By Caitlin Baker
ST. LOUIS COUNTY (KSDK) - The Missouri National Guard will be establishing a cyber threat response team, which will operate out of Jefferson Barracks in south St. Louis County.
Once completed, Missouri will be the first state with a National Guard computer network defense team. The defense team will respond to cyber threats at both the state and possibly national level.
Maj. Gen. Steve Danner of the Missouri National Guard, who approved the funding for the defense team in February, said, "I have every confidence that the Missouri team will lead the way in protecting our state and country against threats to vital computer networks."
Commanding Officer of the Missouri National Guard Computer Network Defense Team, Lt. Col. Tony Kirtley said, "A cyber attack is not a matter of if, but when, and we need to be ready for it. We're establishing the capability before the requirement."
Kirtley said he hopes to have the cyber security unit fully operational by October. The team will consist of more than 25 personnel from the Army National Guard and will work out of Building 27.