NGAUS strongly supports S. 307, the Department of Defense Emergency Response Capabilities Database Enhancement Act of 2017, introduced on February 7 by Senators Christopher Coons of Delaware, Joni Ernst of Iowa, Deb Fischer of Nebraska, and Kirsten Gillibrand of New York.
The bill would update current law and require the Department of Defense to track cyber capabilities important to national security and domestic response found in the National Guard and Reserve forces within one year. Additionally, S. 307 would allow the Department of Defense to update or utilize existing systems to track the capabilities if it’s faster and more cost effective.
A 2016 Government Accountability Office (GAO) report found that “National Guard units have developed capabilities that could be used, if requested and approved, to support civil authorities in a cyber-incident; however, the Department of Defense does not have visibility of all National Guard units’ capabilities for this support.” GAO recommended that it was crucial for the Secretary of Defense to maintain a database to identify the cyber capabilities in the National Guard to support civil authorities in a cyber-incident.
The Coons-Ernst-Fischer-Gillibrand bill aims to implement GAO’s recommendations and further utilize the skills and training of National Guard cyber units in responding to future cyber incidents. The passage of this crucially important bill will ensure increased coordination between the Department of Defense and the National Guard to protect and respond to a myriad of cyber threats facing our nation. Thank you, as always, for your continued support of our Armed Forces.
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