Cyber wing soars across Air Force Space Command|
Posted 6/7/2013 Updated 6/7/2013
by MSgt Dorian Chapman
24th Air Force Public Affairs
6/7/2013 - Joint Base San Antonio - Lackland, Texas -- With rapid-fire consistency, the 67th Network Warfare Wing has exceeded mission standards and demonstrated superlative achievements, leading the Air Force to recognize the wing with three well-deserved and revered accolades.
Most notably, the wing demonstrated excellence as the recipient of Air Force Space Command's coveted General Thomas S. Moorman, Jr. Award, recognizing the unit as the most outstanding operational wing in the major command. General William L. Shelton, commander of AFSPC, presented the award to Col. William Poirier, 67th NWW commander, during the AFSPC Spring Commanders Conference in March.
"This is a very prestigious award with a proud heritage," said Col. Poirier. "We are the first cyber wing to ever be given this honor," he explained. "The men and women of the 67th can all take great pride in knowing that they were each an instrumental part of this achievement. I couldn't be prouder."
The award is named after General Thomas S. Moorman, who was pivotal in the planning, organizing, and establishment of Air Force Space Command while assigned to Peterson Air Force Base, Colo., in 1982.
Among the wing's numerous accomplishments is its significant role in special operations and cyber network defense missions, critical to operational successes within the wing, across the MAJCOM, and around the world.
The award is given annually to recognize operational excellence at the wing level within AFSPC. Numbered Air Force headquarters may only nominate one subordinate wing to compete based on accomplishments from January 1 to December 31 the previous year. The selection board consists of at least three general officers or equivalents and one board president, the president being the senior-ranking board member.
The announcement comes on the heels of other recognition the wing has received. Earlier this year, Col. Poirier had the opportunity to tell his personnel they had earned the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with Valor for the wing's numerous accomplishments and contributions to combat operations.
"I know each and every one of you will wear this decoration with pride," said Col. Poirier. "Job well done!" he added.
"We're excited to be part of the Air Force's only network warfare wing, providing warfighting capability to national leaders and combatant commanders," said Maj. James Lotspeich, director of operations for the 33d Network Warfare Squadron. "The 33d NWS mission is a unique facet of cyber warfare that ensures the integrity of Air Force systems through constant vigilance," he explained. "We are proud that our contributions to the wing have been recognized by these prestigious awards."
The AFOUA, awarded in the name of the Secretary of the Air Force, denotes unit accomplishments significantly above that of units of similar size and mission set. The "with Valor" designation recognizes that the 67th NWW earned this award during contingency deployment operations.
"This is a true testament to our warrior spirit and the combat capabilities we provide to combatant commanders, national and defense agencies, and our Air Force every day!" Col. Poirier said.
Some of the wing's meritorious achievements include implementing a state-of-the-art network perimeter that blocked more than 33 million malicious attacks each week, conducting 143 counter improvised explosive device missions, and disrupting enemy communications to protect forces in contact with the enemy.
With that kind of dedication and performance, it is no surprise that the AFSPC inspector general gave the wing two "Excellent" ratings after conducting both a Limited Compliance Inspection and a Readiness Inspection in April.
"Ninety-five percent of the value of an inspection happens before the inspectors arrive," said Col. Robert Skinner, AFSPC inspector general, after the official out-brief. "The inspection results reflected the Wing's day-to-day standard of excellence."
Throughout the wing, leadership recognized the commitment and attention to detail of unit personnel in preparation for the inspection, and in daily operations at all levels.
"Cyber is a fast-paced, operational environment," said Chief Master Sgt. Dennis Ippoliti, chief enlisted manager of the 561st Network Operations Squadron. "Mission success means being on point and applying all of your knowledge and training to outwit the adversary. That's what we do every day. I'm very proud that the inspection team recognized the unit's excellence, but I won't say I'm surprised."
"I'm privileged to be leading the only combat cyber wing in the Air Force and ecstatic to receive "Excellent" ratings on our inspections," said Col. Poirier. "This recognition is indicative of the hard work and dedication of our folks throughout the wing."
As the role of cybersecurity grows exponentially around the globe, and what was once a virtual battlefield has become a real operational domain, the skilled men and women of the 67th NWW wield innovation and technology to keep the network secure, combat operators informed, and America safe.