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Minnesota National Guard
Minnesota National Guard Priorities
Our 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 cyber event.

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 Response Plans.

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 Cyber
Cyber Security Articles

Minnesota National Guard seeks applicants for Cyber Protection Team

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