An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Home : News : Article View
NEWS | June 20, 2023

Cyber Shield Hones Skills, Builds Partnerships

By Master Sgt. Jessica Roles, 189th Airlift Wing

NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - More than 800 National Guard Airmen, Soldiers and international partners participated in the 2023 Cyber Shield cybersecurity exercise hosted by the National Guard’s Professional Education Center June 2-17.

The exercise at Camp Joseph T. Robinson, Arkansas, enabled cyber experts from 36 states and five partner nations to demonstrate their skills in the cyber domain.

“Cyber Shield is an unclassified defensive cyber operations exercise that allows us to build cyber capability, capacity and competency in the National Guard through unity of effort with industry and government partners and allies to provide hope, and ultimately will, on the darkest days,” said Brig. Gen. Teri Williams, the vice director of operations (cyber), National Guard Bureau, Arlington, Virginia.

Participants prepared for and responded to real-life scenarios in two segments. During the first week, 15 training courses were offered to freshen and hone skills. The second week focused on the exercise scenario — an attack by red team “hackers” on the U.S. transportation system sector’s critical infrastructure countered by blue team cyber defense operators.

“We are trying to emulate a real-world event, so this exercise helps us put together all the training we receive throughout the year,” said Tech. Sgt. Josh Hedden, a 223rd Cyberspace Operations Squadron cyber systems operator, Arkansas Air National Guard. “We typically train a lot and build up skills but don’t have the opportunity to put all of this together in an event. Tabletop exercises are key to being prepared for the real thing, so this is extremely beneficial for readiness.”

The training service members receive at Cyber Shield is vital to the ongoing effort to protect the nation. Attacks on critical infrastructures occur daily in the military and civilian cyber domains. 

“Already sophisticated cyber threats evolve daily,” said Maj. Scott Lang, the 223rd CYOS deputy commander. “The significance of our cyber operators staying current on all emerging threats, technologies and best practices lies in their ability to understand, anticipate and prevent any tactics employed by our adversaries.”



Related Articles
An MQ-9 crew prepares to launch the aircraft at Ellington Field Joint Reserve Base in Houston March 9, 2024. The 147th deployed an MQ-9 to help fight the Smokehouse Creek Fire in northern Texas, providing real-time video to civilian agencies and local firefighters.
Texas Air Guard Deploys MQ-9 to Help Fight Wildfires
By Sean Cowher, | April 9, 2024
HOUSTON - The Texas Air National Guard deployed an uncrewed aerial system in March to help the Texas Department of Emergency Management and local fire departments combat fires that engulfed the Panhandle region.Equipped with...

Pfc. T'Anna Stanley-Lake at Fort Sam Houston, Texas, March 19, 2024. Stanley-Lake, with the Army North Military Funeral Honors Platoon Caisson Section, is the daughter of former Virgin Islands National Guard members Kim Stanley and the late Sgt.1st Class Floyd E. Lake, who died in a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter crash in Baghdad Jan. 20, 2007.
Daughter of Virgin Islands Guardsmen Continues Legacy
By Sgt. Keyra Moolenaar, | April 4, 2024
FORT CAVAZOS, Texas - Every April, the Department of Defense celebrates the selfless service and duty demonstrated by military-connected children, youth and teens. Pfc. T’Anna Stanley-Lake’s deep sense of pride and duty to...

Master Sgt. Benny Casalina, a network intelligence analyst assigned to the 135th Intelligence Squadron, Maryland Air National Guard, at Martin State Air National Guard Base, Middle River, Md., Oct. 27, 2023.
Maryland Intelligence Analyst Helps Team Win Skills Exercise
By Master Sgt. Christopher Schepers, | Oct. 27, 2023
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – A team predominately comprising members of the Maryland Air National Guard’s 175th Cyberspace Operations Group captured first place during a recent skills validation exercise hosted by the Tennessee Air...