The Midwest’s first National Guard cyber battalion will be established in Indiana this year – with plans to be at full operational capability by 2022. The 127th Cyber Battalion will be composed of nearly 100 part-time soldiers who will be trained on cyber security and cyber warfare at the Muscatatuck Urban Training Center.
The center will feature realistic simulations with live environments for cyber and electronic warfare testing and training.
“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.”
The 127th Cyber Battalion will serve under the Army National Guard’s 91st Cyber Brigade, which was established in Virginia in 2016. There are currently two cyber battalions in Virginia, while South Carolina and Massachusetts each have one.
Officials considered nineteen states and territories for the new center. They state they chose Indiana for its existing cyber capabilities, partnerships with industry and academia, and the ability to recruit and retain soldiers.
“Indiana is well-suited to build and generate mission readiness with this critical force structure,” Indiana Adjutant General R. Dale Lyles said.
Once training is completed, the “cyber-soldiers” 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.