Congressman Mike Turner (OH-3) worked to include language in a committee report which was finalized today, denoting the Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT) as a location for cybersecurity training for government employees. Turner also submitted the following statement during the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform mark-up in support of H.R. 4257, the Federal Information Security Amendments Act. This bipartisan measure would establish a mechanism for strengthened oversight and security of the federal government's information technology systems.
The bill places an emphasis on agencies employing well-trained, skilled information security personnel. In the committee's report of the legislation it noted: "In ensuring an adequately trained workforce, agencies may utilize existing government cyberspace technical centers of excellence for purposes of training and certification attainment." AFIT is recognized as the Air Force's "cyberspace technical center of excellence."
"Federal government agencies training information security personnel throughout the civilian, national security, and law enforcement communities should utilize the existing programs and curriculum offered at AFIT for graduate, post-graduate, and continuing professional education," said Turner.
The Secretary of the Air Force has also signed off on language offered by Turner in the FY11 National Defense Authorization Act that will expand AFIT's authority to enroll government and non-government civilian personnel in its programs. This is a major advance for the institution and many civilian employers and employees who work in conjunction with the Air Force.
Statement for the Record
Congressman Michael R. Turner (OH-3)
House Committee on Oversight & Government Reform
Full Committee Business Meeting
Wednesday, April 18, 2012
Mr. Chairman, today the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform continues its work to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the federal government in considering H.R. 4257, the Federal Information Security Amendments Act. This bipartisan measure would establish a mechanism for strengthened oversight and security of the federal government's information technology systems.
Among the many important provisions included in H.R. 4257 is an emphasis on agencies employing well-trained, skilled information security personnel. In meeting this responsibility, I encourage agencies government-wide to train personnel at established cyberspace research programs that provide graduate, post-graduate, and continuing professional education.
In my district in Southwest Ohio, the Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT) is an established and accredited graduate school of engineering and management that offers premier advanced cyberspace education and degree programs, as well as continuing professional education opportunities. Following efforts by me and my colleague Senator Rob Portman, AFIT now offers these programs to individuals outside the Department of Defense and will now accept civilian applicants. With this opportunity comes improved efficiencies and effectiveness for all federal agencies to train information security personnel with AFIT's forward-looking approaches to network intrusion detection and avoidance, insider threat mitigation, cyberspace situational awareness, network visualization, software protection, and anti-tamper technologies development.
Students at AFIT have the unique opportunity to study at the Center for Cyberspace Research, which has been designated by the United States Air Force as their Cyberspace Technical Center of Excellence. Recently, these students received the International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium's 2011 U.S. Government Information Security Leadership Award for demonstrated leadership in advancing and improving the information security workforce. Additionally, students from the Center for Cyberspace Research earned the top score among all participating military schools in the National Security Agency 2011 Cyber Defense Exercise.
As H.R. 4257 makes clear, agencies must equip themselves with individuals dedicated to preserving the nation's cyberspace integrity through information security. Federal government agencies training information security personnel throughout the civilian, national security, and law enforcement communities should utilize the existing programs and curriculum offered at AFIT for graduate, post-graduate, and continuing professional education.