Hoosier state great location for U.S. cyber battalion

Cyber security has become one of the most pressing national security issues. It’s not only evident worldwide, but close to home in the Hoosier state.

Globally, Russia has been accused of meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. In Indiana, Hancock Health in Greenfield fell victim to a cyber attack in January. A hacker demanded Bitcoin to relinquish control of part of the hospital network’s computer system. Feeling it had no choice, the hospital system paid the ransom.

“Our country is under attack on a cyber basis — on a daily basis, an hourly basis,” U.S. Sen. Joe Donnelly, D-Ind., told The Republic recently.

Foreign countries and individuals are looking to exploit the U.S. cyber structure, U.S. Sen. Todd Young, R-Ind., also told The Republic.

In many ways, countries or groups view cyber as a better way to attack America than with troops.

Because of cyber threats the U.S. faces, a decision by the Army to bolster the country’s cyber warfare capabilities was wise.

The Army National Guard is restructuring and modernizing its cyber force structure. One change is creation of a cyber brigade with subordinate battalions to exercise training and readiness, and cyber protection teams.

Indiana has a cyber protection team, which has mobilized to Fort Meade in Maryland. Now the Indiana team is seeking to become the one unassigned federal cyber battalion.

The Indiana National Guard wants to locate the battalion of about 100 soldiers at a state Guard facility in Indianapolis, and use its regional cyber resources to support it, including Muscatatuck Urban Training Complex, based in the Jennings County community of Butlerville.

Maj. Gen. Corey Carr, adjutant general of the Indiana National Guard and a Columbus resident, led the state’s application for the cyber battalion. He expects a decision soon.

We think locating the Army National Guard cyber battalion in central Indiana would be a wise decision. The state’s cyber resources would provide tremendous supportive resources.

Muscatatuck Urban Training Complex is the Department of Defense’s only live, full-scale cyber range. Its urban setup allows tactical troops to practice maneuvers according to different scenarios and be supported by cyber units.

Additionally, the state boasts national experts on cyber security and hardware assurance at Naval Surface Warfare Center Crane, in Martin County, and research and support expertise at the Purdue University Cyber Center and the Indiana University Center for Applied Cybersecurity Research.

We commend Carr for leading the state’s bid for the cyber battalion and Indiana’s federal lawmakers for supporting it with a letter to the Army National Guard. Cyber security is a serious issue, and Indiana has the resources to provide that needed security.

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