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Home : News : Transcripts : Transcript View
TRANSCRIPT | June 14, 2024

Cyber Shield 2024 Media Roundtable


Christina Mundy - Moderator [00:00:42] Welcome to this media roundtable on the National Guard Cyber Shield 2024. I'm Christina Mundy and I will be moderating today's discussion. We are here with Army Brigadier General Teri Williams, who is the exercise director and vice director of operations for cyber with the National Guard Bureau. We also have Army Colonel Jeffrey Fleming from the Illinois Army National Guard, and he is the exercise officer in charge. In addition, we have U.S. Army Major Sean Smith from the Pennsylvania National Guard, and he is one of the team leads for the exercise. I would also like to welcome First Lieutenant Ignas Zilinskas from the Lithuanian Army. He is a cyber team lead for the exercise, along with First Lieutenant Filip Wozniak.

Christina Mundy - Moderator [00:01:51] What we are here today to do is to discuss the National Guard Cyber Shield 2024 effort. And we appreciate if all questions would focus accordingly. Brigadier General Williams will start with an opening statement. And then we will open for questions and to ensure we allow for everyone to have the opportunity to participate. Please ask one question and if you prefer a follow up. If there's time at the end, we can open it up again for additional questions. As a reminder, please keep your mics on mute when you're not speaking. I do have a list of the media and I will call on you by name. And with that General Williams, you have the floor.

Brig Gen Teri Williams [00:02:37] Thank you and good morning. Live from Cyber Shield 2024. So I'm going to talk about two pieces of the exercise. And this portion of the exercise I'm going to say for the end of it just so we can kind of, transition into the questions, but we actually have two portions of the exercise. We have the 91st Cyber Brigade, which is the first, the only and the best Cyber Brigade and the Army National Guard. They are actually here certifying or validating for cyber protection teams from the National Guard, one Air guard and three Army guard teams. And then we have the the other side, which consists of approximately, 900 Soldiers and Airmen and, industry members. I guess I should've said participants, really, but so again, across the 900 participants, 27ish blue teams, we also have our international partners here. So we have a total of ten countries on keyboards, seven our state partners. And we have additional countries as well that are represented. So three additional countries. And essentially this is an unclassified, basically a cyber defense exercise, where we really kind of test, their global technical ability and cyberspace. So again, this is really a chance for them. As we all know, we are in conflict and cyber every day. And this is a chance for them to kind of take a knee. In the first week they do training. So we, give them hopefully new skills and then, have a little bit of fun with them over the weekend and let them kind of get to know each other. While they continue to enhance their cyber skills and fun activities, and then we move them into the second week where we really test them in terms of their, skills collectively. That's where they come together and have to kind of perform against different injects. Everything from cyber, we get to label information operations we throw the entire kind of kit at and see how they react. The leadership got to do some media, engagements? So we really try to hit everybody, skill set across the team and really test them there. So again, amazing individuals that get to come together. At a site currently, hosted by the Virginia National Guard. So that's where we're located, today. And, with that, I will turn it over to you guys for questions. Thank you.

Christina Mundy - Moderator [00:05:15] Thank you, General Williams, for your opening remarks. For any media that would like to know more about our panelist, we will drop the bios of the members into this chat. So thank you and welcome again. We're going to go ahead and open up the floor for questions. So let's start. Let's start with Mark from Defense Scoop.

Reporter: Mark Pomerleau - Defense Scoop [00:05:37] Yes. Hi. Thanks so much for doing this. I guess how have you sought to bolster or improve the exercise from years past, and how are you tying it into maybe more regionally focused exercises? Especially ones that the 91st is doing, in Virginia. I think around this time as well.

Brig Gen Teri Williams [00:05:59] So I'll start and then I'll pass it over to the OIC to kind of talk through, the improvements and that sort of thing. So one of the things I didn't say is, this exercise is primarily ran by, volunteers. That, almost all of the staff at our volunteers, so as guardsmen, they have their full time civilian job, they have their guard military job. And then this is almost, kind of a part time job for them that they're taking lunches, evenings, weekends, and designing the exercise. So, the fact that we do improve every year is amazing because we have all these volunteers that come back and give all their personal time, back and into this exercise to prove it. But I'm going to turn it over to the OIC Colonel Fleming, to kind of talk through, some of those, improvements we've seen through the years.

