Team work makes the dream work; a Space Force collaboration

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Tiffany Price
  • 325tth Fighter Wing Public Affairs

The 325th Communications Squadron has a lot more to offer Tyndall Air Force Base than just resolving printer issues or internet connectivity problems. In fact, they are one of the few squadrons on base to host U.S. Space Force Guardians.

Space Force Specialist 3 Jesus Lopez, 325th CS cyber security technician, is one of Tyndall’s Guardians. Lopez joined the U.S. Air Force in 2020 with high hopes for new experiences.

Prior to joining the military, Lopez was working on a bachelor’s degree in computer science and working in retail technology sales. Tuition was beginning to look expensive and his need for adventure pushed him to speak with an Air Force recruiter, who provided Lopez a cybersecurity contract.

“It’s not what I expected,” said Lopez. “When I heard cybersecurity, I thought I would be the one hacking into computer systems and doing the really nitty gritty stuff, but I’ve realized it’s a lot more about documentation and the CIA triad which is the confidentiality, integrity and availability of things.”

Weeks into his technical school for cybersecurity, Lopez was given the opportunity to transition into the U.S. Space Force, which he jumped on. Now Lopez is one of a handful of Guardians who inhabit Tyndall. The interoperability between both branches provides new perspectives and skillsets when it comes to keeping communications flowing.

As part of the 325th CS, one of Lopez’s main duties is to inspect and prepare rooms for classification. If the installation wants to set up a classified network in a certain building, that building needs to be inspected and fully capable of hosting and protecting that classified information.

“Everything Specialist Lopez learns here [at Tyndall] he will be able to take with him to benefit the future of the Space Force,” said Staff Sgt. Jonathan Cruz, 325th CS Computer Security Manager, and Lopez’s supervisor.

Lopez explained that cyberspace and cyber security is vitally important to the 325th Fighter Wing’s mission success. From something as simple as a computer communicating with a printer to fighter jets communicating with their weapons systems, everything is interconnected and it’s the Communications Squadron’s job to safely facilitate that communication.

“We are the backbone of this installation,” said Cruz. “We make sure everyone has access to telephones, computer networks, radios and so much more. We are [building] the Installation of the Future and it starts with [CS].”

Lopez also expressed that with his understanding of the importance of information security he has been able to implement this knowledge into his personal life.

“It’s very interesting when put in perspective how I ran my day-to-day before I joined compared to how I do now,” said Lopez. “I am far more protective of my personal information and equipment. This career field definitely makes you more aware of the dangers of cyberspace.”

With intentions of finishing his degree, Lopez plans to explore all the opportunities that arise both within the Space Force and the local community.