An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

NEWS | May 9, 2024

Michigan National Guard Cyber Protection Team receives training on the Deployable Defensive Cyberspace Operations System – Modular kit

By Staff Sgt. John Adkins

U.S. Army National Guard members from the Michigan National Guard Defense Cyber Operations Element and Detachment 1 , 172nd Cyber Protection Team received training from the Maryland Army National Guard and National Guard Bureau on the Deployable Defensive Cyberspace Operations System – Modular kit, from April 13-14, 2024.

The CPT is a unit of cyber “hunters.” They are a small group of highly skilled cyber professionals. They work with municipal departments like schools and military organizations to analyze their cyber networks for threats. The kits use virtual machines to tap into the networks and hunt for threats like malware. Once a threat is detected, the team uses tools like “Endgame” to eliminate the threat.

Sgt. 1st Class William MacDonald, a non-commissioned officer in the 172nd CPT described his unit’s mission and the critical role they fill in the cyber domain. “The Cyber Protection Team is trained to defend against our adversaries on a digital front.  Utilizing a Deployable Defensive Cyberspace Operations Systems - Modular kit contributes to our ability to defend an information technology or operation technology network for Department of Defense, local government entity, or critical community infrastructure,” said MacDonald. “The kits enable us to ingest multiple data sources, conduct forensic analysis, detect anomalies, and conduct defensive cyber operations in cyberspace, which is now the fifth operational domain of war.”

The DDS-M kits make it possible for the CPT to respond rapidly to cyber security breaches or other cyber warfare events. The kits are made up of three durable storage cases and a backpack and are designed to fit in overhead compartments for air travel. A two-guard member team can deploy the kit in response to an incident.

Members of these teams can receive Army-funded certifications in cyber security like CompTIA, A+ and Sans: C. In addition to certifications, guard members are trained to become certified ethical hackers armed with a set of tools designed for cyber security, enhancing their ability to respond to cyber incidents anywhere in the world.

As the cyber domain becomes more integrated into our communities, the Cyber Protection Team becomes critical to maintaining the security and stability of our infrastructure and networks.

The CPT falls under the Defensive Cyber Operations Element commanded by Lt. Col. Kathleen Prince-Sayward who is building a team of talented professionals who operate in the unseen battlefield of cyber security. Emphasizing the demand for mentorship and intellect, “We really expect people to use their brains,” she said when describing the unique nature of her team requirements.
# # #