The Army National Guard will activate three cyber protection teams in five states in fiscal year 2016, with seven more teams to follow, officials announced Tuesday.
In all, the Army Guard plans to stand up 10 cyber protection teams over the next three fiscal years.
The first three teams, slated to be established in 2016, will be hosted by five states.
The first team will be in Michigan, Indiana and Ohio. There will be another team in Georgia and one in California, according to the Guard.
Officials have not announced the stationing plan for the remaining seven Army Guard cyber protection teams.
"This is a significant step helping to boost state and federal cyber defense capabilities," said Maj. Gen. Judd Lyons, acting director of the Army National Guard, in a statement. "It reflects the tremendous momentum well under way across the Army to organize, train and equip cyberspace operations forces."
The cyber protection teams will be stationed around the country and will be staffed by Guard soldiers. Soldiers assigned to them will train and operate on a traditional part-time basis in support of their respective states' National Guard and governors. When mobilized for federal active duty, the teams will provide surge support to Army Cyber Command and support defensive cyberspace operations as assigned.
The stationing plan followed a careful review and evaluation of 32 detailed nomination packets, representing 45 states, territories and the District of Columbia seeking consideration for one of the 10 teams.
The Army Guard plans to establish four more cyber protection teams in fiscal 2017; the remaining three teams are scheduled for fiscal 2018.
Once established, the soldiers in each of the 10 teams will receive specialized cyber training.
The Army Guard has worked closely with Army Cyber Command on growing its cyber force, officials said.
"The Army is actively developing a total force of elite, trained, trusted and disciplined cyber professionals. The Army National Guard's CPT stationing decision is another step in the right direction as we build and field the cyber force across the total Army," said Lt. Gen. Edward Cardon, commanding general of Army Cyber Command, in a statement. "Citizen soldiers are already an essential part of the total Army, so these cyber professionals, many of whom bring private sector experience, will enhance the Army's cyberspace capabilities and capacities."
The Army Guard has one full-time cyber protection team that's currently attached to and training at Army Cyber Command. That team was stood up in 2014 and has 19 soldiers, according to the Guard.