Col. Jeffrey Fleming [00:06:49] Thank you ma'am. So every exercise iteration we go through rigorous after-action review, at the staff level of the team level and those different parts of things so that we take those comments and continue to use those to make it better, within reason. So, we've done that. And I think the fact that the exercise continues to grow, as General Williams said, the staff is all volunteer. And also we cannot order anybody to come to this exercise. The participants come here because of its reputation, and they want to be here and be a part of it. So I think that's a testament to that. To the other question, this exercise itself is to get after, national and now international collaboration and partnerships that we have, an answer, big questions and strategic type questions for the chief of National Guard Bureau, as well as the respective governors and things of that nature. You mentioned some of the other, the regional and there's also a lot of state level exercises, in the concept and, constructive things. Those are exactly those. Those are the focus on specific regional partnerships or state partnerships and alignments so that, continuing to foster relationships and building, to support all the different mission sets that the National Guard can be called to support.

Brig Gen Teri Williams [00:08:01] And those regional exercises all fall kind of under the umbrella of Cyber Shield. So while each, a lot of the we just have their own regional exercises that is kind of encompass, underneath our umbrella.

Reporter: Mark Pomerleau - Defense Scoop [00:08:18] Can you expand a little bit on the international partners piece? I know that obviously the state partnership program is a pretty big deal. And given some recent conflicts that that's kind of become more of a higher profile. How is that kind of been bolstered this year? And can you explain kind of the importance of that in a more strategic standpoint?

Col. Jeffrey Fleming [00:08:39] Yeah, certainly. So I'll go ahead and start. Last year was, the first kind of real, dive into it to give it a whirl. And we got some, we had about 4 or 5 countries on keyboard last year, and another couple that came and went to our, International Partner Day to learn about it. This year, we've increased that number. And again, we had a couple countries come to our International Partner Day that are on keyboard again to see if this is something they potentially want to come to. So it's, it's an outreach that way. We do outreach through both the state partner programs with the states. And really we provide the training venue for the states to, invite their partners along, to come and participate. And then strategically, we also work with, the different combatant commanders to say, again, we have this venue available. If you were working at partnerships in your regions that you would like to, bring folks to, but they have to come with the state partner program because it is a National Guard exercise, and we truly do, I hold everybody accountable for the partner of that phrase we have to be very deliberate and careful this doesn't turn into an international cyber competition, because I think that it takes away from the partnership and training value. But we've continued to grow it. And I expect that will happen, but I will turn it over to our two partners here to, expand on their experiences here and, their thoughts. So.

1st Lt Filip Wozniak - Poland Army [00:10:01] Okay, thank you, Sir. So we are in the state partnership program with, National Guard from Illinois for over the last 30 years. It actually started in 1993. We operate together in different domains. And recently in the last few years, we've started building this interoperability in, cyber domain, which is great deal for us. And one of the points of this relationships is to work together in the exercises like cyber, shield this year. So, we are exchanging experience. We are working together, because, as I know, cyber is not about individuals. It's all about team play. So we are doing this, team play together. To defend critical infrastructure. Because we know we all have, critical infrastructure. And we have in Poland and we have in the US. So it really is a really valuable program. And, I love participating in such exercises.

1st Lt Ignas Zilinskas - Lithuanian Army [00:11:24] Not much to add up. From from my side. It's also, more than 30 years now with our Pennsylvanian friends. In terms of collaboration, it is, totally about, sharing the experience, sharing the knowledge. We will all, go back to our countries with, a few more, competencies added to our competence list. Something, in that, we all improve. We, I believe, we bring something. Here we exchange experiences, the knowledge. It is, really an important exercise to hold. I know what it costs, to make this possible. It is not easy. It's a lot of moving targets that you have to put together to make this possible. I have seen some improvements, how the hosting of, the exercise is done. How it's run and what things you, stress on, like, put the emphasis on, so I will definitely bring home, some improvements, how we want to adjust, what we do.

Christina Mundy - Moderator [00:12:53] Thank you very much for that. And thank you, Mark, for your question. We'll be moving on to, Jeff from the Voice of America.

