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NEWS | Oct. 19, 2021

688th Cyberspace Wing spreads cyber, Air Force mission awareness to San Antonio community leaders

By Nadine Wiley De Moura 688th Cyberspace Wing

Air Force Col. Joshua Rockhill, 688th Cyberspace Wing A/5/8/9 directorate and 26th Cyberspace Operations Group commander, raised awareness about the cyberspace and U.S. Air Force mission to about 75 community leaders participating in the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce Leadership San Antonio program at the Radius Center in San Antonio Oct. 8.

Leadership San Antonio hosted a military day as part of the program’s initiative to provide participants with insight from present and future decision-makers in both the public and private sectors in order to prepare them to better lead San Antonio into the future by using their broader understanding of the diverse community.

“While the Military has been a great force and presence in Military City U.S.A., specifics of what the Military does in San Antonio may not always be known,” said Michelle Moreno, Leadership San Antonio Military Day team organizer.

“Through the participation of the 688th Cyberspace Wing and Air Force participation at our event, class members were able to hear directly from military leaders about the significance of the work being done to defend our country’s cybersecurity and ask questions.”

Rockhill, who was accompanied by 26th Cyberspace Operation Group Command and A/5/8/9 Senior Enlisted Leader Chief Master Sgt. Juwone Harris, shared the same sentiment.

“Tens of thousands of military members take some of their first steps in uniform in this city,” Rockhill said. “It truly becomes home to so many of us later because of that. Be it in cyber or elsewhere, that type of foundation is as strong as they come. We have to continue leveraging it to help the city and country prosper.”

Rockhill discussed the larger footprint of Joint Base San Antonio in San Antonio, the 688th Cyberspace mission and related cyber security to local and national security objectives.

“Sometimes people may not know that the Military community is accessible or about the role it plays an integral part of our City as a whole,” said Moreno. “Sometimes that can create a barrier, so by participating in this type of forum, there is an opportunity to not only hear about the most up-to-date public information regarding the safety and defense of our country.”

Additionally, this type of engagement is important for relationship building that leads to a better understanding of our shared mission to defend the United States of America, Moreno added.

“The rising public and private sector leaders of San Antonio are incredible,” Rockhill said. “Their passion for the city, cyber, and America and what it represents is clear and inspiring.”

LSA was created in 1975 by The San Antonio Chamber of Commerce to help identify and develop community leaders and is now considered the premier program for existing and emerging leaders in Bexar County and surrounding areas.

The program, one of the first of its kind in Texas, has graduated nearly 1,900 participants and focuses on delivering these leaders an opportunity to develop an understanding of the promise and challenges of the community.

“We are thankful for this newly founded partnership between the U.S. Air Force, 26th Cyberspace Operations Group, 688th Cyberspace Wing, with that of our individual LSA Class 45 participants, the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce and the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce,” Moreno said.

After answering questions, Rockhill and Harris took the opportunity during the event to network with local leaders, build partnerships and discuss ways to collaborate with the community.

Events like this create shared experiences and understanding that really build a foundation of trust for that team, said Rockhill.

The event featured other guest speakers discussing military color guard, recruiting, active service in Military City U.S.A, the history of Veteran’s Plaza, military veterans outreach and transition to civilian life.

“Our nation is strong because of its relationships,” Rockhill said. “I think that is also true for our military--It takes a team in and across the military and outside of it to defend our nation.”