FORT GEORGE G. MEADE, Md. – The Army National Guard Soldiers of the 123rd Cyber Protection Battalion, 91st Cyber Brigade, recently completed their support to the Task Force Echo V mission and following a transition of authority ceremony on December 1, will return to their home states of Illinois, Minnesota, Virginia, and Wisconsin.
1 / 7 Show Caption + Hide Caption – FORT GEORGE G. MEADE, Md. – The Army National Guard Soldiers of the 123rd Cyber Protection Battalion, 91st Cyber Brigade, recently completed their support to the Task Force Echo V mission and following a transition of authority ceremony on December 1, will return to their home states of Illinois, Minnesota, Virginia, and Wisconsin. (Photo Credit: Steven Stover) VIEW ORIGINAL
Hanover, Md. – U.S. Army National Guard Soldiers from four Cyber Protection Teams (CPT) completed their validation exercise (VALEX) in Maryland in July. U.S. Cyber Command establishes the criteria for a CPT to attain Full Operational Capability and the VALEX is an event the evaluators use to access the team’s performance.
2 / 7 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Hanover, Md. – U.S. Army National Guard Soldiers from four Cyber Protection Teams (CPT) completed their validation exercise (VALEX) in Maryland in July. U.S. Cyber Command establishes the criteria for a CPT to attain Full Operational Capability and the VALEX is an event the evaluators use to access the team’s performance. (Photo Credit: Steven Stover) VIEW ORIGINAL
FORT GEORGE G. MEADE, Md. – Col. Matthew Lennox, commander of the 780th Military Intelligence Brigade (Cyber), hosted a transition of authority ceremony between two Army National Guard Cyber Protection Battalions at the U.S. Army Smathers Reserve Center, December 1.
3 / 7 Show Caption + Hide Caption – FORT GEORGE G. MEADE, Md. – Col. Matthew Lennox, commander of the 780th Military Intelligence Brigade (Cyber), hosted a transition of authority ceremony between two Army National Guard Cyber Protection Battalions at the U.S. Army Smathers Reserve Center, December 1. (Photo Credit: Steven Stover) VIEW ORIGINAL
FORT GEORGE G. MEADE, Md. – Task Force Echo V is commanded by Lt. Col. David Garner, commander of the 123rd Cyber Protection Battalion (CPB), and Command Sgt. Maj. Christian B Smith is the battalion’s senior enlisted leader. TFE V consisted of more than 150 Army National Guard Soldiers, primarily assigned to the 123rd CPB, headquartered in Fairfax, Virginia, and the Soldiers hail from Illinois, Minnesota, Virginia, and Wisconsin.
4 / 7 Show Caption + Hide Caption – FORT GEORGE G. MEADE, Md. – Task Force Echo V is commanded by Lt. Col. David Garner, commander of the 123rd Cyber Protection Battalion (CPB), and Command Sgt. Maj. Christian B Smith is the battalion’s senior enlisted leader. TFE V consisted of more than 150 Army National Guard Soldiers, primarily assigned to the 123rd CPB, headquartered in Fairfax, Virginia, and the Soldiers hail from Illinois, Minnesota, Virginia, and Wisconsin. (Photo Credit: Steven Stover) VIEW ORIGINAL
FORT GEORGE G. MEADE, Md. – Task Force Echo VI is commanded by Lt. Col. Rose Gilroy, commander of the 127th Cyber Protection Battalion (CPB), and Command Sgt. Maj. Kermit Harless is the battalion’s senior enlisted leader. TFE VI consists of Army National Guard Soldiers primarily assigned to the 127th CPB, headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana, and the Soldiers hail from Georgia, Indiana, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas.
5 / 7 Show Caption + Hide Caption – FORT GEORGE G. MEADE, Md. – Task Force Echo VI is commanded by Lt. Col. Rose Gilroy, commander of the 127th Cyber Protection Battalion (CPB), and Command Sgt. Maj. Kermit Harless is the battalion’s senior enlisted leader. TFE VI consists of Army National Guard Soldiers primarily assigned to the 127th CPB, headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana, and the Soldiers hail from Georgia, Indiana, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas. (Photo Credit: Steven Stover) VIEW ORIGINAL
FORT GEORGE G. MEADE, Md. – Lt. Col. David Garner, commander of Task Force Echo V and the 123rd Cyber Protection Battalion, salutes Col. Matthew Lennox, commander of the 780th Military Intelligence Brigade (Cyber), signifying his battalion's transition of the Task Force Echo Mission in a ceremony at Smathers Reserve Center, December 1.
6 / 7 Show Caption + Hide Caption – FORT GEORGE G. MEADE, Md. – Lt. Col. David Garner, commander of Task Force Echo V and the 123rd Cyber Protection Battalion, salutes Col. Matthew Lennox, commander of the 780th Military Intelligence Brigade (Cyber), signifying his battalion's transition of the Task Force Echo Mission in a ceremony at Smathers Reserve Center, December 1. (Photo Credit: Steven Stover) VIEW ORIGINAL
FORT GEORGE G. MEADE, Md. – Lt. Col. Rose Gilroy, commander of Task Force Echo VI and the 127th Cyber Protection Battalion, salutes Col. Matthew Lennox, commander of the 780th Military Intelligence Brigade (Cyber), signifying her battalion's assumption of the Task Force Echo Mission in a ceremony at Smathers Reserve Center, December 1.
7 / 7 Show Caption + Hide Caption – FORT GEORGE G. MEADE, Md. – Lt. Col. Rose Gilroy, commander of Task Force Echo VI and the 127th Cyber Protection Battalion, salutes Col. Matthew Lennox, commander of the 780th Military Intelligence Brigade (Cyber), signifying her battalion's assumption of the Task Force Echo Mission in a ceremony at Smathers Reserve Center, December 1. (Photo Credit: Steven Stover) VIEW ORIGINAL

