National Guard conducts annual nationwide cybersecurity exercise ‘to protect our homeland’

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(Photo Credit: U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. George Davis)

By 1st Lt. Aaron Smith, Ohio National Guard, May 14, 2018

CAMP ATTERBURY, Ind. — By working closely with interagency partners and the private sector, the National Guard seeks to strengthen network cybersecurity and leverage new and emerging technologies for homeland defense.

“This exercise provides a very technical defensive cyber ecosystem with a Defensive Cyber Operations Element training focus,” said Ohio National Guard Lt. Col. Teri Williams, the exercise commander. “Cyber Shield truly is a crucible where industry cyber talent merges with our military forces and the result is a more polished, tuned, and stronger response capability.”

Cyber Shield 18 is part of the National Guard’s ongoing effort to be a versatile capability for governors of all 54 states and territories. This is the seventh iteration of this training exercise.

The exercise centers around two phases: the first week offers participants the opportunity to learn from leaders in military, government and the private sector in academic instruction focusing on vital cyber skills.

The second week challenges the National Guard Soldiers and Airmen, as they face off against trained adversaries. The teams utilize their unique talents to defend networks and mitigate the effects of attacks against vulnerable infrastructure.

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