BALTIMORE (NNS) -- Navy Reserve leaders formally inaugurated the Navy’s first reserve Cyber Protection Team during a ceremony at the Baltimore Navy Operational Support Center in Baltimore, March 7.
Rear Adm. Jim Butler, Deputy Commander U.S. Fleet Cyber Command, spoke at the ceremony.
“As we find ourselves in a renewed era of great power competition, our network, our infrastructure, and our way of life are under attack,” said Butler. “We are in the fight today, and we need forces that are more lethal, resilient and agile to deter and defeat any adversary.”
The new unit, called Cyber Defense Activity Sixty Four Detachment 1 (NR CYBDEFACT 64 Det 1), will support the actively duty Cyber Defense Activity Sixty Four command, one of six subordinate commands under Cryptologic Warfare Group Six. Overall, the U.S. Navy provides 40 offensive and defensive teams to support the U.S. Cyber Command (USCYBERCOM) Cyber Mission Force.
The new reserve unit’s mission is to defend the Navy’s networks and improve overall network security by implementing preventative measures, as well as responding to suspected cyber incidents. Sailors in the reserve unit will be aligned to specific active duty teams, but will be trained to fill any manning gaps in the active duty component.
Reservists have become an increasingly valuable asset to the Navy’s growing cyber mission, supplying a scalable augment for the active duty force and bringing variety and depth of skill from the private sector. Reservists are an especially good fit for cyber protection teams, since their mission is often short-term incident response versus ongoing operations.
“More than ever, we as a Navy need to leverage our Reservists’ skill sets to defend against advanced adversary cyber, cryptologic and electronic warfare capabilities,” said Butler. “As the reserve detachment for CDA-64, you are on the front lines of that mission.”
Billets for the unit’s three officers and 48 enlisted Sailors came from the reserve Cyber Warfare Group Six (NR CWG-6) unit, the largest reserve information warfare unit in the Navy. NR CWG-6’s Commanding Officer, Capt. Chris Isakson, was tasked with organizing the new unit.
“We’re executing national leadership’s strategy by establishing the first reserve unit dedicated to a truly unified information warfare mission for Cryptologic Technician Network (CTN), Information Systems Technician (IT), and Intelligence Specialist (IS) ratings,” said Isakson, describing the variety of specialists who will populate the new unit. “National leadership authorized 298 enlisted cyber protection team billets and we anticipate additional reserve units will be created in the near future.”
The unit’s first Officer-in-Charge will be Lt. Cmdr. Trulea Craig and the Senior Enlisted Leader will be Senior Chief Petty Officer Kevin Siegers. Members of the new unit will be required to complete a rigorous course of training before they are operational, including the eight-week long Intermediate Cyber Course. Given the dynamic nature of cyber threats, training will be an ongoing requirement, which is why orders to the new unit will be for five years instead of the usual three.
“This warfare domain is rapidly evolving and isn’t constrained by the laws of physics,” said Craig. “It’s a challenge to operate in an enduring conflict that will never go away.”
CWG-6’s mission is to deliver information warfare capabilities to the Navy by providing and deploying trained Sailors, expertise, and equipment to support signals intelligence and cyberspace operations for naval and joint forces.
For more information and news from CWG-6, visit www.public.navy.mil/fltfor/cwg6 or www.facebook.com/CWGSIX.
For more news
FCC/10th Fleet – http://www.fcc.navy.mil/, https://www.facebook.com/USFLTCYBERCOM/ and Twitter: @USFLEETCYBERCOM