The Senate’s recently passed defense authorization bill includes several amendments to address ongoing challenges the Defense Department has with recruiting and retaining cyber personnel.
Amendments made to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for fiscal year 2018, passed Monday in the Senate, direct the secretary of defense to compile a report on training cyber-focused forces and utilizing government programs to make better use of potential cyber personnel.
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) included a provision requiring the secretary of defense to report on training infrastructure for cyber forces no later than 180 days after NDAA is enacted.
The report must include plans to address personnel shortages, identifying current holes in cyber procedure training infrastructure for service members and projections for growing the cyber force.
The Pentagon must also come up with a strategy to meet increased demand for a reserve cyberspace component. An amendment from Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) calls for a plan, no later than one year after the fiscal 2018 NDAA is enacted, on how the secretary will bolster recruitment of cyber personnel.
The plan must include details on the availability of qualified local workforces, potential best practices of cyber industry in establishing cyber space-related academic programs, reports on the potential for total force integration throughout the defense cyber community and recruitment strategies to bring in individuals with critical cyber skills into to reserve components.
A final amendment from Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) calls on DoD to increase use of the Intergovernmental Personnel Act Mobility Program (IPAMP) and the Information Technology Exchange Program (ITEP) initiatives to reach out to potential cyber personnel.
The Rounds amendment directs the Pentagon to devise strategy to implement those programs, which have been used to staff state and local governments with highly skilled cyber personnel.