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    Florida National Guard lends signal, cyber security strength to Presidential Inauguration

    Florida sends Guardsmen to assist with Presidential Inauguration

    Photo By Ching Oettel | Chief Warrant Officer 3 Ben Hutchingson, the S6 Officer for Task Force Crowd, leads...... read more read more



    Story by Staff Sgt. Carmen Fleischmann 

    Florida National Guard Public Affairs Office

    WASHINGTON – The Florida National Guard is responsible for several elements of the 58th Presidential Inauguration, and while some missions are high-profile and in the public’s eye, others aren’t. The hundreds of Soldiers and Airmen assigned to Task Force Crowd fall into the first category, with Guardsmen working around the clock with various law enforcement agencies to secure the streets of D.C.

    What isn’t so high profile is a completely different type of security mission that Florida Army Guardsmen have been carrying out behind the scenes, since a week before the inauguration activities even began.

    Florida’s Defensive Cyber Operations Element (DCO-E) G6 deployed last week and is now part of Task Force Cyber, spearheaded by the D.C. National Guard. Their mission is to support Joint Incident Site Communications Capability (JISCC) teams from three other states.

    This is the first time that the presidential inauguration has had a National Guard-staffed Task Force Cyber, which makes securing the network for event support that much more critical.

    “Cyber security is an ever growing concern within the military services, as well as our government. Cyber warfare is a very real threat and we must be ready to meet that threat and safeguard our democracy,” said DCO Team Chief, Maj. Jennifer Hunt. “The FLARNG DCO-E is honored to play a role in the Presidential Inauguration and for the opportunity to serve on the forefront of Cyber Defense operations for our Nation.”

    Chief Warrant Officer 3 Jeff Beck, Assistant S6 for Joint Task Force Crowd and the Wide Area Network Manager for the FLNG, is part of the communications team, the second element sent by the FLNG’s G6. His job is to ensure that all of the ground forces in the field can talk to each other and reach back to the tactical operations center (TOC) for assistance.

    “We ensure the radio communications for the Soldiers that are out there in the fight … it’s so important because that’s the only line they have back if they need assistance for anything, whatever it may be,” said Beck.

    The team arrived last Friday and been working with the 113th Wing with the D.C. Air National Guard out of Andrews Air Force Base.

    “They’re the ones that secured all of the radios and we did some programming and communications checks around town before this ever kicked off,” said Beck.

    In addition to providing the tools to talk, the team is responsible for maintaining the wireless network and making sure communication lines stay open. Periodically, they go out to the field to replace equipment and keep everything in working order.

    Staff Sgt. Chad Gibbs, a Communications Specialist with Task Force Crowd, and the G6 Specialist for the 50th Regional Support Group, says this level of support is crucial for the event as a whole to succeed.

    “I think our mission is very important because the inauguration is a very important event and there’s a lot of security that needs to happen with it, so I think everything we’re doing here is vital to making sure everything goes smoothly.”



    Date Taken: 01.20.2017
    Date Posted: 01.20.2017 13:27
    Story ID: 220798
    Location: WASHINGTON D.C., DC, US
    Hometown: JACKSONVILLE, FL, US
    Hometown: ST. AUGUSTINE, FL, US
    Hometown: STARKE, FL, US

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