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Mikulski Speaks on Senate Floor in Support of Nominee for Maryland District Court Judge Grimm

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Senator Mikulski gave the following remarks at ARINC as part of an announcement of $5 million awarded to the Anne Arundel Workforce Development Corporation to create a cyber security and information assurance program. 
July 26, 2010

So proud to be here today for his wonderful announcement that we’ll be making in a few minutes about how we’re getting Maryland ready for the jobs for a newer economy and protecting our homeland.  We want to acknowledge the role of the Anne Arundel County workforce development corporation, a fantastic public-private partnership that brings people together so that we can make wise use of public resources and create private sector jobs.  And to be with Dr. Martin Smith, the very able president of Anne Arundel Community College and of course with Vice Admiral Barry McCullough, the commander of the new cyber fleet that’s stationed at Fort Meade.

When we got the word that the cyber fleet was coming right here to Fort Meade in Anne Arundel County, they said, “Senator Mikulski, we would like a reaction from you.” And I said, “There isn’t a woman in America that doesn’t want a Navy fleet homeported near them.” So we welcome these cyber warriors to our community.

But what we’re talking about today is no laughing matter.  Our nation is at war.  We’re fighting three wars—one in Iraq, one in Afghanistan, and one this very minute in cyberspace.  As we speak, we are under attack from cyber thieves, cyber thugs, cyber terrorists.  Those that want to steal our intellectual property, those that want to steal our state secrets, those that want to steal our freedom and our prosperity.  Our nation’s main line of defense is right here in Maryland.  We are the epicenter of cyber security to defend and protect the United States of America.

Right here at Fort Meade, we are now the home of a fighting cyber command.  At Fort Meade, the National Security Agency is the mother ship, the indispensible agent on cyber security.  Federal agencies are moving in every day.  The (inaudible) to Fort Meade, also our cyber fleet and others that will come.

We also are the home to the intelligence and advanced research lab in College Park and then our National Institute of Standards.  We are the cyber security center and we in Maryland need to name it, we need to claim it, and your congressional delegation and your governor are funding it.  And in order to do that, know that in order to fight the cyber war, we need to do two things.

Number one, we need to have technology, technology development to develop our cyber field and maintain our qualitative edge.  But in order to do the very brainy things that need to be done, we need to have a workforce.  And we need to have a workforce that ranges from the PhD in mathematics to the cyber technicians that are the real cyber infantry out there on the front lines and the mainframes.

I’m proud, therefore, today that working through the Anne Arundel County workforce development, Maryland has won a competitive federal branch to train 1,000 people as cyber warriors in our community throughout Baltimore, Howard, and Anne Arundel.

One thousand cyber people.  This is a $4.9 million grant in which veterans will be given special emphasis so while they fought a war over there, they can train to fight a war here with good jobs and good benefits.  Thanks to what has been put together at the outstanding Anne Arundel Community College that will be used, is a specific curriculum that will train people with information assurance, investigative and deterrence techniques, and will meet national and international standards.

Our cyber warriors are going to be fit for duty. We can accomplish that because we leveraged any asset that we had.  The great community college network we have in our area. A workforce development corporation that brought in the private sector.  Because Governor O’Malley and your congressional delegation want to help create private sector jobs and this will be what we’re talking about.

And by leveraging the assets of the academic network we have and working together, we got out there and got this federal grant.  It’s pretty special.

But we want to be able to do more. And in addition to the transportation grant that we accomplished, I’m pleased that we’re working with Governor O’Malley and his federal taskforce, we look at what is the gateway for the civilian community to be able to work on national security issues. 

I’m pleased to announce that in this year’s appropriation, the justice and commerce committee that I chair, that I am standing up a national cyber security center of excellence at the National Institutes of Standards.  That sounds like a lot of words, but let me give you the punch line. 

We want to forge relations with the private sector.  We want to make sure that the private sector has a gateway to come in to government to bring in the new ideas that will develop the new products that will create a safer country and a stronger economy.  They need to have standards to be able to do it. 

So through what I’ve done, were going to be able to have at NIST a technology transfer program, research and development, and equally as critical, an information clearinghouse on new ideas and new ways to work with our government.

We in Maryland know that we seek not a bigger government or a smaller government, we seek a smart government that knows how to leverage the best in the public and private sector.  And what we want to do is do our share to make sure we have a safer country.  But a safer country needs a strong economy.  Working as team Maryland with the leadership of the delegation, Senator Cardin, Congressman Sarbanes, and their very important roles on budget and energy and commerce, along with Governor O’Malley and his leadership, we have very important and good news.

Now, I would like to be able to call upon Senator Cardin to add to this great announcement.  Senator Cardin is on the Budget Committee and is very crucial to the financial resources.  But his role on the Judiciary Committee will be very important to creating the framework for the appropriate civil liberties issues and he chairs the subcommittee on terrorism.