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Government & Politics

Ohio National Guard to Establish a Corps of Civilian Cyber Warriors

The cyber range at the University of Akron is one of two facilities in Ohio set up to train the Ohio National Guard's new civilian cyber reserve corps.

The Ohio House last week approved the creation of a civilian force of ‘cyber-warriors.’

The bill is now headed back to the Senate for a final vote to establish the Ohio Cyber Reserve.

The program will set up a corps of around 40 civilian experts who will assist the Ohio National Guard’s cyber operations response teams.  

Major General John Harris Jr. is commander of the Ohio National Guard.

He says the cyber reserve will be trained at guard armories by hacking into one of Ohio’s ‘cyber ranges’ -   virtual computer systems built for cyber warfare training.

“We’ll have connectivity to the cyber ranges, which are two entities around the state where we established cyber-ecosystems where we can train those teams, where we can practice the craft without affecting true critical infrastructure.” 

Harris says the ‘cyber reserve’ will also work with schools to teach students about guarding against hackers, and help local governments assess their vulnerabilities.

He says it’s a response to the growing threat of cyber-attacks against schools, hospitals, cities and other critical infrastructure in Ohio.