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Cyber security civilian wins AFRC award for ISR contributions across three states

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Aaron Ketcham
  • 310th Space Wing

Air Force Reserve Command recently named a 310th Space Wing cyber security civilian at Schriever Space Force Base as the 2023 Air Force Reserve Command Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance contributor of the year.

Erick Herzberg, 310th SW information systems and security officer and Navy avionic electrician technician veteran, is only in his third year as a government employee and is already catching the attention of higher headquarters. However, it is the hundreds of Airmen he supports day-to-day who feel the impact of his contributions.

When asked to put his duties in layman terms, he said, “If I do my job nothing goes wrong. If I don’t do my job, stuff breaks and it is bad.”

However, those he works with know it is so much more. As the only space wing left across all components of the Air Force, 310th SW Intelligence, Reconnaissance, and Surveillance Airmen face their own set of challenges.

Herzberg, a Colorado-native who returned home after leaving active duty, is pivotal in these efforts, creating qualitive solutions by bringing new capabilities to ISR Airmen.

Access to software providing critical training opportunities and mission ready capabilities is not always a guarantee for ISR personnel within the wing, said Lt. Col. Nicholas Demakakos, 310th SW senior intelligence officer and Herzberg’s supervisor. 

Airmen currently integrate with active-duty counterparts within the U.S. Space Force for access to their software systems.

“We had to borrow time on their systems,” said Demakakos. “These were necessary capabilities that we needed for training and readiness and to which we didn’t have unlimited access. Mr. Herzberg is currently working on a three-network solution to implement a space modeling simulation and visualization software saving the wing roughly $150,000 in installation cost. Not only will this save the wing money, but it delivers capability that has been missing for years.”

Herzberg was also instrumental in implementing protocols establishing a secure communications network across Vandenberg, Schriever, Peterson and Buckley Space Force Bases, creating continuity between the bases previously unavailable.

“Erick has been invaluable helping achieve our communication strategy for ISR within the wing,” said Demakakos. “Thanks to his efforts we’re now able to ensure connectivity and communicate in ways that we were unable to do before.”

Herberg’s award win didn’t shock his leadership, but it did him.

“It was a surprise,” said Herzberg. “For me it’s not really about the award or accomplishments, but how I can best support the wing.”