National Guard cyber protection teams

National Guard expands cyber protection teams

New York and New Jersey lawmakers announced that a combined cyber protection team made up of National Guard units from both states was approved by the National Guard.  The joint NY-NJ team was one of 13 new cyber units the Guard announced it would activate throughout 23 states by the end of fiscal year 2019.

Seven new Army Guard cyber protection teams, or CPTs, will be activated across Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, and Wisconsin. They join four previously announced Army Guard CPTs based in California, Georgia, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan and Ohio.

The NY-NJ CPT will be based out of Latham Armory, a National Guard base located in New York's Albany County. Additionally, space at the Rome Joint Reserve Intelligence Center will be used to accommodate the team’s mission requirements. New Jersey will have a primary CPT station located at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst.

New York and New Jersey lawmakers made the announcement on Dec. 9 after a year-long effort to better protect the New York-New Jersey metropolitan area from growing cyber security threats. The new team will leverage its existing relationships with the Department of Homeland Security and its extensive cybersecurity training to focus on combatting increasing cyber security threats to the region’s critical infrastructure and networks.

In partnership with the Air Force, the Air Guard will also activate four new cyber operations squadrons in Idaho, Michigan, Texas and Virginia. In addition, a cyber Information Surveillance Reconnaissance squadron will stand up in California, and a cyber intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance group is being formed in Massachusetts.

The current roll out of Guard cyber units builds the foundation for future cyber forces scheduled for activation. Activating cyber units in these states 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 response regions.

This announcement recognizes the critical and unique role New York’s National Guard will play in protecting our cyber networks,” said Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. “By vesting this capacity in the National Guard, this team can provide the military with private sector expertise and enhance the capacity that it needs to respond to new cyber threats.”

The CPT adds to joint law enforcement efforts by New York and New Jersey, which has over 1,700 officers protecting tunnels, bridges, airports and bus and marine terminals.

About the Author

Derek Major is a former reporter for GCN.

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