MDDF Cyber Security Unit Helps Defend Maryland from Attack

By LTC (MDDF) Jane Ohlmacher
Maryland Defense Force Cyber Unit
30 September 2014

The Maryland Defense Force (MDDF) Cyber Security Unit was created in 2010 at the request of the Adjutant General of Maryland, Maj. Gen. James A. Adkins. He realized that the threat of a cyber emergency in the State of Maryland was growing and wanted to tap as much private sector talent as possible to supplement the Maryland Air and Army National Guard cyber teams.

The MDDF Cyber Security Unit’s mission statement includes providing support to the Maryland Military Department, improving the security stance of the State of Maryland agencies and being prepared to respond with the Maryland Military Department in case of a cyber emergency. In order to complete this mission, the MDDF Cyber Security Unit trains on a monthly basis with the Maryland Army National Guard. In addition, they participate in quarterly joint training exercises with members of the Maryland Air National Guard and with various state agencies.

In addition to external training and support, the MDDF Cyber Security Unit provides training to members of the unit and is an excellent venue for getting hands on experience to enter or advance in this field. In fact recently some MDDF Pioneers, a group of college level state soldiers, trained along with seasoned professionals who are top level experts in cyber security.

The MDDF Cyber Security Unit has many aspiring plans for the near future. The unit is negotiating with the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development to train a group of wounded warriors to be able to start new professions in Cyber Security. Additionally, training requests for different units of the Maryland Military Department have been coming in already and are now being processed. Brig. Gen. (MDDF) Brian R. Kelm, the commanding general of the MDDF stated that he is, “thrilled that our cyber unit is recognized as an essential augmentation component in the defense of Maryland’s networks.”

The Maryland Defense Force (MDDF) is the State’s uniformed volunteer military unit providing professional and technical assistance to the Maryland Military Department. Established in 1917, the MDDF consists of nearly 450 personnel who perform legal, engineering, finance, medical, chaplain, field support and ceremonial services for the State of Maryland. For more information: www.mddf.maryland.gov.