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NEWS | Aug. 9, 2015

Cyber solutions depend on partnerships

By Tarah Jackson Private Public Partnership

CRYSTAL CITY, Va. - Just two years ago, Lt. Gen. Jeffrey Talley, chief of the Army Reserve and commanding general of U.S. Army Reserve Command, determined that the key to strengthening unit and individual readiness was through partnerships with the public and private sectors. Since then, Talley has continued to expand the Private Public Partnership from employment to training which now includes a cyber-initiative. 

“The demand for these cyber security professionals and cyber experienced Soldiers far outpaces the current inventory, Talley told attendees at the 3rd Annual Day with the Army Reserve in Crystal City, July 29.

“The GAO (Government Accountability Office) estimates that there is currently a need for 40,000 cyber security professionals just to satisfy the government’s demand. Our belief is the Cyber P3 effort will serve as a seed to enhance these critical efforts and lessen the skilled Soldiers shortage gap,” Talley said. 

Lt. Col. Scott Nelson, P3 cyber program manager, agreed the cyber need encompasses more than just technicians.  

“It includes the need for engineers, the need for educators, and the need for lawyers,” said Nelson, while moderating the cyber panel which addressed the increasing demand for cyber professionals, developing the cyber workforce and cyber leadership. “Cyberspace careers are expanding exponentially.”

In February, the Army Reserve partnered with six top-tier universities and 12 employers in a first-of-its-kind effort to create a pathway for future cyber warriors to build cyber development programs for its Soldiers and units, added Nelson. 

“These partnerships with the Army Reserve enhance our ability to protect the nation’s infrastructure and enhance the operational readiness of the Army,” said Nelson. “But we can’t do it alone.”

Talley agreed challenges like cyber security cannot be solved by governments alone, adding it will take the help of the private sector.

“The private sector, the public, and I would argue the academic sector … can all work together to solve our global challenges. The private public partnership is merely a platform that our partners … can plug into and do shared activities and projects together that benefit all the organizations,” said Talley. 

“So if you think Private Public Partnership is a way to get you to help and support your nation then you’d be right,” Talley said then added that the investment is not without a return. “The key is finding the right project. That’s really what private public partnership is about—it’s finding ways that we can help you and help our nation at the same time.”