23 IS achieves full operational capability for combat cyber mission forces

  • Published
  • By Maj. Derrick Lawson
  • 23rd Intelligence Squadron

The 23rd Intelligence Squadron achieved full operational capability (FOC) after almost three years of hard work and three months ahead of when originally projected. 

As a classic associate unit supporting Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland’s 75th Intelligence Squadron, the 23 IS is now a fully functioning Cyber Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance Squadron and is the only unit in Air Force Reserve Command providing cyber intelligence to U. S. Cyber Command’s Combat Cyber Mission Force. The squadron provides surge and sustainment of offensive cyber capabilities in order to project power and provide Combatant Commanders with options to achieve operational and strategic objectives. 

Lt. Col. Sarah Yoshida, 23 IS commander said, “I’d like to thank AFRC/A2, the 655th ISRW (Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Wing), and our active duty counterparts at the squadron and group levels for helping us achieve this incredible milestone ahead of our designated timeline.”

Since the 23 IS activated in September 2017, it has steadily progressed in recruiting some of the top talent both within San Antonio and around the nation.

Lt. Col. Yoshida said, “We continue to have interest from applicants all-around the country who want to contribute to the cyber mission. Many members of our squadron have degrees in cybersecurity or work in cybersecurity. Others are pursuing them and this enhances their knowledge for our mission.”

Lt. Col. Yoshida also acknowledged that although the squadron has faced many challenges in achieving FOC, it has been able to overcome them thanks to the hard work and dedication of the squadron’s Airmen.

“Our Airmen are intelligence professionals who are passionate about doing our mission. They have excelled and continue to excel,” Yoshida said.

Chief Master Sgt. Jacqueline Davenport, 23 IS first sergeant, has been with the squadron since its infancy. She shares her perspective on the significance of the achievement.

“It really has been amazing watching the squadron and Airmen grow over these past three years. We’ve definitely built a great team in a challenging mission space with limited resources,” Davenport said.

Davenport went on to say, “I am in awe of our Airmen who continue to drive on and overcome hardships and difficulties to both execute the mission and take care of one another every day. It’s truly an honor to be a part of the 23 IS and we definitely wouldn’t be anywhere without all the hard work from every Airmen and ShadowHunter.”

With FOC complete, the 23 IS will continue to focus on driving cyber operations into the future, supporting Regular Air Force partners, and providing AFCYBER and USCYBERCOM with critical skills and manning needed for successful cyber operations.

“We will continue to keep our foot on the gas, and will continue to be an indispensable part of 16th Air Force and Combatant Command operational conversations moving forward,” said Yoshida.

The 23 IS delivers premiere cyber intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance expertise through Total Force Integration, driving the employment of offensive cyber capabilities in support of Combatant Command objectives and priorities. To learn more about exciting and rewarding career opportunities in the 23 IS, please contact your local Air Force Reserve recruiter or call 210-977-2671 for more information.