Cyber Soldiers Deploying For One Year To Maryland

Jan 2, 2019, 12:42 PM

DRAPER, Utah – It’s the beginning of the new year and members of the Utah National Guard are already saying goodbye to their loved ones for a deployment that will last more than a year.

A send-off ceremony took place Wednesday morning at the Utah National Guard headquarters in Draper. A total of 18 service members, part of Task Force Echo III, took off to Ft. Meade Maryland for 400 days.

Their mission is to conduct cyber protection operations.

For Senior Officer in Charge Capt. Kylie Boyle, who’s had multiple international deployments, it’ll be the first one that’s cyber-specific.

“I have eight total, so this will be the first one stateside,” he said.

The task force consists of 12 states working together under the 126th Cyber Battalion based out of Massachusetts. The training has been continuous.

“I’ll  put it this way,” Boyle said. “In the past three years, I’ve been gone two of them. So on top of all of that, to be gone for another year, that’s when the little ones cling on a little bit more.”

He said he and other soldiers are dedicated to their mission to engineer, install, operate and maintain critical network infrastructure for U.S. Army Cyber Command. They also spend an additional 20 hours a week on their own time with their noses in books.

“In this realm, you’re out of date in six months if you’re not continually training,” said Maj. Gen. Jeff Burton. “They’re doing it all the time in preparation for something like this.”

Additionally, many of these members work in the private sector, leaving high-paying jobs to serve. It’s a mission they are looking forward to seeing carried out, though, so they can return home to their loved ones.

The soldiers are driving themselves to Maryland on Wednesday. Once they arrive, their mission will begin right away.


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Cyber Soldiers Deploying For One Year To Maryland