The US Cyber Command activated a National Guard unit of 138 cyber specialists this week, said to be the largest mobilization of cyber forces from reserve units.
The specialists of Task Force Echo, which will support the U.S. Cyber Command consists of specialist-soldiers from California, Georgia, Michigan, Indiana, Utah, Ohio and Virginia who were recruited for their skills and experience in cyber-systems and cyber-security, UPI reported.
It is not clear if the mobilization was in response to specific threats. However, the US has been increasingly concerned about cyber-warfare capabilities of North Korea, China and Russia and has blamed cyber-attacks on economic and political targets in the recent past on one among these three countries
"This is truly an important formation as we take a look at what we anticipate will be a total force mission," Lt. Gen. Paul Nakasone, commander of Army Cyber Command, was quoted as saying by UPI during a transition-of-authority ceremony. "The soldiers of the 169th Cyber Protection Team and Task Force Echo will bring unique and diverse talents to this increasingly complex phase."
TF Echo, the report said, takes over and expands the role of the 169th Cyber Protection Team in engineering operating and maintaining network infrastructure.
The personnel of the task force first mobilized through Fort Bragg, N.C., and were trained by the 169th. They then transferred to Fort Meade, Md.
"It would be emblematic of what we've talked about for a long time, but is really difficult to achieve: this idea of total force," said Task Force Echo Commander Col. Adam Volant. "We are military trained, but we also bring an abundant amount of experience from the private sector, from government [and] from academia. The soldiers in my formation are really information technology professionals."