U.S. Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.) today applauded the House Appropriations Committee’s approval of the $8.6 million he requested to build a new cyber-warfare facility for use by the Washington State Air National Guard’s 262nd Information Warfare Aggressor Squadron (IWAS) at McChord Air Force Base.

“This Washington State Air National Guard squadron is at the cutting edge of protecting U.S. national security in today’s high-tech world. I am proud to have these cyber warriors - most of whom have civilian day jobs at local tech companies - here in the Puget Sound area. They need this new facility as the squadron takes on a more prominent role in America’s cyber-security efforts,” Smith said.

The work of the 262nd IWAS involves a range of cyber-security missions, including replicating the cyber-attack capabilities of potential adversaries to the U.S.  The $8.6 million that Smith secured will fund the construction of a state-of-the-art training and operational facility for the 262nd IWAS at McChord Air Force Base. The facility will house classrooms and multiple, highly secured computer networks, and a Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility (SCIF) for the storage of Top Secret information. The current facility is a Korean War-era building without adequate space or security protections.

The funds were included in the appropriations bill for military construction and veterans affairs, approved by the House Appropriations Committee yesterday.  The bill will be considered by the full House of Representatives next month.