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​The Air Force this month activated a new group and five squadrons with the task of protecting Defense Department networks and mission systems. The 688th Cyberspace Operations Group activated during a ceremony at JBSA-Lackland, Texas, with two new squadrons at Scott AFB, Ill., and three at Lackland. The group will consist of 500 “cyberspace professionals” that will conduct “cyberspace operations to protect Air Force and DOD cyber assets,” according to a Lackland release. The activation follows the September redesignation and reorganization of the Air Force’s cyber teams; the 67th Network Warfare Wing and the 688th Information Operations Wing, both at JBSA-Lackland, Texas, became the 67th Cyberspace Wing and 688th Cyberspace Wing, respectively. “Prepare yourselves, there will be many challenges to face,” 688th COG Commander Col. Roger Vrooman said at the Dec. 1 ceremony. “I see a very, very tough two to three years as we have growing pains from standing up the units, to seeing new members daily, to moving [buildings and offices] possibly multiple times.”