Reporter: Jeff Seldin - Voice of America [00:13:03] I don't have a specific question. Thank you.

Christina Mundy - Moderator [00:13:05] Thank you. Jeff. Next I have Karli with Army magazine.

Reporter: Karli Goldenberg - Army Magazine [00:13:11] Thank you so much for having this. As you mentioned, Brigadier General Williams, in your opening comments, we're at war in cyberspace every day. So I was curious if you could just zoom out a little bit for us and give us a sense of what the biggest cyber threats that we face today and how we're going to tackle them.

Brig Gen Teri Williams [00:13:33] Sure. So I'm going to make my Blue suit go, but I'm going to give him a warning though so he can think about it for a second. We'll let him hop in here to it and talk through it. But I would say, really the things that we're seeing right now are primarily supply chain, type issues. And I think that what you're asking in terms of our question and what you're trying to get after here is just, what we're seeing across the board. And it's really and that the supply chain or, you know, the basically how they can hit one element that's going to have connections to many. All right. And so that's really I think what we've seen a proliferation with in terms of the attacks and that sort of thing. And then obviously and this isn't anything new, this has happened probably just happened during the pandemic. But we also see actors really kind of separating it in terms of really specific skills. So you have one actor that will go as an access broker, and then you have the other actors that will do something else. But I think the, the most concerning thing, at least for my foxhole, is really the collusion of all the different red actors we're seeing that like we've never seen it before. Where, you know, we've always had kind of pockets of bad actors that they're kind of doing their own thing, and we're seeing them work together more. So I'll turn it over to our blue team, who has experienced some of that activity this week, and let him talk through what you see.

Maj Sean Smith [00:15:01] Thank you ma'am. So Cyber Shield has this, eerie capability to almost predict the types of attacks that are going to occur. And this is not what happened, you know, once or twice. So last year I had the privilege of participating in cyber shield as well. And the scenario was trains and train derailment. And that's exactly what happened. And, a couple of our states, and it was a big deal. This year the focus is water treatment. And my home state of Pennsylvania experienced just that with Aliquippa Water Authority, having ransomware placed on some of their externally facing, PLCs and sensors. So it is directly applicable to the real world. It's eerie how well the planners of this exercise predict, based on real world intelligence, that things we should be training on as a team. And I know that you all don't have visibility into the the exact nuts and bolts of what we see on the side of our team. But the types of attacks are exactly what made, General Williams said, is, supply chain attacks. We have a world class red team that, really does a great job of threat emulation. They have a high focus on that. So they will imitate the threat actors that are currently out there in the world and duplicate the exact same attacks that we, as you know, Lithuanians and Pennsylvania Guardsmen can, work to detect and mitigate. So this exercise is one of the few times whenever you can practice defensive cyber in a way that you know isn't in a real world, you know, crisis mode situation.

Christina Mundy - Moderator [00:16:47] And then, Karli, do you have a follow on before I move on?

Reporter: Karli Goldenberg - Army Magazine [00:16:52] Follow up question is sorted with the international partners in mind. So I know that we just talked about how the exercise kind of gives us a little bit of wiggle room because we're practicing, and it's not an actual scenario. But I'm always curious about how stuff that's going on today affects things. So I was curious if you could speak to, has the war in Ukraine and different cyber tactics that we're seeing out, throughout the world that we're fighting change the approach to Cyber Shield in any way?

Col. Jeffrey Fleming [00:17:27] Yeah. So. So regardless of what conflict or where it's going on in the world, as Sean said, we do bring a world class out for and we do get when we're doing our planning for this, we will go meet with various federal partners at all levels to to see what is out there and going on, so that we can be as accurate and realistic as possible. And, he alluded to some of the stuff that's going on. Another one, you know, as we said, we did, you know, railroads last year and shortly after the exercise, it wasn't just a US railroad thing. There were some international railroad things going on. I'm not sure if, the young lieutenant here was part of that response, but, so it's we don't focus on any specific conflict. We just focus on what's currently going on in the world today. From, the best, cyber malicious actors that we know we're going to have to contend with and be prepared to defend against. And we structure that way so that we're all a lot better trained to face whatever threat, wherever.

