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NEWS | Dec. 22, 2023

Virginia Cyberspace Operations Squadron Opens Headquarters

By Staff Sgt. Kellyann Elish, 192nd Wing

JOINT BASE LANGLEY-EUSTIS, Va. - The Virginia Air National Guard’s 185th Cyberspace Operations Squadron, 192nd Operations Group, 192nd Wing, held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the opening of its state-of-the-art cyberspace facility Dec. 1 at Joint Base Langley-Eustis in Hampton. 

The event marked a new chapter in the history of the 185th COS, also known as “the Bats.” 

Maj. Gen. James W. Ring, adjutant general of Virginia, Col. Brock E. Lange, 192nd Wing commander, and Chief Master Sgt. Sean J. Fretwell, 192nd Wing command chief, joined the youngest Bat, a 185th COS senior Airman, in front of the building for the official ceremony as the youngest Bat cut the ribbon.

The squadron’s designated historian said the new building “solidifies our place in the future of Air Force operations, and it is very special to unveil our new home, co-located with our original WWI unit, the 1st Pursuit Group, now the 1st Operations Group and our close Total Force Integration partner.”

Ring said the Virginia Air National Guard has a deep tradition of excellence within the commonwealth and national mission sets. 

"For the men and women of the Bats, thank you for the mission that you do, thank you for the mission that you’ve been doing, but most importantly, thank you for what you’re going to be doing in support of the security of our nation and commonwealth,” Ring said.

As a tenant unit at JBLE, the 192nd Wing has relied on its host unit, the 633rd Air Base Wing, for workspaces for each of the 192nd Wing’s groups and squadrons. Often, these spaces were temporarily leased, forcing units to relocate multiple times. The 185th COS building is the first to be built and owned on the installation by the 192nd Wing.

“We move around a lot, that’s part of the deal,” said Lange. “But they don’t have to move anymore. They can now focus on getting after the mission. This is also a big deal because we are putting down roots. I can’t overstate the importance of place in the identity of an organization's culture. You must have a place.”

The 10,400-square-foot building, costing about $10.3 million, supports the 185th COS and has an expanded operations floor and server room with office space for administrative duties. The facility is integrated into the new Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance campus on Langley for co-located intelligence operations.

Lange said building a sensitive compartmented information facility is not easy, and while the Bats were building the facility, they were also busy building the actual Airmen in the squadron.

"You were working on the culture, the standard of excellence, combat mission readiness, mobilizing and demobilizing, leading missions for the commonwealth, leading federal missions, multiple engagements with our friends in Finland, strengthening partnerships across the community, the country, and the globe," Lange said. 

The Bats provide cyber incident response support to Virginia and work with their Virginia Army National Guard counterparts in the 91st Cyber Brigade for state support and with the State Partnership Program.



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