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National Guard to Play a Larger Role in Defense

May 13, 2014
By Robert K. Ackerman
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Being a part of the Joint Information Environment is one enabler for a larger mission.

Fresh off supporting two overseas wars, the National Guard is planning for a larger role in military activities on the home front. Cyber is one area where the Guard may be serving a key role, officials say.

Some of these points were outlined in a panel discussion on the second day of AFCEA’s three-day Joint Information Environment (JIE) Mission Partner Symposium being held in Baltimore May 12-14. Rear Adm. Hank Bond, USN, J-6, U.S. Northern Command, and deputy J-3 for cyberspace operations at NORAD, said, “Our way forward in cyberspace is to properly develop the force structure around the Guard. The commercial space is the contested space.”

Col. Scott W. Normandeau, USAF, director, J-6/chief information officer, National Guard Bureau, noted that the multitude of threats will require closer partnerships. The Guard is looking forward to working with its Defense Department partners on the JIE and shared mission needs.

“The JIE is the key initiative to help us meet our operational challenge and close information technology gaps,” he said.

Col. Normandeau noted that the Guard is transitioning to the JIE. The Army National Guard and the Air National Guard are working through their parent services.

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