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Airmen participate in virtual, interactive training event

The 512th Intelligence Squadron has achieved Full Operational Capability (FOC) for national cyber mission, becoming a fully mission proficient Reserve unit. The achievement was made Feb.1, 2020 and occurred seven months earlier than originally planned.

Airmen from the 512th Intelligence Squadron participated in an interactive, live training experience hosted by their Classic Associate Unit (CAU) the 41st Intelligence Squadron.

FORT GEORGE G. MEADE, Maryland - --

On July 14-15 and 21-22, 2020, Airmen from the 512 Intelligence Squadron participated in an interactive, live training experience hosted by their Classic Associate Unit (CAU) the 41st Intelligence Squadron. Four Airmen from the squadron utilized USCYBERCOM’s Persistent Cyber Training Environment (PCTE) as well as the DoD’s Commercial Virtual Remote Environment (CVR) chat and video teleconferencing platform to participate in a tailored, virtual, Total Force, cyber training exercise.

The exercise provided an interactive training environment to simulate the Cyber National Mission Force (CNMF) Task Force operation models and work roles. Additionally, the exercise curators ensured newly assigned members could participate, creating a fully inclusive training experience, by pairing newbies with experienced members and dividing participates into teams, aligned with CNMF structure, and designated fires elements. This structure provided experienced members an opportunity to utilize and share their knowledge and keep the exercise progressing while giving inexperienced members the ability to learn.

The exercise began on the CVR video teleconferencing platform where participants were provided a short situation brief by the 41 IS event host and exercise white cell.  

For the exercise, participants were tasked with identifying and neutralizing an ongoing cyber-attack on a fictitious Air Force infrastructure. They had to analyze and identified the adversary’s infrastructure, then create and implement an operational plan to dismantle that infrastructure, degrading the adversaries’ ability to launch future attacks.

Typically during exercises such as this, teams are co-located and able to easily cross talk and collaborate, however in this fully remote exercise, teams took advantage of the CVR platform.

Participants utilized the screen share, chat and various collaboration tools within this platform to attain nearly the same fidelity of collaboration in virtually meeting exercise objectives.

At the conclusion of the 2nd exercise iteration, the host POC stated that 512 IS participants helped teams go “farther than any of the other teams” in any other version or iteration of the exercise.

“This is a must for all members!” said one 512 IS participant who went on to say, “[I] could find no negatives.”

The 41 IS commander, Lt. Col. Treavor Johnson, and event hosts were thrilled to have the 512 IS participation and “encouraged and welcomed 512 IS participation in all future exercises.”   

The 512 IS delivers premiere cyber intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance with our Total Force partners on behalf of United States Cyber Command and Air Force Cyber, leveraging highly trained reserve ISR professionals, interconnected with national, military and private sector entities. To learn more about exciting and rewarding career opportunities in the 512 IS, please contact your local Air Force Reserve recruiter.