Christina Mundy - Moderator [00:18:23] Thank you, sir. And then thank you, Karli, for the questions. We are moving on to Olga from ONEST Network.

Reporter: Olga - ONEST Network [00:18:33] Thank you so much. And I just joined. So my apologies if I mentioned something that was already discussed. My question is whether your exercise includes any collaboration with other agencies or countries that are outside the scope of the group.

Col. Jeffrey Fleming [00:18:50] Yeah, so there are currently ten, partner, nations here that are actively participating with members on blue teams. Our international partner day includes a few others, that want to actively participate with us, and that are here and then, beforehand, as was just mentioned, we meet with federal partner state partners and do lots of collaboration to make sure the intelligence we're getting to support the threat actors we're going to emulate, and the different things we're going to do are as close to real. And, what's going on in the environment and the world today that we can get to. And if you have any additional.

Reporter: Olga - ONEST Network [00:19:32] Thank you.

Christina Mundy - Moderator [00:19:37] Olga, do you have any follow on, questions or was that all?

Reporter: Olga - ONEST Network [00:19:41] No, no. Thank you so much.

Christina Mundy - Moderator [00:19:43] Thank you. Next, we have Anastasia from the Federal News Network. Anastasia, are you there? 

Reporter: Anastasia - Federal News Network [00:19:51] Yeah, thank you so much for doing this. You touched a little bit on this, but could you talk a little more about the scenarios, types of threats simulated, and also the tools and technologies you use during the exercise? Anything interesting to highlight there?

Brig Gen Teri Williams [00:20:11] So we really take kind of two different approaches knowing that the different the incident response in information technology, is different than incident response in operational technology. We want the participants to walk away understanding, both of that. Right. And so we, we actually we will train them and several injects throughout the week where they have to they have to look at both environments and really, determine how they're going to respond. Sometimes they don't even know that they have an operational technology environment. And that is very much real life. That is, we will often go into an incident and you think you're dealing with an informational technology and again, just a real quick not trying to insult anybody's intelligence, but information technology is just like you're doing your email. You're surfing the internet. Operational technology is where the kind of, digital world meets the physical world. So think about when you have water, electricity, that sort of thing. And so, so a lot of times we will kind of we'll start them in the information technology, environment and make sure that they understand that side of the house. And then, whether they like it or not, we will put them into the operational technology side and make sure that they have the requisite skills there. And also, and the understanding again, very, opposite end of the spectrum in terms of incident response steps. And then I'll turn it over to the officer in charge of the exercise to kind of take you a little bit deeper into each of our specific exercise.

Col. Jeffrey Fleming [00:21:52] So I've got some blue team folks in the room with me, so I can't completely go into what they might be experiencing when they get back to their keyboards later today, but we'll talk at a high level, to, so once upon a time, we, switched this exercise from being a very adversarial force on force to a very deliberate training environment. So the first day we put them in their network and it's a what we call a purple day. And so what that means is the red team, are pretend bad guys go in and meet up with the blue team, or defenders. And it's a very collaborative effort. On the first day, it's making sure they know that their tools are working. They can gain some confidence in the tools and network so that they're prepared to, grow and learn, because the next couple days are going to be very stressful. So day two, we escalated it in the same way that you would see a real cyber incident go down. We started, or at least historically have started in the information technology systems with, that threat actor and stealing credentials and doing some other menacing things. We also added in, against that, we are starting to see in the environment there was a deepfake that was produced on a range and proliferated around. And so now we're not only training them in the cyber technologies, but what else is going on when there's a cyber incident occurring that they, as the defenders, are going to have to be prepared to identify and manage because it plays into the overall part of it. So that came out. And then yesterday, they, went over to their operational technology environment where that, supply chain attack was carried out, and some other things that are going on. And, as they're about to find out that, as General William spoke about the credential theft, it very much as in real life is that was an access broker threat actor that did the credential theft and found those they may or may not be handing it over to somebody that wants to do some other stuff and things here, to them later in the week. But, that is definitely how we get after it. We use multiple different threat actor groups. There are the stories developed behind them for the the intelligence folks and the actors to have to consider, you know, who is this group? What technologies do they have available? What are their motives so that offenders know what to go after, to defend and where they may find them next? But I'll go ahead and turn it over to to the three blue teamers we have here to see if they want to speak to some of the stuff they've been seeing. Not sure what they all caught. I haven't got their performance reports yet, but yeah.

