first_img Dan Cohen AUTHOR The National Guard plans to stand up 13 new cyber units across 23 states by the end of fiscal 2019 as part of the ongoing growth of cyber forces throughout DOD, officials announced last week.“Working with the Army and Air Force our cyber squadrons and teams will provide trained and ready soldiers and airmen to support requirements established by the services and U.S. Cyber Command,” Army Gen. Frank Grass, chief of the National Guard Bureau, said in a press release.Seven new Army Guard cyber protection teams will be activated across 18 states. They will join four previously announced Army Guard cyber teams spread across six other states.In partnership with the Air Force, the Air Guard will activate four new cyber operations squadrons in Idaho, Michigan, Texas and Virginia. In addition, a cyber information surveillance reconnaissance (ISR) squadron will stand up in California and a cyber ISR group in Massachusetts.The Guard’s new cyber units will establish a foundation for future cyber forces to be activated.“This is the beginning,” said Air Force Col. Kelly Hughes, chief of the Space and Cyber Warfare Operations Division at the Air National Guard Readiness Center. “This is a massive amount of force structure the Guard has laid into this mission, but this is just the first layer,” Hughes said.The latest rollout of cyber units allows the Guard to fulfill Army and Air Force cyber missions while positioning cyber protection units in each of the 10 Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) response regions, according to the bureau.“The focus is to get that presence in as many states as possible and especially making sure we have all the FEMA regions covered,” Hughes said.Ensuring each FEMA region has coverage ties into the Guard’s mission to respond to large-scale emergencies and disasters at home, said Air Force Col. Timothy Lunderman, director of joint cyber operations at the National Guard Bureau.Cyber teams and squadrons, Lunderman added, are another asset governors can use at the state level should they be needed.last_img

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