by 1st Lt. Lori Fiorello
960th Cyberspace Operations Group Public Affairs
3/20/2014 - JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas -- The
Air Force Reserve Command deactivated the 960th Cyberspace Operations
Group - Detachment 2 and re-designated the unit the 426th Network
Warfare Squadron in a ceremony March 8 at the Bob Hope Theater here.
The squadron, formerly two detachments designed to house cyber defense
Airmen and build to squadron strength, joins the 960th Cyberspace
Operations Group here. It now boasts more than 60 Reservists and
protects the Air Force's vast network infrastructure from cyber warfare
and enemy surveillance.
"I'm honored to take command of this squadron of dedicated cyber defense
warriors," said Maj. Rocko Rodriguez, 426th NWS commander. "Our
mission, while a detachment, was to produce effects for the Air Force
and combatant commands in, through and from cyberspace by employing
synchronized network defense operations to detect, respond to and
prevent network intrusions. Now, we will do the very same as a squadron
at full strength, continuing to provide the best quality protection and
security for our Air Force."
The 426th NWS' storied history began under the name 26 Airdrome Squadron
in 1943 at Kearney Air Base, Netherlands, as part of 2nd Air Force,
serving honorably throughout World War II and earning several
outstanding unit awards. Over the years, it has served as intelligence
and information operations squadrons, before arriving in Texas as a
cyber defense unit.
Rodriguez, who is also an air reserve technician with the squadron, is
adding his own piece to the remarkable history of this decorated unit.
He is the only one who will ever have served as the commander of the
once detachment, which grew to squadron size before a different person
could be named commander.
"It's exciting to think I'm the only commander that will ever have been
the commander of Detachment 2, but it's even better to be able to build
on what we've started," said Rodriguez. "I'm confident in our Reservists
to provide unrivaled network strength at this level, as they have
"We are poised and ready to serve by continuing to provide the very best in defensive cyber operations."
The reorganization will now position the 426th NWS under the 960th CYOG,
supporting their "Guardians of the Grid" mission of providing
combat-ready forces with specialized expertise in the operation and
defense of Air Force and Defense Department global information grids.
"We're growing in leaps in bounds from where we were last year, from two
detachments to a squadron," said Col. Lloyd Terry, 960th CYOG
commander. "We started out small and now just a year later, we have
grown the unit to close to 60 and we're continuing to expand that
Those interested in a cyber career should contact Chief Master Sgt.
William Fountas at 210-945-7224 or firstname.lastname@example.org or check
out www.usajobs.gov for a listing of current ART positions available.