A Senate committee urges the Pentagon to study how it might use the Army National Guard to secure the nation's critical computer systems
The Senate this month urged the Pentagon to study how it might use the Army
National Guard to make up for the shortage of computer programmers and information
"The reserve component, especially the National Guard, is well-positioned"
to carry out the mission of securing the nation's critical computer systems,
the Senate Appropriations Committee said in its report on the fiscal 2001
Defense Appropriations bill.
The committee urged the Defense Department "to examine the role of the
reserves in the carrying out [of] information operations, information assurance
and information systems security missions."
The bill, approved by the committee May 18, still must pass the full
House and Senate and work its way through a joint House/Senate conference.
The language in the Senate report comes almost one year after a major
Defense Department study recommended an unprecedented expansion in the role
the reserves play in national defense, including the formation of a virtual
cyberdefense unit to protect the nation's critical infrastructure.
That study, known as the Reserve Component Employment Study 2005, concluded
that the reserves are "particularly well-suited to homeland defense missions"
and called for the formation of a "joint [reserve component] virtual information
The committee approved more than $3 billion in overall operations and
maintenance funding for the Army National Guard, including $65.7 million
for expansion of the Guard's Distributed Learning project and electronic
courseware development to bolster the Guard's Homeland Defense mission aimed
at federal, state and local responses to terrorist attacks involving weapons
of mass destruction.
The committee also added $16 million to the Army's research and development
budget for an information operations warfare vulnerability assessment and
$2.1 million for a threat information operations simulator.
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