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NEWS | Feb. 24, 2015

National Guard cyber protection teams announced

By National Guard Bureau

ARLINGTON, Va. - Army National Guard officials at the National Guard Bureau announced the location plan today for the first three of an eventual 10 new Army National Guard cyber protection teams to be established over the next three fiscal years.

The first of three CPTs to be activated in FY16 will be hosted by five states. The first CPT will be hosted by Michigan, Indiana, and Ohio. The two other CPTs will be hosted by Georgia and California respectively. The stationing plan for the remaining seven of ten Army Guard CPTs will be announced at a later date.

"This is a significant step helping to boost state and federal cyber defense capabilities," said Maj. Gen. Judd H. Lyons, acting director of the Army National Guard. "It reflects the tremendous momentum well under way across the Army to organize, train and equip cyberspace operations forces."

These CPTs will be stationed around the country and will be staffed by National Guard citizen-soldiers. Soldiers assigned to them will train and operate on a traditional part-time basis in support of their respective states National Guard and governors. When mobilized for federal active duty, the teams will provide surge support to Army Cyber Command and support defensive cyberspace operations as assigned.

The stationing plan followed a careful review and evaluation of 32 detailed nomination packets, representing 45 states, territories and the District of Columbia seeking consideration for one of the 10 CPTs.

A 12 member advisory committee headed by an independent general officer and consisting of representatives from state and territory advisory committees convened to review and evaluate the packets in accordance with senior leader guidance and timelines.

The ARNG will establish four additional CPTs in FY17, and the remaining three of ten in FY18. Once established, citizen-soldiers in each of the 10 CPTs will undergo specialized Cyber training to qualify as Army Cyber Soldiers. Many of these cyber courses are 4-12 months in duration and are very academically challenging.

The Army National Guard had been working closely with the Army Cyber Command, Headquarters Department of the Army, and the 54 states and territories and the District of Columbia to develop ARNG cyber forces that would support and be responsive to Joint, Army, and domestic cyber requirements.

"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."

The ARNG currently has one full-time CPT established under federal control that is currently attached to and training at ARCYBER in preparation for future missions. The full-time Army Guard CPT was established in fiscal year 2014 and is composed of Soldiers from 19 states and two Territories.

Guard Soldiers are uniquely postured to support the CPT mission, having a large number of Soldiers who work within the Information Technology or academic sector, and who may offer expertise and competencies on cutting-edge cyber defense policies, tactics, techniques, and procedures.

There are currently no plans to establish additional CPTs beyond the 11 currently approved according to ARNG officials.