Columnists

Indiana National Guard to offer new way to serve with electronic warfare battalion

Photo by Staff Sgt. Jeremiah Runser
More than 800 service members and civilians gathered at Camp Atterbury for Cyber Shield 18 at Camp Atterbury, Indiana from May 6-18, 2018. Cyber Shield 18 is part of the National Guard’s ongoing effort to be a versatile capability for governors of all 54 states and territories. This is the seventh iteration of this training exercise.

The Indiana National Guard will add approximately 200 new positions with the establishment of an intelligence and electronic warfare battalion. 

Indiana Guardsmen will need specialized skills and high-level clearances so that they can use advanced technologies to protect and defend Hoosiers, Americans and the nation’s allies from threats around the globe. 

“Indiana’s brave men and women who serve in our armed forces consistently demonstrate their ability to adapt, to remain flexible, and to rise to the occasion as conditions and missions change,” said Gov. Eric J. Holcomb. “Our ability to attract yet another high-tech unit speaks volumes of the talent pool in the Hoosier state, and aligns with our efforts to help keep Indiana in the top three in the nation in the concentration of the industries of the future, including life sciences, aerospace, healthcare, defense, ag-bioscience, cyber, orthopedics and advanced manufacturing.”

While the Indiana National Guard soldiers will be globally engaged, they will enter cyber battles from the Hoosier State at the Indiana Intelligence Center in Indianapolis. 

“We are committed to bring a new, cutting-edge skill sets to the Indiana National Guard,” said Brig. Gen. Dale Lyles, the adjutant general of the Indiana National Guard, which numbers approximately 13,500 citizen-warriors. “This new intelligence and electronic warfare battalion will do just that and will be a showcase to not only the nation, but also the Hoosier state.”

The Indiana National Guard’s newest battalion will open an array opportunities for recruits and existing Guardsmen. The battalion will need intelligence officers and warrant officers, information technology maintainers, all-source intelligence analysts, geospatial analysts, signal intelligence analysts, human intelligence collectors and analysts, and counter intelligence personnel. 

Indiana National Guard Maj. Grover Smith, the director of intelligence operations and plans, said he sees the battalion as a fantastic opportunity for new recruits and seasoned Guardsmen alike.

“You begin the path to the skills highly sought after in civilian industry,” said Smith. “Also the high-level clearance opens the doors for highly marketable career fields which will not only benefit the state, but also benefit the National Guard as we grow and change.”

While the Hoosier Guardsmen prepare for the new unit, the state will ultimately see an increased economic impact. 

“During the emplacement of this unit in Indiana, the U.S. Army will invest approximately $44 million across the first two years with an annual investment in manpower, training and equipment of $1.5 million,” said Col. Jeffrey S. Hackett, the Indiana National Guard’s operations officer.  Indiana National Guard soldiers and airmen work around the clock to maintain their readiness to serve at home and abroad at a moment’s notice as directed by the United States president or the Indiana governor. The Indiana National Guard is community based yet globally engaged to protect life and liberty