News Releases

Nov 20 2013

Sen. Moran Offers Amendment to Protect National Guard Role in Cyber Missions

Passage would halt, and likely prevent cuts to the 177th Information Aggressor Squadron based at McConnell Air Force Base in Wichita

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) introduced a bipartisan amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that would support the Kansas National Guard and Department of Defense (DoD) Reserve Components by protecting their ability to carry our cyber missions in support of DoD. As part of the DoD strategy requirement in Section 945 of the Senate version of the NDAA, passage of this amendment would halt, and likely prevent cuts to the 177th Information Aggressor Squadron (IAS) based at McConnell Air Force Base in Wichita. The 177th is one of only two National Guard units executing the critical information aggressor mission focused on cyber security, information operations and cyber intelligence.

“The 177th is critical not only to Kansas National Guardsman, but also as a national security asset for the DoD and other organizations that require cyber mission support," Sen. Moran said. "It is vital that DoD protect against the unintended loss of a one-of-a-kind asset and prevent a reduction in personnel from being implemented."

The 177th Red Team has provided cyber security training to more than 30,000 end users since unit inception. It is the only Air National Guard (ANG), National Security Agency (NSA) certified and USSTRATCOM accredited Red Team. Its capabilities include Cyber Intel Analysis, Close Access Security, and Close Range network adversary replication.

The amendment would enhance Section 945 of by requiring DoD to develop a strategy on use of the Reserve Components in cyber missions. The amendment provisions include:

    1. Providing for an inventory of the existing cyber skills of reserve component personnel, including the skills of units and elements in the reserve components that are transitioning to cyber missions;
    2. Providing for an inventory of the existing infrastructure of the reserve components that contributes to the cyber missions of the United States Cyber Command, including the infrastructure available to units and elements in the reserve components that are transitioning to such missions;
    3. Developing an estimate of the personnel, infrastructure and training required, and the costs that would be incurred, in connection with implementing the strategy for integrating the reserve components into the total force for support of the cyber missions of the Department and United States Cyber Command. The estimate will examine whether there are any misalignments between unit mission and facility readiness to support such missions;
    4. Protecting against unintended duplicate spending, preventing reduction in personnel of a cyber unit of the Air National Guard of the United States from being implemented or carried out in fiscal year 2014 before the submittal of the strategy; and
    5. Protecting against reduction in the personnel or capacity of a Red Team from being implemented or carried out unless the strategy states clearly that it is not required.

The bipartisan amendment is cosponsored by U.S. Sens. Chris Coons (D-Del.), Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.) and Pat Roberts (R-Kan.)

Click here to read the full text Sen. Moran’s amendment #2365.

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