Bill Notes National Guard Cyber Skills

Washington Report

(February 7, 2017) Legislation introduced Monday by several senators from both parties affirms the cybersecurity abilities found in the National Guard. The DOD Emergency Response Capabilities Database Enhancement Act of 2017 would require the Defense Department to track the cyber skills found in the Guard and the Reserves, according to a story today in The Hill, a publication that covers Capitol Hill.

The bill’s sponsors include Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, a former officer in the Iowa National Guard, Sen. Deb Fischer, R-Neb., and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y.

A press release from Ernst notes that a Government Accountability Office report identified cyber skills found in the Guard, but noted that the Pentagon did not have information about those skills. The GAO suggested a database be created to store such information.

In a statement, Ernst said, “The reality is that cyber warfare is an emerging and ever-evolving battlefield, and we must use all available tools to protect our nation’s security, including those that already exist in our National Guard units. Many of our Guardsmen work in the cyber and [information technology] field in their civilian careers, and we must present more opportunities to harness their skillset to advance our nation’s cyber initiatives.”