BATTLE CREEK (WWJ) — The Michigan Air National Guard will host a ribbon-cutting ceremony Tuesday morning at 10:30 commemorating the newest hub of the Michigan Cyber Range at the 110th Airlift Wing base in Battle Creek.

The Cyber Range is the IT security equivalent of a military test range — allowing IT security staff to develop cybersecurity skills through simulations and exercises. It is operated by Merit Network Inc., the Ann Arbor networking services provider to educational institutions, governmental entities and nonprofits in Michigan.

“Providing the National Guard with classes and exercises is another big step forward for the Michigan Cyber Range, ” said Joe Adams, vice president of research and cyber security at Merit Network and director of the Michigan Cyber Range. “It is another opportunity for Michigan to set a high standard for cyber security training inside the state, across the nation, and with our international partners.”

The 110th Airlift Wing (110th AW) is a unit of the Michigan Air National Guard, stationed at Kellogg Air National Guard Base in Battle Creek.

In addition to the 110th Airlift Wing facility, the Michigan Cyber Range has locations called Eagle, Bulldog and Wildcat, on the campuses of Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti, Ferris State University in Big Rapids and Northern Michigan University in Marquette respectively. Future hubs are planned for Fort Custer in Battle Creek and Camp Grayling later this year. Expansion plans could involve as many as 10 hub sites.

Each of the hub locations is home to a node, comprised of state-of-the-art Cyber Range and Management Racks. Nodes can be scaled to increase capacity by adding Cyber Range Racks to the configuration. Nodes are mostly virtualized and enable users to configure and connect almost any type of networked device or service. Each Cyber Range Rack can support up to 1,000 nodes and 1,000 simultaneous connections.

The Michigan Cyber Range was launched in 2012 as a public-private partnership between the State of Michigan, Merit Network, federal and local governments, colleges and universities, and the private sector. The new hub in Battle Creek creates a unique opportunity for not only Michigan National Guard soldiers and airmen, but for the entire state and beyond.

The 110th Airlift Wing is located at 3545 Mustang Avenue, Battle Creek.

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