America’s Midwest is to get its first National Guard cyber battalion.
The 127th Cyber Battalion will comprise 100 soldiers, who will be based in Indiana. Before taking up their new command, the soldiers will head to the Muscatatuck Urban Training Center in Jennings County, where they will receive state-of-the-art training in cybersecurity and cyber-warfare.
Located 75 miles southeast of Indianapolis, the center features live environments for cyber- and electronic warfare testing and training. The soldiers will be challenged to neutralize attacks in realistic simulations of incidents that have occurred in the past and attacks that could be launched in the future.
Additional training will be provided to the soldiers by Ivy Tech Community College Cyber Academy at Muscatatuck.
“With our National Guard’s current cyber resources and Indiana’s top-notch academic institutions, our state is a natural fit for one of the country’s first cyber battalions,” Indiana governor Eric Holcomb said in a statement.
“Warfare is becoming increasingly digital, and it’s an honor for Indiana to be home to those who protect our country from computer-generated threats.”
Indiana beat nineteen other states and territories to become the battalion’s new home. Officials chose the Hoosier State for its existing cyber capabilities, partnerships with industry and academia, and its proven ability to recruit and retain soldiers.
The 127th Cyber Battalion is the Army National Guard’s fifth cyber battalion. Two battalions are already up and running in Virginia, and South Carolina and Massachusetts each have one.
Indiana’s new battalion is expected to attain its full operational capability by 2022. The 127th will serve under the Army National Guard’s 91st Cyber Brigade, which was established in 2016 in Virginia.
Most of Indiana’s new battalion of cyber-soldiers will serve part-time on top of pursuing civilian careers. Once qualified, they will offer cybersecurity expertise to companies, providing training readiness oversight to conduct cyberspace operations, network vulnerability assessments, security cooperation partnerships, and FEMA support along with cyberspace support of federal requirements.
“The Army National Guard’s role in national cybersecurity provides a larger blanket of protection against our adversaries,” said Lt. Gen. Daniel R. Hokanson of the Army National Guard.
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