Leaders from the Ohio National Guard and the Coast Guard Research and Development Center signed a joint memorandum of understanding (MOU) Oct. 22 at the Ohio National Guard Joint Force Headquarters in Columbus, Ohio.

This is the first time the USCG RDC has signed an MOU with a state's National Guard. The agreement allows the Ohio National Guard and USCG RDC to work together on cyber engagements.

Maj. Gen. Mark E. Bartman, Ohio adjutant general, hosted Capt. Greg Rothrock, RDC commanding officer, at the signing ceremony.

"This new partnership with the U.S. Coast Guard Research and Development Center will be incredibly beneficial to our Citizen-Soldiers and -Airmen. They will be able to exchange ideas and technical expertise with their Coast Guard colleagues on projects and initiatives such as cybersecurity exercises and workforce development," Bartman said.

Added Rothrock: "The USCG Research and Development Center has worked with many National Guard components since our establishment in 1972. This MOU takes that relationship to the next level. Maritime Cyber Security is a critical facet of our research portfolio. By connecting with the Ohio National Guard through this formal process we have a partner with world-class technical expertise that will enhance the national security research enterprise."

The Ohio National Guard consists of the Ohio Army National Guard, Ohio Air National Guard, Ohio Military Reserve and Ohio Naval Militia, totaling more than 16,000 personnel.

The U.S. Coast Guard Research and Development Center, based in New London, Connecticut, performs research, development, test and evaluation in support of the Coast Guard's major mission areas of environmental protection; maritime law enforcement; protection of life and property at sea; and national defense preparedness.