The Air Force, in its build to meet its requirement of 39 teams it owes to the cyber mission force that feeds to the joint 133 teams at U.S. Cyber Command, is heavily leveraging the Guard and Reserve, it's top officer told legislators.

When asked if the Air Force is considering collocating active and reserve components in building the 39 teams, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein told the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense that they already are.

"If you take a look at the make up of the cyber mission teams as we grow to the 39 reams, several of those teams are actually Guard and Reserve," he said.

Goldfein added that during his time as an air component commander forward, the best intelligence he received was from Air National Guard units because they weren't moving from location to location, which is typical for active duty units. They were in the same location and they were able to stay focused on the same area, meaning the quality of the intelligence they were able to provide was significant, he said.

"We've leveraged that very clearly as we build up the cyber mission teams and the cyber protection teams and you'll see them scattered throughout as we go forward," he continued.

The Army, for it's part, is building a significant cadre of Guard and Reserve teams, separate from the 41 cyber mission teams they owe Cyber Command. There will be 11 National Guard teams and 10 Reserve teams, bringing the Army's total to 62 teams.

Former Secretary of Defense Ash Carter has referred to the Guard and Reserve as a " huge treasure" in cyberspace, given many of them work in the cybersecurity field in their fulltime civilian jobs.

"There's a great untapped, not yet fully tapped resource … which is our Guard and Reserve" that will help DOD utilize "the best technology," he said.

Mark Pomerleau is a reporter for C4ISRNET, covering information warfare and cyberspace.

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