On-site evaluation scheduled for possible cyber wing at Ohio Air National Guard base in Mansfield
Ohio — The next step in the process of what could lead to a new cyber mission for the Ohio Air National Guard will take place this week in Mansfield, Ohio.
Officials from the Air Force and National Guard Bureau are scheduled to visit Mansfield-Lahm Airport, home of the 179th Airlift Wing, on Tuesday, Aug. 3, 2021, for an on-site evaluation to assess the viability of housing the Air National Guard’s first cyberspace wing, formerly referred to as an information warfare wing, or IWW.
The Department of Defense notified Gov. Mike DeWine on Nov. 20, 2020, that the Air Force had selected Mansfield as one of two locations being considered for the new mission.
DeWine recently sent a letter to Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall to express his strong support for the Mansfield location.
“The 179th Airlift Wing has a long and distinguished history in Mansfield, and we are proud of the C-130’s dedication to mission and service,” DeWine wrote. “We recognize that the Air Force’s critical modernization may mean a move away from this storied aircraft into the cyber and information warfare realm, and Ohio is ready to lead the way.”
If selected, Mansfield will begin the cyberspace mission in late 2022, which would add approximately 160 additional positions.
The Air Force is also expected to conduct a site survey at the other location under consideration, which is the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport in Minnesota. Among the criteria being considered are manpower, recruiting, and retention; building capacity and connectivity; environmental; construction costs; and cost of living.
The 179th currently flies the versatile C-130 Hercules transport aircraft on missions across the United States and around the world. In addition, the unit participates in disaster relief efforts and other domestic emergencies as required. There are approximately 1,000 Airmen assigned to the wing