National Guard activates cyber-security task force

By Richard Tomkins  |  Aug. 18, 2017 at 5:12 PM
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Aug. 18 (UPI) -- A full-time Army National Guard unit of more than 100 cyber specialists was mobilized this week, the largest mobilization of cyber forces from reserve units to support the U.S. Cyber Command.

The specialists of Task Force Echo, which will support the U.S. Cyber Command consists of 138 soldiers from California, Georgia, Michigan, Indiana, Utah, Ohio and Virginia who were recruited for their skills and experience in cyber-systems and cyber-security.

The Army said the soldiers will be integrated into the Maryland National Guard during their active duty.

"This is truly an important formation as we take a look at what we anticipate will be a total force mission," Lt. Gen. Paul Nakasone, commander of Army Cyber Command, said during a transition-of-authority ceremony. "The soldiers of the 169th Cyber Protection Team and Task Force Echo will bring unique and diverse talents to this increasingly complex phase."

TF Echo, the report said, takes over and expands the role of the 169th Cyber Protection Team in engineering operating and maintaining network infrastructure.

The personnel of the task force first mobilized through Fort Bragg, N.C., and were trained by the 169th. They then transferred to Fort Meade, Md.

"It would be emblematic of what we've talked about for a long time, but is really difficult to achieve: this idea of total force," said Task Force Echo Commander Col. Adam Volant. "We are military trained, but we also bring an abundant amount of experience from the private sector, from government [and] from academia. The soldiers in my formation are really information technology professionals."

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