Secretary of Defense William S. Cohen has approved the creation of a 22-member Reserve component team to monitor and evaluate Department of Defense Web sites to ensure the sites do not compromise national security by revealing sensitive defense information. The team, called the Joint Web Risk Assessment Cell (JWRAC), will be comprised of two full-time Reservists and 20 drilling Reserve and National Guard personnel. The Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) will start up the cell on March 1, 1999.
"Technology has extended America's reach around the world, and it has extended the reach of those who seek to threaten Americans at home," Cohen said. "In joining this new mission area for the Reserve and Guard, the JWRAC will help us defend against those who would turn our technological superiority against us."
The JWRAC will scour Defense Web sites for information and trends of data that could be used to breach security or pose a threat to Defense operations and personnel. In addition, team members will evaluate Web site content to ensure compliance with departmental policies, procedures and best practices.
The new organization is a result of a Sep. 24, 1998 directive from John J. Hamre, deputy secretary of Defense, to Charles L. Cragin, acting assistant secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs, and Gen. Henry H. Shelton, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Hamre directed that they jointly develop a plan that uses Reserve forces personnel to conduct operations security and threat assessments of DefenseLINK and other official military Web sites.
"This initiative represents both a new model and a Total Force solution for managing operations security in an environment of rapidly changing technology," Dr. Hamre said. "It is essential that each of the military components and agencies get on board so that we can expedite the implementation of JWRAC and help it fulfill its important mission."
Six Reserve component Services will staff the cell, with a full-time officer and enlisted member rotating among the military Reserve components on an equitable basis. The 20 drilling Reserve component positions will be comprised as follows: Army National Guard, five officers, three enlisted; Army Reserve, three officers, two enlisted; Naval Reserve, two officers; Marine Corps Reserve, one officer; Air National Guard, two officers, one enlisted; and Air Force Reserve, one enlisted.
"With the battlefields of tomorrow moving increasingly into cyberspace, this is a significant advancement in our efforts to assess risks and reduce our exposure to cyberterrorism," Cragin said. "The Reserve and National Guard are ideally suited for this task, because they have a large pool of talented personnel who in their civilian careers are highly adept at using computer systems and information technology."
The military services will recruit personnel for the JWRAC who have a broad range of combat and non-combat specialties, in addition to high-tech civilian skills. The two full-time staff will provide day-to-day administrative support, perform operational scheduling and ensure that training and technical proficiency is maintained. The JWRAC will be co-located with DISA.
For more information, call Lt. Col. Terry Jones at the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs, (703) 695-3620, or visit the Reserve Affairs website at http://dod.mil/ra.