Bipartisan bill asks Pentagon to track cyber skills in National Guard, Reserve

Bipartisan bill asks Pentagon to track cyber skills in National Guard, Reserve
© Victoria Sarno Jordan

A bipartisan team of senators introduced new legislation Monday requiring the Department of Defense (DOD) to track cybersecurity skills in the National Guard and Reserve. 

The DOD Emergency Response Capabilities Database Enhancement Act of 2017 would add a cybersecurity category to an already existing database that tracks the capabilities of National Guard and Reserve forces.

The bill was introduced by Sens. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Deb FischerDeb FischerUpdated fuel regulations would modernize options at gas pumps McConnell promises women can take part in healthcare meetings Ethanol fight complicates push to repeal Obama drilling rule MORE (R-Neb.) and Kirsten GillibrandKirsten GillibrandDem senator: 'One of our closest allies' expressed concern about intelligence sharing Intel chief quiet on whether Trump asked him to deny Russia evidence Gillibrand on Trump: 'We should look into obstruction of justice' MORE (D-N.Y.) — all of whom serve on the Senate Armed Services Committee — as well as Sen. Chris CoonsChris CoonsOvernight Defense: Trump hits back over special counsel | US bombs pro-Assad forces | GOP chairman unveils proposed Pentagon buying reforms Special counsel appointment gets bipartisan praise Dem lawmakers voice shock, outrage on Comey memo MORE (D-Del.).

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“The reality is that cyber warfare is an emerging and ever-evolving battlefield, and we must use all available tools to protect our nation’s security, including those that already exist in our National Guard units,” said Ernst, who chairs the Emerging Threats and Capabilities Subcommittee.

“Many of our guardsmen work in the cyber and IT field in their civilian careers, and we must present more opportunities to harness their skillset to advance our nation’s cyber initiatives,” she added in a statement.