NEWS | Oct. 22, 2019

Indiana selected for new cyber battalion

By Capt. Caitie Sweet Indiana National Guard

The Indiana National Guard's selection to build the National Guard’s fifth cyber battalion was announced today.

Indiana’s Adjutant General, Brig. Gen. R. Dale Lyles, is pleased to take responsibility for 127th Cyber Protection Battalion. This battalion will fall under the only cyber brigade in the Army National Guard, the 91st Cyber Brigade based in Virginia.

“I am excited about the opportunity of stationing a cyber battalion in the Indiana National Guard. Indiana is well suited to build and generate mission readiness with this critical force structure,” said Lyles.

The 127th Cyber Protection Battalion will provide mission command to a cyber security company and a cyber warfare company and oversight of two cyber protection teams in order to provide trained forces capable of conducting cyberspace operations in support of federal and state requirements. 

The implementation of the cyber battalion in Indiana aligns well with the state’s initiatives and benefits. Leaders within the Indiana National Guard are collaborating with local and statewide businesses to work with skilled IT and cyber employees already in place. The nation requires a workforce that is relevant, agile and adaptable if it is to remain technically competitive in a global economy and successfully address the continually increasing emergent threats from around the globe.

“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,” said Indiana Gov. Eric J. Holcomb. “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 additional schooling and benefits the National Guard provides to a soldier creates a stronger and more marketable civilian employee in an environment where cyber security jobs remain the number one high demand tech job in Indiana.

The new battalion will be comprised of nearly 100 citizen-soldiers, including cyber network defenders and cyber operations specialists. This new unit opens many positions for individuals with this specific skill set.  

Indiana's strong cyber infrastructure and top notch academic institutions were key in the decision selecting Indiana for this battalion, said Lyles. For example, IVY Tech's Cybersecurity program at the Cyber Academy at Muscatatuck Urban Training Center trains students to gain the knowledge, skills, and abilities to compete in an ever-increasing, technologically-advanced world. 

Cyber battalion soldiers will use the world-class cyber training facility at Muscatatuck. The southern Indiana training center has the Department of Defense’s only live, full-scale cyber range. This facility is a cyber-enabled advanced urban training and testing facility that allows for various configurations that realistically simulate live environments for cyber and electronic warfare testing and training.

Indiana is also home to one of the nation’s premier Defense Department laboratories, the Naval Surface Warfare Center, with expertise in cyber security and hardware assurance helping to protect DOD systems from intrusion.

Indiana is “Always Ready, Always There” to produce ready units for the National Guard and the nation.