(Dec. 15, 2015) The National Guard Bureau announced last week plans to stand up 13 more cyber units across 23 states by the end of fiscal 2019.
The Army National Guard will activate seven cyber-protection teams. In fiscal 2018, Guard officials will establish separate CPTs across Alabama, Kentucky and Tennessee; Colorado, North Dakota, South Dakota and Utah; Illinois and Wisconsin; and New Jersey and New York. In fiscal 2019, a team will be stationed in Minnesota and other separate CPTs will be spread across Arkansas, Missouri and Nebraska; and Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas.
Work is already underway on establishing CPTs in California and Georgia and another across Indiana, Michigan and Ohio. They are scheduled to be activated in fiscal 2017.
Each team will have 39 members, including seven officers, 16 warrant officers and 16 enlisted personnel, all with advanced cyber training.
The Air Guard will activate four cyber-operations squadrons in conjunction with the Air Force. They will be in Idaho, Michigan, Texas and Virginia. In addition, a cyber information, surveillance and reconnaissance squadron will stand up in California and a cyber ISR group in Massachusetts.
By putting cyber units in each of these states, the National Guard will have a cyber presence in all 10 of the Federal Emergency Management Agency response areas.
Col. Timothy T. Lunderman, the National Guard Bureau's director of joint-cyber operations, said the Guard's strong relationships with state and local authorities are an asset when it comes to setting up cyber units.
"If state and local officials need help, they're more likely to turn to the folks they know," he said. "The people they know are the Guard."
"Our goal for cyber-defense is to train, equip and provide highly skilled forces responsive to the needs of the nation," Gen. Frank J. Grass, the NGB chief, said in a press release 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."