108th Wing stands up Mission Defense Team

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Andrea A. S. Williamson
  • 108th Wing

The New Jersey Air National Guard's 108th Wing is standing up a Mission Defense Team on Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J.

Mission Defense Teams are the result of the Cyber Squadron Initiative (CS-I), which is a plan to move communications squadrons away from Information Technology (IT) service and toward a mission set that involves the cyberspace side of their wing’s operational mission. The 108th Communications Flight element will be responsible for analyzing and identifying specific cyber threats outlined by the 108th Wing commander.

“Once the mission critical system is identified, it is the MDT’s charge to defend it," said Master Sgt. Christopher Motta, with the 108th Communications Flight. "This is accomplished by employing the MDT core functions. We identify, protect, detect, respond, and recover or sustain to provide mission assurance for that system."

The team is led by Capt. Joshua Martell and includes Motta and Staff Sgts. Leah Luke and Eric Garcia.

“The demand for cybersecurity professionals is at an all-time high due to the existence of continuing and emerging threats in cyberspace,” said Garcia. “Cyber operations is a growing field due to this constant threat.”

The concept of mission assurance has amplified as the Department of Defense identified the need to protect critical systems.

"The 108th MDT works closely with their Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst cyber partners," said Motta.  "The new cyber entity collaborates with the 140th Cyber Operations Squadron, 87th Communication Squadron MDT, as well as the New Jersey Army National Guard Cyber Protection Team 173, Detachment 1, on a regular basis which acts as a force multiplier for the organizations."