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    New New York National Guard Warrant takes on Cyber Warfare Challenges

    New New York National Guard Warrant Officer meets cyber warfare challenges

    Courtesy Photo | Warrant Officer 1 Antonia Prada, a member of the New York Army National Guard, poses...... read more read more



    Story by Eric Durr 

    New York National Guard

    LATHAM, N.Y. -- Antonio Prada keeps changing uniforms. He’s been a Marine, then an Airman in the Air Force Reserve and then New York Air National Guard.

    Now Prada, age 34, is following a new opportunity and is the New York Army National Guard’s newest warrant officer in the new field of computer network warfare.

    “He is a solid individual, “said Chief Warrant Officer 3 Douglas Sherman, the New York Army National Guard Warrant Officer strength manager. “He’s going to be a real asset in the cyber protection team.”

    Prada recently completed the 19-week course designed to turn him into a cyber operations technician. He’ll slot in one of the tough-to-fill warrant officer slots in the New York and New Jersey Army National Guard’s 173rd Cyber Protection Team, Sherman said.

    Prada’s job will be to lead Soldiers working in the cyber protection field and to plan cyberspace operations.

    Of course, Sherman said, it helps that Prada works in the field as a civilian. Prada’s civilian acquired skills helped the New York Army National Guard recruit him and move him into the field, Sherman said.

    “The school was tough, but that was good,” said Prada who works as an information security analyst for Bloomberg LLP.

    In his civilian job he deals with computer security in a Windows operating system environment, Prada said. He works with security systems and administration.

    The military training helped him learn some new thing he had not known before and develop his existing skills, Prada said. “It was a good learning experience,” he emphasized.

    Prada, an Astoria, Queens resident, joined the Marines after high school in 2002 and served for five years. He trained as a field radio operator and served in Al Assad, Iraq in 2008 and 2009.

    After leaving the Marine Corps, Prada joined the Air Force Reserve’s 42nd Combat Communications Squadron at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst so that he could continue to serve while pursuing a civilian career, starting a family and working on a degree in computer information systems.

    When the Air Force Reserve closed his unit, Prada transferred to the New York Air National Guard’s 213th Engineer Installation Squadron. The squadron is part of the 105th Airlift Wing at Stewart Air National Guard Base in Newburgh.

    When he heard about the ability to serve as a warrant officer in an Army National Guard cyber protection team, Prada said it seemed like the next logical step in his military career.

    This move gave him the opportunity to put his civilian acquired skills to work for the country, while also learning new skills that make him more effective in his job, Prada explained.

    Prada is unique because his Marine Corps background and his civilian skills made it relatively easy to get him into the warrant officer program and into the cyber warfare program, Sherman said.

    If Prada had only served in the Air Force Reserve and Air Guard, the Army would have required him to enlist and go through basic training first before going into the warrant officer program, Sherman said. But because he had Marine Corps combat training, Prada could skip that extra step, Sherman explained.

    He’s looking forward to being a warrant officer in the 173rd, Prada said. It’s a challenging job he wants to do.

    “You are supposed to be the technical expert in your field, “Prada said. “In line with what I was doing in the civilian side, I want to continue serving. I want the next step.”



    Date Taken: 10.18.2018
    Date Posted: 10.18.2018 16:08
    Story ID: 296940
    Location: NY, US

    Web Views: 237
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    New New York National Guard Warrant takes on Cyber Warfare Challenges