FORT GEORGE G. MEADE, Md. --
Air Force Reserve Command activated the 512th Intelligence Squadron “Mustangs” as the command’s newest Reserve squadron in a ceremony Sept. 10, 2017, at the Air Force Memorial in Arlington, Virginia.
During the ceremony, Col. John McKaye, 655th Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Group commander, presented Lt. Col. Todd Borzych the 512th IS guidon, as he took command of one of the Air Force Reserves' first cyber ISR squadrons.
The squadron has already begun to earn recognition among the AFRC for being the fastest activated reserve ISR squadron to reach Initial Operating Capability (IOC).
During his remarks, Borzych called attention to the brilliant metallic spires of the Air Force Memorial and their significance to the ISR career field.
"The spires of this memorial symbolize the 'missing man formation' and honor the bravery of all Airmen, especially those who paid the ultimate sacrifice and did not return,” he said. “I charge the members of the 512th IS to become the best Cyber ISR Airmen you can be. One day, some of you may face and prevent a cyberattack against an Airman and save someone from becoming that missing man or woman. Our nation faces grave threats in the cyber domain daily, so I charge each and every one of you to hone your technical skills and sharpen your swords. You must succeed."
The 512th Intelligence Squadron’s mission is to provide robust and superior cyber intelligence by leveraging highly trained professionals interconnected with national, military and private sector entities. Squadron personnel have a high level of education and training. That, and their motivation to do great things in cyber space, are what makes the 512th IS really stand out.
When these “Citizen Airmen” are not on duty for the 512th, they often may be found working for some of the most elite government agencies and commercial entities dispersed at locations throughout the nation, Borzch said.
“Pairing these diversified individuals whom are competent in their mission’s with their active-duty associate unit members supplements the breadth and depth of expertise available to the Air Force here at Fort Meade,” he said.
The accomplishments of the 512th IS were reiterated in the comments of their active-duty associate unit commander, Lt. Col. Johannes Moore, 41st Intelligence Squadron commander.
“Lt. Col. Borzych and his 512th IS ‘Mustangs’ are critical to the combat capability the 41st IS provides to the Cyber National Mission Force and U.S. Cyber Command,” Moore explained.
In addition to their record-setting IOC achievement, they’ve also began to set new records in cyber training. Two of their members graduated from the Joint Analysis Cyber Course at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida, with the two highest grade point averages ever achieved by Airmen.
This calls attention to the quality of recruiting within the 512th IS, Borzych said.
The 512th IS integrates with the 41st IS, it’s active-duty associate squadron, as well as several Guard units, to bring Total Force Integration power to bear in the Cyber National Mission Forces, Moore said.
“Three of my six National Cyber Teams have achieved FOC (Full Operational Capability) ahead of Congressional and USAF timelines,” Moore said. “The final three teams are all expected to be certified as FOC before summer 2018. None of that could happen without the 512 IS acting as a force-multiplier.”
Airmen from the 512th and 41st have been working side-by-side throughout the standup of both squadrons. The 512th IS was originally a flight under the 16th IS at Fort Meade, and as such, integrated into the active component during the early stages of the 41st IS existence.
The two units have grown together and, in the process, have built a team that works in cohesion to seamlessly accomplish the Air Force mission.
“The close relationship between the 512th IS and 41st IS exists at all levels. Our ISR analysts work side-by-side every day, and it's completely transparent that they are from different components of our Air Force,” Moore said. “Our directors of operations and operations superintendents interface tirelessly to develop creative ways for our teams to conduct operations, meet FOC timelines, build training roadmaps for each ISR Airman, and meet the demanding Combatant Command ‘Joint Qualification Standards.”
The squadron commanders and superintendents collaborate at least weekly to coordinate requirements for military personnel appropriation days, pool training personnel to maximize effects, and create the conditions for Airmen to succeed.
At the same time, McKaye and Col. Aaron Drake 659th ISRG commander, work closely with the 659th ISRG's technical director and senior civilians to optimize the organization and create a climate that encourages innovation, professional development and personal growth, he said.
“It's humbling to be a part of this team and the Cyber ISR enterprise, Moore said. “With the broad expertise and a strong partnership with the 41st, the 512th IS is well poised to break barriers and exceed expectation in all areas of their mission set.”
Borzych echoed to his associate commander’s sentiments saying, “The 512th IS provides opportunities for active Airmen of the 41st IS and other Cyber ISR squadrons to continue to serve should they choose to go into industry. As we grow, we continually extend our reach into the mission and industry, allowing for opportunities to leverage unusual skills. They have unique perspectives to bring to our TFI partners, making pivotal differences now and into the future.”