An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Home : News : Article View
NEWS | Sept. 13, 2023

179th Airlift Wing Becomes First Cyberspace Wing in the Air National Guard

By Tech. Sgt. Alexis Wade, 179th Cyberspace Wing

MANSFIELD, Ohio – The 179th Airlift Wing cemented its place in history during a redesignation ceremony renaming the unit as the 179th Cyberspace Wing following two years of preparation on Sept. 9.

This redesignation marks a momentous moment for Ohio, making the 179th the first-ever Cyberspace Wing in the Air National Guard. For the past 75 years, Mansfield has been the home to one of ninety flying units in the Air National Guard, not only meeting but exceeding the needs of the nation.

“The world is changing and the way we fight wars in the future will change,” said Colonel Darren E. Hamilton, commander of the 179th Cyberspace Wing. “Mansfield will provide leading-edge cyber effects for the next near-peer conflict in a highly contested environment.”

This mission change from airlift to cyber operations and intelligence makes Mansfield even more relevant for tomorrow’s fight than ever before.

“This is the most sustaining mission we have in the Air Force right now; this wing, right here in Mansfield, is the tip of the spear in future warfare,” said Brigadier General David B. Johnson, Assistant Adjutant General, Ohio Air National Guard. “The reason you were chosen for this special mission is because of your history of excellence, and it didn’t just happen.”

The relationships and support from community, state and civic partners have also been instrumental in Mansfield being selected as the premiere choice for this conversion. The wing’s ability to continually exceed recruiting and retention goals. Its proximity to STEM-based post-secondary education and the unit’s capacity and capability.

The 179th Cyberspace Wing mission conversion is slated to be fully operational in 2027. Once fully operable, the 179th Cyberspace Wing’s mission will focus on enabling air superiority through the cyber domain and delivering critical capabilities supporting the Joint Fight.

“The standup of this new mission here in Mansfield will create a credible deterrent capability that adversaries will think twice about,” said Major General Matthew D. Dinmore, Air National Guard assistant to the commander, 16th Air Force. “Enabling air superiority in the future fight is going to be absolutely necessary and the 179th Cyberspace Wing gives us a competitive edge.”

Mansfield has thrived through several changes over the years, supporting the nation through missions such as Desert Shield, Desert Storm, and Operation Inherent Resolve, deploying in support of every major contingency operation, humanitarian airlift efforts, natural disaster relief taskings, and the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The Air Force cannot do it on their own. They need the Air National Guard,” said Colonel Jack Johnson, Director of Intelligence and Cyber Effects Operations for the National Guard Bureau. “Mansfield is a great place for this, you leaned forward, took this challenge head-on and you will show that putting a mission like this in the Air National Guard’s hands is the right answer.”

The ceremony represented the closing of a 75-year aviation chapter, retiring the airlift flag in front of the Airmen who contributed to that legacy and unveiling the new cyberspace flag to the same members who will lead the wing into the future.

“You here, at the 179th Cyberspace Wing, are the pioneers for the future of air superiority,” said Brig. Gen. Johnson. “Look to your left and right, and it’s on your shoulders. We are celebrating you today. Everyone that served and is serving now.”

While Mansfield’s mission has changed, this unit and its Airmen will remain a key component in the national defense strategy.



Related Articles
Graphics: Patch for William Tell 2023. The Air Force’s first William Tell air-to-air competition in almost twenty years takes flight at the Air Dominance Center, Savanah, Georgia, September 11 to 15.
Air Force Announces Winners of William Tell 2023 Competition
By ACC Public Affairs Staff, | Sept. 21, 2023
SAVANNAH, Ga. – The Air Force wrapped up its first William Tell Air-to-Air Competition in 19 years on Sept. 15, at the Air Dominance Center in Savannah, Georgia.Airmen from across active and guard wings participated in...

Staff Sgt. Nathaniel Phillips, a cyber systems operator for the 226th Communications, inspects a satellite during Exercise Copperhead Beacon 23 at the group’s headquarters in Montgomery, Alabama, on September 8, 2023.
Alabama Air Guard Red Tails Conducts Communication Exercise
By Billy Blankenship, | Sept. 11, 2023
MONTGOMERY, Ala. –The 187th Fighter Wing’s 226th Combat Communications Group conducted Exercise Copperhead Beacon 2023 throughout the east coast Sept. 8-10.Exercise Copperhead Beacon 2023 was an expeditionary communications...

Jartavius Martin, center, defensive back, Washington Commanders football team, speaks to U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Tatiana Collins, left, Air National Guard (ANG) marketing and advertising non-commissioned officer, National Guard Bureau (NGB), and Master Sgt. Jasmine Grant, ANG events NCO, NGB, during an open practice held at Joint Base Andrews, Maryland, Aug. 25, 2023. As part of a partnership between the Washington Commanders and U.S. Air Force, an Air National Guard patch will be featured on the Commanders defensive players’ practice jerseys this season to help garner exposure for recruiting the next generation of Airmen.
Air National Guard Bolsters Recruiting, Retention With First-ever NFL Partnership
By Tech. Sgt. Sarah McClanahan, | Sept. 8, 2023
ARLINGTON, Va. – For the first time in Air National Guard history, the ANG has partnered with a National Football League team to bolster the Air Force Recruiting Service's Total Force recruiting efforts. As part of the...