185th Cyber Operations Squadron welcomes new commander in assumption of command ceremony

Col. Darren P. Gray, 192nd Operations Group commander, presented the guidon to Maj. Nathan A. Brown signifying his assumption of command of the 185th Cyber Operations Squadron, during an assumption of command ceremony Feb. 24, 2018, at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Johnisa Roberts)

JOINT BASE LANGLEY-EUSTIS, Va. — The 185th Cyber Operations Squadron, 192nd Fighter Wing, Virginia Air National Guard, celebrated an assumption of command ceremony Feb. 24, 2018, at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia.

Col. Darren P. Gray, 192nd Operations Group commander, presented the guidon to Maj. Nathan A. Brown, former director of operations of the 185th COS, signifying his assumption of command of the 185th COS.

“For the past 18 months, in his capacities as director of operations, Maj. Brown’s dedication, passion and leadership have been nothing short of phenomenal,” said Gray. “He is almost singlehandedly responsible for recruitment of the entire organization… command is a privilege, and Maj. Brown, you have earned this opportunity.”

The 185th COS is the Virginia National Guard’s newest cyberspace squadron. Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe announced Dec. 9, 2015, that Virginia was one of four states to win the opportunity to stand up a new Air Force cyber operations squadron, and the Virginia Air National Guard was selected to establish the unit.

“Virginia’s selection as one of four states to stand up a new Air Force cyber unit is the result of a great team effort between state government, our congressional delegation, National Guard Bureau, the Virginia National Guard, and Joint Base Langley-Eustis,” said the former Governor McAuliffe.

The 185th COS traces their lineage back to the 185th Aero Squadron, U.S. Army Air Service, one of the five World War I squadrons within the 1st Pursuit Group, reactivated and re-designated as the 185th COS, November 1, 2017. The mission for this cyber protection team will be to protect and defend any Department of Defense networks or weapons systems against adversary action.

Commissioned in February 2006 after joining the North Carolina Air National Guard, 263rd Combat Communications Squadron, Brown began his career as a logistics readiness officer. He later transitioned to abecame a cyberspace operations officer in February 2009.

In March 2010, Brown became an instructor at the Officer Training School at Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama, and served as a student flight commander, director of evaluations, and chief of training. He also served in the National Guard Bureau as the director of the Joint Command Control, Communications and ComputersC4 Coordination Center in NGB/J6the Joint Communication Directorate and as a cyber functional area manager in NGB/A3 Air Operations Division Staff.

Brown transferred to the VaANG in May 2016 into his most recent position as the 185th COS director of operations. As part of the squadron, hHe was responsible for all aspects of functioning as a cyber protection team in support of cyber command taskings and as a dual-role asset available for the needs of the Commonwealth of Virginia. Throughout his career, Brown deployed in support of Operations Northern Watch and and Operation Iraqi Freedom.

“When I first commissioned, the idea of becoming a squadron commander was just a dream that I could only hope would one day become a reality,” said Brown. “It is humbling, exciting, and honestly a bit intimidating all at the same time. I am honored to have this opportunity, and I’m thankful to [Col. Gray] and Col. Lobash for the confidence that they have displayed in me. It’s a tough task to come, but I won’t let you all down.”

The 185th COS is the Virginia National Guard’s newest cyberspace squadron. Former Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe announced Dec. 9, 2015, that Virginia was one of four states to win the opportunity to stand up a new Air Force cyber operations squadron, and the Virginia Air National Guard was selected to establish the unit.

“Virginia’s selection as one of four states to stand up a new Air Force cyber unit is the result of a great team effort between state government, our congressional delegation, National Guard Bureau, the Virginia National Guard, and Joint Base Langley-Eustis,” said the former Governor McAuliffe.

The 185th COS traces their lineage back to the 185th Aero Squadron, U.S. Army Air Service, one of the five World War I squadrons within the 1st Pursuit Group, reactivated and re-designated as the 185th COS, November. 1, 2017. The mission for this cyber protection team will be to protect and defend any Department of Defense networks or weapons systems against adversary action.