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DVIDS – News – Pa. National Guard cyber team participates in Cyber Shield exercise


Pennsylvania National Guard Public Affairs Office

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – The Pennsylvania Army National Guard’s Cyber Team played a pivotal role in Cyber Shield 2024, a comprehensive and highly sophisticated cyber defense exercise held from May 31 to June 14, 2024, at the State Military Reservation in Virginia Beach.

Brig. Gen. Teri Williams, exercise director and vice director of operations for cyber with the National Guard Bureau, highlighted the significance of the exercise, emphasizing its role in testing and enhancing global technical capabilities in cyberspace.

“Cyber Shield 2024 is the premier military cyber exercise for the Army National Guard, bringing together a diverse array of participants to collaboratively tackle real-world cyber threats,” Williams said. “This year, we were privileged to host 900 participants from 41 states and 10 international partner nations, showcasing our commitment to global cyber resilience.”

The Pennsylvania Team brought 21 participants who supported various roles throughout the exercise. Maj. Christine Pierce, director of cyber operations, served as the exercise deputy officer in Charge. Chief Warrant Officer 4 Jeremy Marroncelli provided subject matter leadership for the Persistent Cyber Training Environment Cyber Range.

Additionally, two team members participated as lead assessors for the exercise. The remaining 17 individuals were on the Blue Team, working as network defenders.

Pennsylvania’s’ participants were not only from the Army Cyber Team but also included members of various Pennsylvania Army and Air National Guard units, the National Guard Bureau, Critical Infrastructure, and the Lithuanian Ministry of Defense.

“This year’s scenario focused on defending critical water infrastructure against a series of complex cyber threats, from credential theft to supply chain attacks,” Pierce explained. “We also introduced advanced elements like deepfake scenarios to challenge our participants further.”

Participants spent the first week in intensive training, including formal classroom sessions and lab-based exercises. This year, the Professional Education Center hosted DoD 8570/8140 certification training, which provided the opportunity for participants to not only receive training but also sit for valuable industry-recognized certification exams.

The second week transitioned into a five-day force-on-force cyber exercise, where teams defended a simulated network against live adversaries. The exercise provided a unique opportunity for participants to apply their training in a realistic, high-pressure environment.

“Cyber Shield allows us to simulate and respond to real-world cyber incidents, honing our skills in both information and operational technology environments.” Said Maj. Sean Smith, the Pennsylvania National Guard’s Blue Team Lead. “The collaborative nature of the exercise, especially working alongside international partners, is invaluable for building the trust and interoperability needed in today’s cyber landscape.”

International participation was a key highlight, with 10 partner nations actively engaging in the exercise. Lithuania has been the Pennsylvania National Guard’s partner through the National Guard’s State Partnership Program for over 30 years, and 2024 was the first year Lithuanians participated in Cyber Shield.

“Cyber is a global problem, and training with our allies prepares us for missions wherever they might arise,” noted 1st Lt. Ignas Zilinskas of the Lithuanian Army. “The experience gained here is critical for our national and collective security.”

Cyber Shield 2024 underscored the importance of readiness, international cooperation, and continuous improvement in cyber defense capabilities.

“This exercise is a testament to the dedication and expertise of our cyber professionals, many of whom volunteer their time to ensure its success,” Pierce said. “As cyber threats evolve, so must our strategies and skills, and Cyber Shield provides the perfect platform for this development.”

The Pennsylvania National Guard remains committed to safeguarding our nation’s critical infrastructure and enhancing global cyber resilience through exercises like Cyber Shield 2024.







Date Taken: 07.11.2024
Date Posted: 07.11.2024 08:28
Story ID: 475911
Location: FORT INDIANTOWN GAP, PENNSYLVANIA, US






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