Missouri’s Role in Guarding Against Cyber-Attacks is Focus as McCaskill Launches Security & Defense Tour

Missouri’s role in guarding the United States against potential cyber-attacks was the focus of a briefing and discussion at Jefferson Barracks today, as U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill kicked off a Security & Defense tour across the state. McCaskill, a senior member of the Senate’s Armed Services and Homeland Security Committees, visited Jefferson Barracks and received a briefing from the leaders of Missouri National Guard’s cybersecurity operations. “Missourians are rightly concerned about keeping our country, and our communities, safe and secure—and these men and women are a prime example of why Missouri is a leader in our nation’s defense, and why I plan to keep it that way,” said McCaskill, the daughter of a World War II veteran. “Identifying cyber-threats is as complex a job as finding a needle in a haystack. I’m blessed to sit in the front row of the Armed Services Committee and see this cutting-edge work, and I know the men and women here are making Missouri proud.” The cyber unit in Missouri—established in 2013 and operated from Jefferson Barracks—conducts defensive cyber operations which includes providing detection, analysis, and tailored defense actions against potential threats; gaining and maintaining cyber situational awareness across different areas; and discovering and disseminating signs of a security compromise. The Missouri National Guard’s cyber unit is a joint team, consisting of 25 Soldiers and 9 Airmen. Because of their technical expertise and proven track record, the team is sought after to train various active duty and National Guard units across the country. This year’s national defense bill—which McCaskill helped shape—includes enhancements to the Pentagon’s ability to hire and retain civilian personnel with the high-level of skill and aptitude necessary to provide critical technical support to cybersecurity efforts. McCaskill is also using her events this week to call for an “honest defense budget our men and women in uniform deserve.”