crucial that the Cyber Mission Force (CMF) be manned and trained with highly skilled personnel.  

As the Air National Guard considers the laydown of its Cyber Mission Forces, we request that you strongly consider the Virginia Air National Guard at Joint Base Langley-Eustis (JBLE) as a designation for an Air Force Space Command’s Cyber Operations Squadron (COS).  Hampton Roads provides a compelling combination of affordability, high quality public education and quality of service for the Airmen and civilians who will execute this mission.

Our nation’s defense depends upon a robust and innovative cyber force that is trained and ready to respond to dynamic threats.  Attacks and intrusions on internal and external networks and cyber systems can directly impair continuity of government operations and even continuity of government itself.  We believe the Virginia Air National Guard (VANG) is an excellent candidate for a COS due to a highly skilled workforce, existing training and security infrastructure in the region, and alignment of existing missions currently located at JBLE. 

The Hampton Roads area offers a number of higher learning institutions and a vibrant high-tech defense sector that can provide enduring and sustained manning for a COS.  JBLE and Joint Staff South in Suffolk provide turn-key Sensitive Compartmentalized Information Facilities to support the elevated security requirements associated with the cybersecurity mission.  JBLE can easily provide all Base Operation Support functions for a new Cyber Operations Squadron, such as personnel support, security, communications, logistics, medical, finance and several other services needed to sustain a mission.   Finally, establishing a Cyber Operations Squadron will help mitigate the long-term economic impact of a substantial manpower reduction due to the impending loss of several hundred active duty Air Force positions.

We recognize the difficult decisions and critical challenges you face in locating the Air Force Space COS. Locating this squadron at JBLE will deliver significant capability for the Air Force and leverage existing infrastructure to provide a low-cost solution. 

Thank you for your consideration and we look forward to working with you on this matter.

 

Senator Mark Warner

Senator Tim Kaine

Congressman Bobby Scott

Congressman Randy Forbes

Congressman Scott Rigell

Congressman Gerry Connolly

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