1st Lt Filip Wozniak - Poland Army [00:24:12] So, in my experience, there is great value here of this work approach when we don't know this matter prior to exercise. And there's different. But, at the end of the day we have a meeting with Red team, which is unique because, in the real life, you cannot be the bad guys. And here we can. At the end of the day, we can meet the bad guys. We can talk to them. We can, you know, speak about what we've seen. And then they, say what they did, actually. So, this is great value in this work approach. And as the Colonel said, while they are working on IT environment, the next day we are working on the OT side. So. We never know what life brings to us. We don't know the scenario. And this is part of the exercise we don't know this scenario, but we are prepared for everything.

Maj Sean Smith [00:25:21] I will summarize by saying we train as we defend in real life. So that comes from both the scenario perspective, which we've talked about, but also a tooling tactics and techniques and team operations perspective. So a lot of the things we use are open source, but we also use closed source tools during this exercise. We have the room organized and set up and operating like a SOC like environment. So that comes with, you know, having to meet new people, meet new partner nations, come together, learn roles and responsibilities, and then, quickly get up to speed and start running down, threat actors and injects that are happening. But, like I said before, it's it's very difficult to train in a scenario like this because it requires a lot of moving parts, a lot of coordination. And Cyber Shield is by far the best exercise that I've ever experienced that accomplished this.

1st Lt Ignas Zilinskas - Lithuanian Army [00:26:21] I can add that, from my perspective, I really like the, different perspective. Many exercises from this that, the blue team, has a target to, to, to lock into kind of shell to isolate the environment from, from the red team. Here the emphasis is on, a situational awareness. The opportunity we have the to attend the training and to learn, additional tools for situational awareness together with the tools that we brought, really, brought our situational awareness, at least in our team, to really high levels. I think, on day one, we were a bit further than the red team, I would expect. But, that wouldn't have been possible with that additional training week. And most probably that wouldn't have been possible with the collaboration with really different, skill sets that we brought, to the team. Thank you.

Christina Mundy - Moderator [00:27:36] Thank you. Anastasia, do you have a follow on question or is that all?

Reporter: Anastasia - Federal News Network [00:27:40] I do, I do. Thank you so much. And could you we kind of touched on it, but could you, highlight some of the lessons learned. What are you going to, what are you going to take out of the exercise?

1st Lt Ignas Zilinskas - Lithuanian Army [00:28:01] I mean, I will bring in quite a few things, but, but maybe one of those is, eliminating or minimizing the, gamification factor where, you don't have to really compete between the teams. Then you really focus on the training, one by one. You put blue teams in, in the situation where they compete against each other. You can win it, but not necessarily. You will learn something new. So that is, one thing on on my side. And then I also liked, the red team transparency, aspect. Usually you wouldn't have, such a detailed walkthrough, and we can map what actually you saw when versus when, those things were actually run by the red team. So this I really appreciate that the whole team appreciate that, most probably those are the two key points that. Oh. And the training itself, the week of the training, that's something also to think about the theme that you want to go through during that exercise.

1st Lt Filip Wozniak - Poland Army [00:29:36] Okay, so I strongly agree with you that it's training brought a lot to us. Also, we are working together in small teams. Actually, we are working to team around those ten in the blue team so we can exchange our experience, exchange what we know, how we use different tools, how, what's our approach? So I will bring this home and spread to my colleagues. What I will start entering these two weeks. So this is, very valuable, in it's. What more can I say? It is really hard to create such exercises when you don't have to compete against each other. It's not about who will win? It is not about the scoreboard. It's about, you know, learning and this transparency from the red team is great, and I would highly recommend creating further exercise that is just learning and exchanging experience.

