| Minnesota National Guard Priorities
The Minnesota National Guard's enduring goal is to provide an agile, resilient force, ready to fulfill any federal, state or community need. The Minnesota National Guard's success relies on its ability to provide military assets when called upon, working with interagency partners to enhance joint-response capabilities.
In order to fulfill its obligations to the state and nation, the Minnesota National Guard focuses on six priorities that guide the organization through decision-making and mission-planning processes, ultimately ensuring a unified and consistent response.
The past several years presented the Minnesota National Guard with many fluid and dynamic events that tested the organization's ability to operate under fluctuating budgets and strenuous mission requirements.
Though the operational circumstances and challenges have varied, the Minnesota National Guard's six priorities provide a fundamental blueprint that ensures success of the mission while maintaining personnel and equipment at optimal levels.
- Fielding a competent ready force
- Maintaining an optimal force structure
- Cyber security and response
- Develop sustainable infrastructure
- Service members and their Families
- Diversity of the force
|Cyber Security and Response
| "We secure our state's military network and collaborate with interagency partners to enhance our response to and recovery from negative cyber events."
Working with federal, military and state partners, in particular the Minnesota
Information Technology Services, the Minnesota National Guard maintains and
defends its communications infrastructure while improving its ability to react to a
The Minnesota National Guard defends its information infrastructure as outlined
in the Federal Information Security Management Act of 2002, which requires all
federal agencies to develop, document and implement agency-wide plans to ensure
information security. As part of its recovery strategy the Minnesota National Guard
monitors for indicators, such as severe weather, that could possibly degrade its
information network and require action as outlined in established Communication
In 2016 the Minnesota National Guard participated in its largest cyber capabilities
exercise to date, the National Guard Bureau-led Cyber Shield exercise. Held at
Camp Atterbury, Indiana, the two-week, joint exercise included nearly 900 service
members from 47 states. By bringing together professionals from around the
country, in addition to industry experts representing water, utility and other critical
infrastructure companies, the exercise enabled the training for cyber warriors to
defend against the ever-growing threat posed by cyber warfare.
Additionally, the Cyber Shield exercise provided the unique opportunity for
Minnesota National Guard Soldiers to be the target audience in the training event –
something not always possible, as they are usually needed to provide network support
for the scenario. As such, the Minnesota National Guard’s Cyber Network Team
participating in the exercise finished fourth out of 32 teams evaluated during the
execution phase of Cyber Shield.
In 2016 the Minnesota National Guard sent three information security envoys
to Croatia, fostering an ongoing partnership to bolster both countries’ ability to
combat cyber threats. Since the two countries’ first cyber engagement in 2012, the
partnership has quickly grown to a mutually beneficial relationship grounded by
the sharing of ideas, strategies and information. Engagements this year were focused
on building a three-to-five year plan for continued collaboration and planning for
a cyber symposium that will bring together industry professionals, academics and
military leaders to further develop cyber strategies.
In 2017 the Minnesota National Guard will once again benchmark its participation
in large-scale cyber exercises by participating in the U.S. Cyber Command’s Cyber
Guard exercise. The organization’s participation in the exercise – as one of only nine
National Guard teams to be selected to attend – is significant in that it will bring
together nearly 50 organizations representing a variety of civilian, government and
military agencies, as well partners from allied countries, with the goal of coalescing
the many stakeholders interested in maintaining a safe and secure cyber infrastructure
in a joint, multinational effort.
In 2017 the Minnesota National Guard continued taking steps to implement its
Cyber Protection Team – which will be fully operational in the coming years – to
enhance the Minnesota National Guard’s ability to conduct defensive cyberspace
operations, including vulnerability assessments, critical infrastructure assessments,
theater security cooperation and Federal Emergency Management Agency support.
|Cyber Security Articles
Minnesota Guardsman shares cyber knowledge with visitors from Poland
Internet scams and impersonation
Minnesota National Guard to receive Cyber Protection Team
Guard set to activate additional cyber units
Exercise tests communications among response agencies
Minnesota National Guard members share ideas at 2015 Cyber Security Summit
Army National Guard Breach of Personally Identifiable Information (PII) Reserve Component Manpower System - Guard (RCMS-G)
Signal leaders gather to share knowledge
Stop, Think, Connect: Navigating the Cyber World Safely
Minnesota Guard Cyber Specialists Train with Croatian Partners
Minnesota Cyber Team Protects, Prepares State for Disaster
Minnesota Guard Cyber Specialists Among Best in Nation
National Guard uniquely positioned to boost cyber defense
Guard partners with first responders for disaster training
Minnesota Airmen become Cyber Warriors
Cyber Security, Response and Emergency Preparedness
Train like you fight; Vigilant Guard scenarios prepare participants for the worst
Wing members deploy for training in England
11th Annual Government on Display Expo