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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 Department of Information Technology, the Minnesota National Guard is working to maintain and defend its communications and improve 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.

The Minnesota National Guard initiates exercises to evaluate its critical information infrastructure, and tests alternate forms of communication to minimize dependence on technology that could be compromised by outside factors. This work is routinely done with city, county, state and federal agencies to expand the Minnesota National Guard's understanding of the defensive posture of its partners and share best practices.

In 2015 the Minnesota National Guard participated in the Vital Connections exercise in conjunction with U.S. Northern Command, the Minnesota Department of Public Safety's Emergency Communication Network and Minnesota Homeland Security and Emergency Management Department. The four-day exercise, which simulated a cyber attack resulting in the loss of telecommunications and Internet capabilities in the Metro area, provided a scenario to ensure communications interoperability among first responders and military personnel.

The Vital Connections exercise was followed by Vigilant Guard, a state-wide training event that simulated multiple disasters throughout Minnesota. Using best practices and lessons learned from the Vital Connections exercise, the Minnesota National Guard was able to once again test its ability to enable the flow of information among its interagency partners in a degraded environment.

In October 2015 members of the Minnesota National Guard attended Cyber Security Summit 2015. The two-day event brought together thought leaders from the public and private sectors of industry, government and academia in an effort to improve the state of cyber security.

In collaboration with the University of Minnesota and private sector information technology experts, the Minnesota National Guard has partnered with the Croatian military to assist in the development of their own cyber program. Through the State Partnership Program, all vested parties benefit from the honing of cyber skills, which involves a unique cross-section of experience in a culturally diverse environment.

In December 2015 it was announced that the Minnesota National Guard would be one of 23 states benefiting from a National Guard Bureau plan to activate 13 cyber units by 2019. The units, spread throughout the various organizations, will enhance the Minnesota National Guard's ability to provide cyber security and network engineering.

Cyber Cyber
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