The US Air Force has reassigned the 179th Airlift Wing from a flying transport unit into the Air National Guard’s first Cyberspace Wing.
The effort was first announced in August 2021 to support the Air Combat Command’s evolving requirements, particularly in cyber warfare.
It will employ more than 170 additional airmen at the Mansfield-Lahm ANG Base in Ohio, where the airlift wing operates.
A redesignation ceremony involved the flight of the 179th Airlift Wing’s final C-130H Hercules military transport aircraft from the base, a report from Mansfield News Journal stated.
Alongside the transition, airmen honored the nearly eight decades of the Mansfield Air National Guard’s aviation history.
“The first shots in the next conflict will come from Mansfield,” Ohio Assistant Adjutant General Brig. Gen. David Johnson stated.
“This is the most sustaining mission in the US Air Force. We are in a momentous moment here, right now, in Mansfield, Ohio. This organization is going to lead the country; you are pioneers of air superiority.”
A ’New Chapter’
US Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Charles Brown highlighted the wing’s critical role during the reassignment’s finalization last April.
“Cyber engagements happen daily; they are happening right now. That’s why what is changing here and what you will do is so important, not just for our force, but for our nation,” he said.
Added roles in the base will comprise experts working in STEM and IT fields. New infrastructure and assets will also be integrated to support the Cyberspace Wing.
“This selection will build on the 179th Airlift Wing’s legacy of excellence to begin a new chapter in the cyber warfare domain,” Ohio Adjutant General John Harris Jr. explained during the 2021 announcement.
“The transition to a cyber-wing places the Ohio National Guard at the forefront of leveraging cutting edge technologies and capabilities for national defense and mitigating emerging threats.”