Maj Sean Smith [00:30:51] So it's surprising to some whenever I say this, but I don't come to Cyber Shield to learn technical things. You know, I come to Cyber Shield to learn how to coordinate a team and to communicate. And that's really what amplifies the power of the individual. So we have a lot of great operators, and my Lithuanian counterpart here is too humble when he speaks. But those guys are top notch. And we are very grateful to have him here. But if any one person is just engrossed in their computer and their keyboard and typing away, it's not nearly as effective as them information sharing with everyone in the room. The fusion centers with everyone abroad and the gathering of information and bringing it back down in actioning it. So I feel it's my job as a leader, and it's also a very critical job to coordinate and communicate and make sure that everyone's operating effectively. And that's primarily what I take away from this exercise.

Brig Gen Teri Williams [00:31:48] And just one quick note before we move on. But, Col Fleming and his team, they do a full assessment for the blue team. So they do get a full assessment of how they performed on what task and that sort of thing. So they get another kind of, mechanism of feedback beyond the kind of the, the ones that they're going through currently.

Christina Mundy - Moderator [00:32:10] Thank you, Anastasia, for asking the questions. And I would like to move on to Kristina from AWPS news. Kristina, just checking to see if you're there from a AWPS news. If your microphone's not working, feel free to put it in the chat.

Reporter: Kristina Anderson - AWPS News [00:32:40] Hi. Thank you for taking my question. So I would like to know a little bit more about, when an incident occurs, how would everyone be called together? Is that one of the things that you drill on also? Thank you.

Brig Gen Teri Williams [00:32:59] So, the scenario that we're using is an active duty, scenario. And what that means is essentially, the National Guard has two missions. They have a federal mission, and then they have a state mission. And, so basically they can do their title ten mission, under the president's authority, or they can do their state mission under the governor's authority. And so for this particular year and this particular exercise, we are exercising their activation under their governors for state active duty. So obviously that is all of the in the 27 different elements out there that that would be kind of individually activated. It could potentially be a national event. We don't necessarily well, at the leadership level, we have those conversations at the level that they're at, they don't see that. It's basically treated as 27 different exercises, if you will. And they're all doing the same scenario. And for the most part, I'm not supposed to talk to each other because they're at different levels. So when I say, not talk to each other, I mean, as a team, they're not supposed to be telling them where things are at in the exercise in case one is slower than or faster than the other. But there are a lot of talk to each other.

Christina Mundy - Moderator [00:34:27] Thank you. Man. Kristina, did you have a follow up question?

Reporter: Kristina Anderson - AWPS News [00:34:33] Well, I was wondering, you know, real life world situations. Would, you be able to come together? Because the focus would be perhaps, in one area, or it might be diffused and, across several geographic areas. Also on maybe it's on infrastructure or maybe it's on something else. So the training I guess, is specific to each of these things. But then would it, would you be able to say, have the same fusion cell structure that comes together to address the need at the time? And, and how quickly is that? Are you able to come together like that? Thank you.

Col. Jeffrey Fleming [00:35:18] So for the for the fusion cell specifically. So it was generally, mentioned when we come under, the authority, the governor, we're coming alongside the rest of the folks and partners in the state. So I know, a lot of them already have those fusion centers in their, emergency management agency, different centers, depending on what they call them. So those just stand up as part of those normal plans, or the National Guards have liaisons already built in, and running tabletop drills for any sort of response that, that those states may face when you're talking specific cyber incidents. That's going to depend on, there's a whole lot of things will go too far into it here. You know, there's 54 different National Guards. So lots of different legal authorities and standing agreements that exist. But, we do rehearse that. And from a call up standpoint, the National Guard has been involved in, defending states against any sort of disaster, whether it's natural or manmade or in between for quite a long time. So, we've got that down and, we just fall right along in cyberspace.

Christina Mundy - Moderator [00:36:24] Thank you, sir, for that answer. I would like to see if, Shih from Taiwan Central News Agency is available. Shih from Taiwan's Central News Agency. Are you on? And again, if your microphone doesn't work, feel free to drop the question in the chat. Give it another minute. Okay. Nothing heard. So I would like to take a moment to offer an opportunity to, Lieutenant Zilinskas and Lieutenant Wozniak both to share any additional experiences with the state partnership programs. Gentlemen, do you have any additional thoughts you'd like to share?

