National Guard deploying cyber unit on federal mission

By: - October 26, 2020 12:50 pm
National Guard soldiers during the curfew in Wauwatosa during 2020. (Photo | Isiah Holmes)

National Guard soldiers during the curfew in Wauwatosa during 2020. (Photo | Isiah Holmes)

The Wisconsin National Guard is sending more than 20 soldiers to Fort Meade in Maryland, in a deployment that will likely last a year. Coming from the Guard’s Detachment 1 of the 176 Cyber Protection Team, the soldiers will mark this as their unit’s first deployment.

The Cyber Protection Unit was first formed in 2015, according to a press release issued by the Guard. “The unit’s deployment comes amidst a historic period of the Wisconsin National Guard as the organization continues the largest sustained domestic mobilization in its history and an active year of overseas deployments,” it reads. This deployment will be in support of the U.S. Cyber Command and Cyber National Mission Force requirements.

Several other units continue to mobilize statewide. While some are tasked with COVID-related operations, such as providing mass testing and helping to run a COVID overflow facility at the State Fair Park, others have responded to instances of civil unrest statewide. The Guard recently concluded its mission in Wauwatosa during protests of a police shooting in the Milwaukee suburb.

“Thousands of troops have assisted civil authorities in preserving public safety amidst multiple instances of civil unrest,” the press release states, “over the course of the spring, summer, and fall in Milwaukee, Madison, Racine, Kenosha, and Green Bay.”


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Isiah Holmes
Isiah Holmes

Isiah Holmes is a journalist and videographer, and a lifelong resident of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Holmes' video work dates back to his high school days at Wauwatosa East High, when he made a documentary about the local police department. Since then, his writing has been featured in Urban Milwaukee, Isthmus, Milwaukee Stories, Milwaukee Neighborhood News Services, Pontiac Tribune, the Progressive Magazine, Al Jazeera, and other outlets. He was also featured in the 2018 documentary The Chase Key, and was the recipient of the Sierra Club Great Waters Group 2021 Environmental Hero of the Year award. The Wisconsin Freedom of Information Council also awarded Holmes its 2021-2022 Media Openness Award for using the open records laws for investigative journalism. Holmes was also a finalist in the 2021 Milwaukee Press Club Excellence in Journalism Awards alongside the rest of the Wisconsin Examiner's staff. The Silver, or second place, award for Best Online Coverage of News was awarded to Holmes and his colleague Henry Redman for an investigative series into how police responded to the civil unrest and protests in Kenosha during 2020. Holmes was also awarded the Press Club's Silver (second-place) award for Public Service Journalism for articles focusing on police surveillance in Wisconsin.