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    Pennsylvania National Guard cyber branch supports 2020 election

    Pennsylvania National Guard members practice guarding networks against cyber attacks

    Photo By Lt. Col. Angela King-Sweigart | Pennsylvania National Guard Soldiers with the Defense Cyber Operations Element...... read more read more



    Courtesy Story

    Joint Force Headquarters - Pennsylvania National Guard

    FORT INDIANTOWN GAP, Pa. – Approximately 10 members of the Pennsylvania National Guard provided routine cybersecurity support to state and local partners to help ensure the integrity of the Nov. 3 general election.

    This was the fifth election in recent years for which the cyber team provided assistance.

    The team worked remotely this year to maintain physical distance as part of ongoing COVID-19 mitigation while providing the same effective service.

    “The cyber team is essential because from past experience, there has been interference in prior elections and Pennsylvania has been targeted,” said Maj. Christine Pierce, Pennsylvania defensive cyber operations element team chief. “It’s a critical mission because there is a valid threat out there.”

    The role of the National Guard's cyber team in ensuring the safety of state and county networks is an ongoing, established relationship and partnership that occurs year round, added Pierce.

    The cyber team routinely conducts vulnerability assessments and penetration tests on state and local government networks, offers subject matter expertise support and consultation to those partners, and tests various tools and equipment in an ongoing effort to increase the overall cybersecurity posture of the Commonwealth’s networks.

    “The Guard is an invaluable asset to state and local governments because the members of the Army Guard cyber team live and work in the Commonwealth,” explained Pierce. “The Guard cyber team members build trust and relationships with the state and local government partners they support all year long, and the Guard cyber team is highly trained in cybersecurity, cyber defense, and network operations, so our subject matter expertise is a great resource for the Commonwealth.”

    The routine cybersecurity support that the National Guard cyber team offers to state and local government partners has grown and developed over the last seven years, and since 2016, the Pennsylvania National Guard's cyber branch has partnered with the Pennsylvania Office of Homeland Security and expanded to working with the private sector, colleges and universities, and a range of agencies at the local, state and federal levels.

    The Pennsylvania National Guard is one of the largest and most deployed National Guards in the nation and headquartered at Fort Indiantown Gap, Pennsylvania. In addition to its federal mission, the Pennsylvania National Guard responds to domestic emergencies, working with the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency, FEMA, U.S. Northern Command and dozens of federal, state and local agencies. The Pennsylvania National Guard maintains a joint operations center at Fort Indiantown Gap staffed by Pennsylvania Guard members 24/7 that support its domestic mission.

    FOR MORE INFORMATION: Please contact Lt. Col. Keith Hickox (717) 861-6254, or e-mail



    Date Taken: 11.03.2020
    Date Posted: 11.03.2020 14:29
    Story ID: 382300

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