Story by SrA Julia Santiago on 03/29/2019The 140th Cyberspace Operations Squadron held a ribbon cutting ceremony for the unveiling of their new fully operable facility on March 27, 2019, on Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J.
Starting with only 21 members, in July of 2015, the 140th COS became the New Jersey Air National Guard's newest squadron. They are one of 12 Air National Guard cyber protection teams and are responsible for monitoring cyber-attacks to the nation's computer networks, stopping attacks, identifying hackers, and repairing the resulting damage.
"Why have a cyberspace operations squadron in the guard?" asked Col. John Cosgrove, the 108th Wing commander. "It is to attract, train, and retain the most skilled cyberspace operators. In order to accomplish that, we have built a 13,000 square feet, $3.7 million facility."
In October of 2017, the 140th COS became operational and began protecting the United States from cyber-attacks, performing missions such as defensive cyber ops, vulnerability assessments, and penetration testing in support of the United States Cyber Command.
Today, the 140th COS now consists of more than 70 personnel including full-time Airmen and traditional guardsmen. Cyber operation officers and enlisted cyber operators comprise the bulk of the squadron, and receive support from intelligence and other admin specialties. Every cyber warfare operator undergoes more than 11 months of specialized training before becoming fully qualified to perform their duty. With manning surpassing 100 percent and trained Airmen in place, the completion of the facility allows the squadron to be fully functional.
The Airmen of the 140th COS "now have a facility that can keep up with their experience, expertise, and drive," said Maj. Walter F. Dragon Jr., the 140th COS commander.