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Building on foundations sustained in excellence

Maj. Rob “DX” Engelmann, 860th Network Operations Squadron director of operations, practices cyber tactics, techniques and procedures using bowling precision using the dinosaur strategy. The unit will soon say farewell to Engelmann, who’s served as one of the unit’s founding members. (Courtesy photo)

Maj. Rob “DX” Engelmann, 860th Network Operations Squadron director of operations, practices cyber tactics, techniques and procedures using bowling precision using the dinosaur strategy. The unit will soon say farewell to Engelmann, who’s served as one of the unit’s founding members. (Courtesy photo)

Representing the 860th Network Operations Squadron with utmost excellence, pictured left to right: Senior Master Sgt. Tywana Faulks, Civilian of the Year 2016); Master Sgt. Scott Critchlow, 1st Quarter  Senior Non-commissioned Officer 2017; Senior Airman Monique Harps, Airman of the Year 2016; Tech. Sgt. Justin Osborne, First Quarter NCO 2017; Master Sgt. Karen Walker, NCO of the Year 2016; and Tech. Sgt. Joseph Mattress, Fourth Quarter NCO 2016. (Courtesy photo)

Representing the 860th Network Operations Squadron with utmost excellence, pictured left to right: Senior Master Sgt. Tywana Faulks, Civilian of the Year 2016); Master Sgt. Scott Critchlow, 1st Quarter Senior Non-commissioned Officer 2017; Senior Airman Monique Harps, Airman of the Year 2016; Tech. Sgt. Justin Osborne, First Quarter NCO 2017; Master Sgt. Karen Walker, NCO of the Year 2016; and Tech. Sgt. Joseph Mattress, Fourth Quarter NCO 2016. (Courtesy photo)

Langley Air Force Base, Va. --

The 860th Network Operations Squadron is tasked with a significant responsibility to build, sustain, and protect the largest cyber weapon system in the Air Force.

The Air Force depends on the network and on us to be engaged in the fight. Although we have faced waves of change to our mission and personnel, the squadron continues to build excellence on solid foundations, metaphorically and literally.

Recently, the squadron participated in exercise PACIFIC SENTRY, establishing cyber non-kinetic effects. Our team’s efforts resulted in two members being recognized. One of these honorees has served as a founding member of our unit, and we will soon say farewell to him. Lastly, we volunteered for Habitat for Humanity, continuing to foster the relationships built in the community by helping to build new homes in the Langley Air Force Base area.

Tech. Sgt. Christopher Dowdy and Maj. Jeremy Leader, who were key personnel in the air operations center, were recognized during the PACFIC SENTRY exercise.

Together, they totaled more than 240 hours in 19 shifts, injecting 186 non-kinetic effects — a 300% increase from previous exercises! 

TSgt Dowdy was coined for his contributions by the Deputy Commander, U.S. Fleet Cyber Command as well as the Pacific Command Communications Directorate director. Additionally, Major Leader’s offensive cyber team was recognized as the 613 AOC's outstanding team. 

After four years of building the unit’s foundation from a flight to a squadron as the Director of Operations, Maj. Robert ‘DX’ Engelmann, the “Most Interesting Man Alive,” will be leaving the unit to work at 10th Air Force as the Cyber subject matter expert for policy and programs.

Over the years, he participated in multi-national exercises, authored weapon system policy, and helped recognize numerous squadron award winners, reflecting his commitment to the mission and people. Moreover, he has been the lynchpin for critical partnership with the active duty.

Recently, our members assisted Habitat for Humanity of South Hampton Roads’ with building affordable homes that strengthen families and communities.  We assembled walls for a home in Suffolk as part of the 2017 Blitz Build. Our “sweat equity” built on the core values all Airmen embrace while providing a home to a family in need.

With new policy detailing the management of the Cyberspace Security and Control System crew construct announced, more change is assured; however, we look forward to the challenges and feel secure and encouraged knowing that we will have the perseverance, proficiency, and personnel to build on these foundations in excellence as we charge on into the future!