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 FischerDebra (Deb) Strobel FischerThe Hill's Morning Report - Trump and House Democrats resume battle The Hill's Morning Report - Trump and House Democrats resume battle Steve King denied seat on Air Force One for Trump trip to Iowa: report MORE (R-Neb.) and Kirsten GillibrandKirsten Elizabeth GillibrandOvernight Health Care: Democrats attack after Trump revives talk of ObamaCare replacement | Cruz, Ocasio-Cortez efforts on birth control face major obstacles | CVS investing M to fight teen e-cig use Overnight Health Care: Democrats attack after Trump revives talk of ObamaCare replacement | Cruz, Ocasio-Cortez efforts on birth control face major obstacles | CVS investing M to fight teen e-cig use Trump's 2020 campaign strategy is to be above the law MORE (D-N.Y.) — all of whom serve on the Senate Armed Services Committee — as well as Sen. Chris CoonsChristopher (Chris) Andrew CoonsSenators revive effort to create McCain human rights commission Senate Dem to reintroduce bill with new name after 'My Little Pony' confusion Senate Dem to reintroduce bill with new name after 'My Little Pony' confusion 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.