FORT GEORGE G. MEADE, Md. – Col. Matthew Lennox, commander of the 780th Military Intelligence Brigade (Cyber), hosted a transition of authority ceremony between two Army National Guard Cyber Protection Battalions at the U.S. Army Smathers Reserve Center, December 1.

The ceremony marked the completion of the fifth iteration of Task Force Echo (TFE) and the beginning of the sixth.

TFE V consisted of more than 150 Army National Guard (ARNG) Soldiers, primarily assigned to the 123rd Cyber Protection Battalion (CPB), headquartered in Fairfax, Virginia, and the Soldiers hail from Illinois, Minnesota, Virginia, and Wisconsin.

TFE VI consists of ARNG Soldiers primarily assigned to the 127th CPB, headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana, and the Soldiers hail from Georgia, Indiana, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas.

According to Lt. Col. David Garner, commander of the 123rd CPB and TFE V, “Task Force Echo is an ARNG Task Force mobilized annually to engineer, install, operate, maintain, and defend critical network infrastructure and conduct cyberspace operations in support of U.S. Cyber Command and the Cyber National Mission Force.”

TFE is aligned under and operationally controlled the 780th MI Brigade and is administratively controlled by Army Cyber Command (ARCYBER). The mission is sourced from the 91st Cyber Brigade (Va.) and its five subordinate CPBs. TFE Rotations last for more than a year and each of the more than 60 TFE work roles have a unique training pipeline to prepare them for their mission requirements.

“Task Force Echo relies heavily on the diverse technical backgrounds endemic to the Soldiers of the National Guard,” said Maj. Nicholas Allen, S-3 (Operations), 123rd CPB and TFE V. “They bring extensive experience to the mission that can only be gained by working in defensive cyberspace, network infrastructure, computer programming, and other information technology positions throughout the private sector as well as the completion of the extensive training required to be a cyber warrior.”

“The annual TFE rotation allows for highly technical group of Soldiers to come in with a fresh set of eyes, thus leading to provide new ideas and innovation, and over the years have made continuous improvements to the infrastructure, security, and processes which adds great value to the 780th MI BDE and the JMOC (Joint Mission Operations Center),” added Col. Lennox.

Lt. Col. Garner also mentioned that TFE provides an opportunity for National Guard Soldiers to obtain the education and experience they need to get the Cyber Protection Team(s) to IOC (initial operating capacity) and FOC (fully operational capacity).

“Upon return to home station, the TFE Soldiers will possess an increased skill set and with hands-on experience,” said Lt. Col. Garner. “This provides the National Guard increased capability supporting federal missions and provides Governors and Adjutants General with additional capabilities to support state missions.”

Since August 15, 2017, more than 900 Army National Guard Soldiers have been assigned to the task force, working alongside the 780th to conduct cyberspace operations in support of USCYBERCOM and the CNMF.

The 91st Cyber Brigade is the ARNG’s first and only cyber brigade. Consisting of five battalions, five cybersecurity companies, five cyber warfare companies, and 11 cyber protection teams arrayed across more than 30 states.