A new reserve cyber unit focuses on supporting the Navy cyberwarrior enterprise.
The Navy Cyber Warfare Development Group (NCWDG) Reserve unit was activated Jan. 4 at Fort Meade, Maryland.
The NCWDG provides technical research and development to create, test and deliver cyber and electronic warfare capabilities for Fleet Cyber and U.S. Cyber Command, serving as the Navy’s center for cyber warfare innovation.
The orders for the new unit started Jan. 1, the Navy said. Formerly, the unit’s personnel were operating as a NCWDG directorate within the Navy Fleet Cyber Command/10th Fleet reserve structure.
While the Navy has stood up a direct commissioning program for software engineers, it has only commissioned 25 officers since 2011.
“We at U.S. Fleet Cyber Command are determine to increase our competitive advantages over our nation’s adversaries by focusing on our capabilities, processes and, mostly importantly, our people,” Rear Adm. James Butler, deputy command of Fleet Cyber Command, said presiding over the unit’s activation ceremony. “This new Reserve unit will leverage reservists’ skill sets to support the active duty NCWDG component and its overall mission to test and deliver advanced cyber, cryptologic and electronic warfare capabilities to the Navy.”
The new unit’s commanding officer, Capt. James Lee, noted that he is pleased the Navy can harness reserve skill to augment active duty capabilities.
Leaders across the Department of Defense have lauded the skills and abilities of the Guard and Reserve to provide additional capability to active duty components.
In the case of the cyber and IT field, many of those in the Guard and Reserve have full-time jobs in the private sector in these disciplines making them truly valuable to the military.
“With the stand up of [reserve] NCWDG, we can now assign reservists with the right experience dedicated to NCWDG’s mission, as well as establish links with other elements of the Reserve Acquisition and [research and development] community," Capt. Michael B. Tanner, Fleet Cyber reserve component director, said.