1st Lt Filip Wozniak - Poland Army [00:37:17] Okay. So instead, partnership program. As I said at the beginning, we are for over 30 years in this program and, despite, we're not only training in cyber domain, for example, last month, in May, there were kind of exercises in Poland when but, national guard,  were exercising together with Polish infantry. So, the cooperation between us gives us really a lot.

1st Lt Ignas Zilinskas - Lithuanian Army [00:38:02] Yeah. I can only agree that it is about, collaboration. And I want to link this to blue and red team. It's the same principle. The blue team makes the red team better. Red team makes the blue team better. Same thing with our Pennsylvania friends. We're happy to be here to take part in this exercise. We hosted an exercise, in Lithuania. We always. Welcome Pennsylvania National Guard, the joint that exercise. And by exchanging, experiences, by having these joint events and have them reoccurring. We, are able to, evolve our, competencies in cyber because, you know, cyber landscape is, it's is changing, day by day. So it's important to have these partnerships and I mean, it's also a coincidence that, we meet here with Poland, on the same table on the different continent. This couple of years ago, we were joining, together. We were joint, a joint cyber team in another cyber exercise. So it is about the collaboration. It is, it is the key word, in improving in cyber.

1st Lt Filip Wozniak - Poland Army [00:39:43] And I can continue that in cyber. We don't have really borders. I mean, we touch real things when it comes to a version of technology, but that's why we are working together. Because sound doesn't have borders. So one day we are working in America and next month we can be training in Europe, Poland, Lithuania and other country.

Christina Mundy - Moderator [00:40:17] Thank you. Thank you very much. We actually did hear we received a note from the Taiwan News Agency and his mic was not working. So I'm going to actually ask the question on his behalf. He said I would like to ask if you can tell us the countries that are involved in the exercise. Thank you.

Brig Gen Teri Williams [00:40:36] So I'm going to ask. So we like I said, we do have seven state partner countries and we have three additional countries. But I just ask, if he'll submit that question to the NGB PAO and they'll get us that list of those countries to him.

Christina Mundy - Moderator [00:40:54] Absolutely. Thank you, ma'am.

Brig Gen Teri Williams [00:40:58] Our National Guard Bureau public affairs office? I probably shouldn't talk in acronyms.

Christina Mundy - Moderator [00:41:04] Yes, we can take that to task. And then we have one question from, Jeff from the Voice of America. He wanted to ask to what extent does the exercise address information warfare and influence operations via cyber?

Brig Gen Teri Williams [00:41:23] So as I mentioned we do have we have several index again. But really and Col Fleming talked about it that we have we throw just the, the things that we would expect them to deal with in normal day to day operations. We had a deepfake video, we have social media in the play. So it's really just, the things that we would see, and day to day type things in making sure that they're not just kind of, you know, head in the sand, doing what, worried about ones and zeros. They understand that the rest of the world is going on around them and that they've got to deal with those different aspects. And, we certainly, we stress the, the team leaders, as I mentioned, we throw them in front of a camera and make sure that they're ready for, the media engagements, that sort of thing. So, we, we absolutely have those injects in play, but ultimately, we, you know, we're really over throwing those different distractors at them or really focusing them on getting better at cyber defenders.

Christina Mundy - Moderator [00:42:29] Thank you very much, ma'am. And then as we, wind down on our time. General Williams, I wanted to ask if you have anything that you'd like to leave everyone with regarding Cyber Shield.

Brig Gen Teri Williams [00:42:39] Absolutely. Because I don't want you to think that I am going to leave you that doom and gloom because, as you can see, and I think our partners said it aptly is, it's the ultimate team sport. But when we all come to the table and build that trust and work together. Then we're going to be okay. And so I think that's what Cyber Shield is really demonstrating that, we can all come together. We build that trust, we build an increased capability and skill sets. But really, we'll be okay if we all work together.

Christina Mundy - Moderator [00:43:18] Thank you, ma'am, and thank you to everyone for being here today, and to our panelists for joining us to share all about the great things that Cyber Shield is doing. If anyone has any follow up questions, please send them to the National Guard Bureau Public Affairs Media Operations team, and we will get back with you as soon as possible with an answer. Thank you. And this concludes our media roundtable on Cyber Shield 2024.