LANSING, MI – The Battle Creek Air National Guard base is one of four locations in the United States chosen for a new Cyber Operations Squadron to help detect and protect against cybersecurity threats, Gov. Rick Snyder said today.
Michigan and Battle Creek, chosen by the U.S. Department of Defense, were selected to host the newest cybersecurity unit because of their pre-existing work to train both military members and civilians in strategies to defend against the increasing number of cyber breaches.
“Cyber-attacks are an unfortunate reality of a world that is becoming increasingly more dependent on technology,” Snyder said. “I’m proud of the work we’ve done to establish Michigan as a national leader in this field. The new cyber unit will help ensure we remain on the forefront of this mission and provide new and future opportunities for growth.”
The cyber operations squadron, assigned to the 110th Attack Wing, will bring about 70 jobs to the base. Some members there already have training and experience in cyber operations from their involvement with the Michigan National Guard’s inaugural Cyber Range Hub, which opened on the Battle Creek base in 2014.
The hub is part of the Michigan Cyber Range, launched in 2012, and allows for reenactment exercises and simulations that will test reaction and detection skills in a variety of settings across the state. The range is a partnership between the state, Merit Network, federal and local governments and colleges and universities. There are three additional hubs at Eastern Michigan University, Ferris State University, and Northern Michigan University.
“Battle Creek makes perfect sense to house one of the new cyber operations squadrons,” said Col. Bryan Teff, commander of the Battle Creek Air National Guard. “The recruiting base we have here in Battle Creek, coupled with the robust cyber-capabilities already in place will allow us to easily expand those capabilities to accommodate an entire squadron.”
The addition of the Cyber Operations Squadron builds on Snyder’s larger cybersecurity initiative, which aims to raise awareness of cyber threats, provide training to identify and disable threats, and encourage continued collaboration in the to defend against potential cybersecurity breaches.
This also builds upon the Army National Guard Cyber Protection Team that Michigan was awarded earlier this year. The team worked in partnership with the Ohio and Indiana National Guards to further enhance cybersecurity initiatives.
For additional information on Snyder’s 2015 cybersecurity initiative visit www.michigan.gov.