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    South Carolina National Guard enhances cyber initiatives with new facility

    South Carolina National Guard enhances cyber initiatives with new facility

    Photo By Sgt. Chelsea Baker | The 228th Theater Tactical Signal Brigade conducted a change of command ceremony for...... read more read more



    Story by Capt. Jessica Donnelly 

    South Carolina National Guard

    COLUMBIA, S.C. -- The development of a new South Carolina National Guard facility in Aiken, South Carolina is expected to begin fall of 2020, with a focus on enhancing cyber-security initiatives for the state.

    South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster released his executive budget summary for fiscal year 2020-21, which included $15 million allocated toward cyber-security efforts, “for phase two of construction of the Aiken readiness center – a state-of-the-art facility that will provide cyber training and modernization of the National Guard’s cyber mission. The facility will provide the basis for a collaborative effort between military, education, business, industry, and research centers to be able to protect the infrastructure and continue to attract new industry to the state.”

    “As we advance through the digital age, we must be proactive in fighting cyber-crime,” said McMaster. “This state-of-the-art facility will make South Carolina a leader in cyber-security. Through collaboration, this hub will benefit both the public and private sector by attracting new industry, creating jobs, and training the next generation of South Carolinians.”

    The design, environmental, and real estate considerations for the state-of-the-art DreamPort and readiness complex are expected to begin in the fall of 2020, into fiscal year 2021. Construction is expected to begin in the fall of 2022, fiscal year 2023, with the projected timeline from that beginning of the construction would be approximately two years, explained U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Brad Owens, South Carolina National Guard director of joint staff.

    The cyber-security facility establishes a partnership between the South Carolina National Guard and the University of South Carolina (USC) Aiken, where the facility will be located, and will be in close proximity to the Savannah River National Laboratory’s (SRNL) Advanced Manufacturing Center on the university campus, as well. The location of the South Carolina National Guard readiness center at USC Aiken also puts the cyber facility in close proximity to Fort Gordon, Georgia, which is the home of the U.S. Army Cyber Center of Excellence. The facility is expected to create a space for cyber experts in the private, government, and academic sectors to work closely with Fort Gordon’s cyber operations and the SRNL cyber researchers.

    “The cyber domain creates opportunities and partnerships that cross all business sectors and influences economic growth for the entire state,” said Owens. “It can also bring extreme risk. So, this is an opportunity to be a model across the state and become a source for others as they encounter cyber threats. It will be a place they can seek expert resources…We are very thankful to Governor McMaster for including this cyber-security initiative for the state in his executive budget. It would not be possible without his support.”

    Owens explained, the intent of the cyber-security facility is to create a hub to develop cyber and technology capabilities, research, education, and workforce development to the benefit of the state. Once complete, the state-of-the-art facility is expected to provide a facility for U.S. Army National Guard signal and cyber Soldiers to conduct secure research and training, while also increasing the state’s ability to provide a venue for collaboration, problem solving, and innovation in the cyber domain.

    “The university is honored to partner with the National Guard in this important way,” said Dr. Sandra Jordan, USC Aiken chancellor. “The DreamPort Collaborative will bring cyber expertise to our campus, providing our cyber security faculty and students access to some of the best trained cyber experts in America and giving them opportunities to interface with, work alongside and learn from leaders in this field.”

    In addition to the $15 million allocated from Gov. McMaster, there is an additional $15 million allocated through the federal budget for the construction of the facility.

    The South Carolina National Guard has one of the five cyber protection battalions in the Army National Guard, the 125th Cyber Battalion currently headquartered at McEntire Joint National Guard Base, South Carolina. The South Carolina National Guard Soldiers conduct advanced cyber security training courses, certifications, and collective training to employ individual cyber protection skills to defend networks by leveraging military cyber capabilities. The unit recently returned from a mobilization to the National Capital Region in support of a federal mission, while also supporting a detachment postured for state missions.



    Date Taken: 01.29.2020
    Date Posted: 01.29.2020 06:56
    Story ID: 360768
    Location: COLUMBIA, SC, US 

    Web Views: 250
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