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NEWS | Feb. 22, 2018

Massachusetts cyber unit detachment departs for SW Asia deployment

By Sgt. Erick Yates 335th Signal Command (Theater)

A U.S. Army Reserve cyber operations unit from Massachusetts hosted their first departure ceremony of the year as they gave a fond send-off to Soldiers on course to deploy for a rotation to Southwest Asia.

The Northeast Cyber Protection Center (NECPC), U.S. Army Reserve Cyber Operations Group (ARCOG), 335th Signal Command (Theater), hosted a departure ceremony for Soldiers assigned to Detachment 4. The detachment is the next team in line from the ARCOG to step in rotation for conducting training and missions at the Regional Cyber Center – Southwest, Asia, Camp Arifjan, Kuwait.

Special guests at the ceremony included Brig. Gen. Matthew P. Easley, USAR deputy commanding general (sustainment), 335th SC (T), Col. Robert S. Powell, Jr., the ARCOG commander, and Lt. Col. Dane Sanderson, the NECPC commander.

In preparation for the deployment, the detachment participated in cyber validation training provided by Carnegie Mellon University (CMU). Lt. Col. Chad Dunham, Detachment 4 commander, elaborated on what took place for the training.

“CMU provided a validation exercise with cyber training ranges that introduced our team to tools and methodologies similar to what we would find in a deployed environment,” he said.

The detachment was evaluated in different areas during the training session concluding with a successful validation for deployment, said Dunham.

“The specifics that we learned from the CMU training were helpful,” said Sgt. Micheal Nemeyer, who transferred from the 259th Military Intelligence Brigade to deploy with the unit.

Soldiers from various units have come together for this detachment. Working through the pre-deployment process, Dunham said he is pleased with the chemistry that has been displayed in joining together.

There seems to be a formula at play that has been helpful with integrating the team so far, he said.

“No matter where we go, we take care of each other, making it easier to transition into the mission,” said Dunham.

Capt. Mark Rhodes, whose home unit is the NECPC, and will function as the cyber assistance team leader - Afghanistan, acknowledged that the command has done well keeping the process on track for a good transition to deploy.

Another key factor mentioned in the pre-deployment process was the element of support.

Dunham shared that meeting the families during the Yellow Ribbon event proved to be essential for getting to know everyone.

At the Yellow Ribbon event, it was good to see how everyone came together to show support, he said.

“Giving credit to the family is important. What families do in providing support allows us as to do our job,” Dunham said.

The ARCOG is the U.S. Army Reserve Cyber proponent and works to protect the ability to reliably coordinate and communicate with each other and our command centers, especially in remote combat situations. The ARCOG delivers offensive and defensive effects against our adversaries in Cyberspace and empowers Army, joint, and combined maneuver forces in the delivery of kinetic effects.