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 | July 26, 2023

Oklahoma Guardsmen Finish First at Cyber Shield 2023

By Airman 1st Class Erika Chapa, 137th Special Operations Wing Public Affairs

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - For the second year in a row, Oklahoma National Guard members won first place in a two-week cyber defense exercise, outperforming teams from more than 20 states and territories and five National Guard State Partnership Program groups.

The joint OKNG team, including three 137th Special Operations Communications Squadron Airmen, participated in the June 2-16 exercise alongside approximately 800 military and civilian cyber professionals at the Professional Education Center in Little Rock.

Cyber Shield 2023 focused on industrial control and protection, including a virtual competition to test each team’s ability to capture key information about enemy activity on a network.

“It goes without saying the cyber domain is a dynamic, fast-paced, and ever-changing environment and requires highly trained and prepared Airmen,” said Maj. Tyler Davis, commander of the 137th SOCS. “Cyberspace dominance is paramount to effectively projecting global air and space power, and the Airmen of the 137th Special Operations Communications Squadron are at the leading edge.”

As cyber warfare continues to evolve, the Department of Defense is developing, training and exercising cyber forces.

“Cyber is an entire different domain of warfare,” said 2nd Lt. Chad Chudoba, officer in charge for the 137th SOCS mission defense team. “We’re essentially coming onto the battlefield and assessing the terrain to conduct reconnaissance, determine where the enemy is and clear them out of that terrain. And then, once we take that terrain, we do what we can to build up our defenses and hold that terrain from the enemy.”

Cyber Shield is the largest DOD unclassified cyber defense exercise. It provides cyber challenges to participants through hands-on exercises and workshops. Participants could obtain additional cyber-related certificates through volunteer courses.

“This exercise not only improved the training, skills and knowledge of the Airmen who were able to physically attend Cyber Shield 2023, but it also allows them to bring this information back to the unit and provide critical training and information to all our other 137th Special Operations Cyber professionals once back in garrison,” Davis said.

For the first time, Cyber Shield attendees included cyber professionals from Azerbaijan, Oklahoma’s partner in the Department of Defense National Guard Bureau State Partnership Program. 

Davis said the exercise enabled Oklahoma National Guard Airmen “to participate and have the opportunity to improve their skills and collaborate with other governmental agencies, other Guard units and with our partner nations.” 



Related Articles
Sgt. Azaria Christian, incident response division chief, North Carolina National Guard, participates in the NetWars competition during the Cyber Shield training exercise at the Professional Education Center, Little Rock, Ark., June 9, 2023. Participants tested their defensive cybersecurity skills.
Cyber Shield Hones Skills, Builds Partnerships
By Master Sgt. Jessica Roles, | June 20, 2023
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...

Cyber Shield 22 Main Planning Conference at Professional Education Center, the nation’s premier unclassified cyber training exercise, involves more than 500 National Guard Soldiers and Airmen, interagency partners and cyber leaders ranging from high-tech corporations to local utilities. The exercise is in North Little Rock, Arkansas., June 5-17.
National Guard Defends the Cyber Front
By National Guard Bureau Office of Public Affairs | June 13, 2022
ARLINGTON, Va. – The National Guard is the nation’s oldest military service, yet uniquely adaptable to a relatively new warfighting domain: cyberwarfare. “The cyber skills that many members of the National Guard bring to the...

Participants from the National Guard and other services receive instructions for Cyber Shield 2022 at Camp Robinson in North Little Rock, Arkansas, June 5, 2022. The mission of Cyber Shield is to develop, train and exercise cyber forces in defending computer networks and responding to cyber incidents.
Guard Soldiers, Airmen Participate in Cyber Shield Exercise
By Capt. Clarissa Estrada and Lt. Col. Bradford Leighton, | June 7, 2022
NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – More than 800 National Guard Soldiers and Airmen, civilian experts, and other military services from throughout the nation are conducting exercise Cyber Shield this month with partners from all...