Army National Guard officials at the National Guard Bureau announced today that Michigan would host one of the first three cyber protection teams established by the National Guard. Following an extensive
application and review process, the locations selected for activation in fiscal year 2016 include a Michigan, Ohio, Indiana partnership group, a team from Georgia, and a team from California.
“The selection of the Michigan National Guard as one of the first cyber protection teams is further evidence of Michigan’s outstanding leadership in cyber security,” Gov. Rick Snyder said. “Our talented Guard members are continually developing innovative approaches to keep Michigan residents and businesses safe from these emerging kinds of threats. Being cyber savvy also enhances Michigan’s global marketability for training and research.”
“The team will be an invaluable part of the force,” said Maj. Gen. Gregory Vadnais, adjutant general of the Michigan National Guard and director of the Michigan Department of Military and Veterans Affairs. “Protecting infrastructure from enemies that could potentially destroy water systems, take down electrical grids, disrupt fuel distribution, communication lines, or transportation systems is as much a part of national security as any munitions battle ever was. And leading the way, at the front lines, are members of the Michigan National Guard, Hoo-ah!” added Vadnais.
Cyber protection team members will begin their assignment with intensive specialized cyber training to qualify as Army Cyber Soldiers. The academically challenging cyber courses are 4-12 months in duration and are held in multiple locations across the country, adding another level of challenge to the program. When fully trained, CPT members will be responsible for conducting defensive cyberspace operations, readiness inspections and vulnerability assessments as well as a variety of other cyber roles and missions.
“The Army is actively developing a total force of elite, trained, trusted and disciplined cyber professionals. The Army National Guard’s CPT stationing decision is another step in the right direction as we build and
field the cyber force across the Total Army,” said Lt. Gen. Edward Cardon, commanding general of the U.S. Army Cyber Command at Fort Belvoir, Va. “Citizen Soldiers are already an essential part of the Total Army, so these cyber professionals, many of whom bring private sector experience, will enhance the Army’s cyberspace capabilities and capacities.”