P3 News

High-Velocity Learning Key To Expanding The Advantage

Story by Kelley Stirling on 05/21/2018

Jim Smerchansky, executive director for NAVSEA, opened the HVL summit held at Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC), Carderock Division in West Bethesda, Maryland, May 15-16. NAVSEA Commander Vice Adm. Thomas Moore closed the event, which brought representatives of NAVSEA commands together to discuss HVL tools, successes and opportunities.

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Event Stresses Importance Of Teamwork In Tackling Mental Health Issues

Story by Paul Levesque on 05/21/2018

That's the message sent out at a training event that took place here May 17 at Heritage Hall. The event, titled "Our Story of Survival," was held to mark Mental Health Awareness Month.

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Two New York City Soldiers Win Army National Guard Northeast Region Best Warrior Event

Story by SSG Michael Davis on 05/21/2018

Spc. Ilya Titov and Sgt. Quentin Davis earned the Soldier and non-commissioned officer honors for National Guard Soldiers in the northeast.

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Natural Resource Management Benefits Spill Over Into Recreation

Story by Trisha Dorsey on 05/21/2018

"Through natural resource management, we work to improve the land which benefits recreation activities as part of our environmental stewardship program and the Corps overall mission," says Lora Vacca, Smithville Lake operation project manager. "We wear many hats and support many initiatives, but a main practice that coincides with recreation is natural resource management. We work to maintain thousands of acres of public lands and water for the benefit of both the public and fish and wildlife."

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Lower-Enlisted It Expert Takes Lead At Cyber Shield 18

Story by SSG Chad Menegay on 05/19/2018
A shadow warrior's face, lit by Liquid Crystal Displays with Light Emitting Diode backlighting, remains inscrutable to the public eye.
Unknown, unsung, he targets enemy and hostile adversaries via integrated and synchronized cyberspace operations, the fifth dimension of warfare.
He works on a handful of computers simultaneously, conducting cyber opposing force support, network warfare activities and cyberspace intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance. He provides mission command to network warfare teams, cyber analysis teams and cyber support teams, offering operational direction and guidance in the conduct of cyberspace operations.
He is Spc. David Igou, an information technology specialist for the 144th Cyber Warfare Company out of Fairfax, Va., and he is a self-proclaimed typical nerd.
He stands about 6 foot, weighs about 180 pounds, with dark hair, thick eyebrows and freckles.
"His eyes shift around as he's talking," said Sgt. 1st Class Jeff Pullen, Igou's platoon sergeant and co-worker. "Like any good Linux guy he's got his quirks."
Igou is currently an infrastructure consultant at Red Hat, a software development company based out of Raleigh, N.C.
Pullen helped him land the job.
"I ended up referring him to my company, Red Hat, because he's a smart guy," Pullen said. "He was hired, not so much because of my referral, but because of his own credentials. "He showed a lot of talent with development and Linux systems, which in this field not a lot of guys have, so he kind of stood out," Pullen said.
Igou, 25, has worked in the industry 10 years.
In eighth grade, Igou built his own computer lab, setting up servers, just because he enjoyed it.
"It was the only thing I could do well," Igou said.
One of the things Igou has done well for the 144th is build a lab, a virtualization platform for the unit, a structure for his unit to be able build servers, virtual ranges.
"We've practiced on it to get ready for Cyber Shield 18," Pullen said. "He built an environment with lots of different servers using old hardware we had lying around and re-commissioned it back into something working. He worked after regular drill hours late into the night putting it together," Pullen said.
It's that kind of selfless service, in putting the unit's needs first that sets Igou apart, Pullen said.
"I was able to use a piece of technology from my civilian job, apply those skills for my unit, and give my unit a leg-up on training," Igou said.
Of course, he hasn't always been leading training activities; he's long been a student of his craft.
Computer classes became his forte in high school, and he carried that on to a computer science degree from Virginia Commonwealth University.
Igou decided to join the military while in college.
What he loved about basic training was that it was "hard-coded" and "static," he said.
"You didn't have to worry about what might happen; it was all laid out for you," Igou said.
Things are not always so easily laid out in information technology.
"Technically, there's something people talk about in IT called idiot syndrome, where because technology is so wild and emerging every day, that you're going to see something that you've never seen before," Igou said. "It's always really painful right when you first see it because you're like, Oh, crap, I don't know any of this.' So, there's always a moment, and everyone in IT has it, when you just doubt your entire career. IT can be overwhelming"
Igou, a humble, sometimes self-deprecating IT authority, claims he has this moment often.
"My company will fly me across the country to go to this customer's site, be this resident expert on a piece of technology, and help them integrate it into their infrastructure," Igou said. "There's always a time when I think, I cannot believe that there are enough people in this world that have enough faith in me that I can do this.'"
It's not only in the private sector, though, that Igou engenders such faith.
"He's one of those dependable guys I can go to with technical tasks, Pullen said. "He'll figure it out whether or not he knows it," Pullen said.
This faith in his ability runs to the top of his unit's chain of command.
"He's the example of what the National Guard brings to the Cyber fight because he's an E-4, a bachelor's degree in computer science, and there's a lot he brings to the 144th from that perspective," said Capt. Anthony Stephens, commander of the 144th.
Igou's expertise is highly useful, in part, because his unit was just recently established as a cyber warfare unit, and, in part, because his unit is the first cyber warfare unit in the country. Everything the unit is does is groundbreaking.
At Cyber Shield 18, the 144th and Igou are acting as Oppositional Forces (OPFOR), and engaging in criminal activity, trying to disrupt the infrastructure of Blue Cell.
Cyber Shield is designed to train National Guard members from across the United States on cyber protection, network defense, forensic analysis, tactics, techniques and procedures defense against cyber attacks, hackers, or other malign actors. The exercise is a culminating training event that supports the National Guard's defensive cyberspace operations missions to defend Department of Defense assets by conducting cyber command readiness inspections and critical infrastructure vulnerability assessments.
"Igou has taught the whole OPFOR how to use some of the tools and develop tactics that we've used here," Stephens said.
Members of the 144th have not worked as red team before, so while all the tools and tactics might not be entirely new, the way they've been used here at Cyber Shield 18 has been new.
"We're trying to challenge ourselves because we're the first to do it [to stand up as a Cyber Warfare Company]," Igou said.
Igou said the 144th is part of an effort to prevent a cyber 9/11 in the United States.
Igou's Cyber Warfare Company has soldiers with varied skill sets and backgrounds, a team of specialized shadow warriors.
"My biggest skill set that I use here is probably IT infrastructure," Igou said. "In Cyber Warfare, reconnaissance for me is a lot easier and faster because I can kind of fill in a lot of blanks right off the bat. You know, I think, I've seen this at work.' The role reservists in Cyber Warfare really play is, say, a private company or private utilities provider is attacked by an adversary, and they call in the National Guard. People in the National Guard do this 28 days a month, whereas an active component probably wouldn't have as much diversity in experience. Every day of the week when I'm not in this uniform, I'm in real companies and infrastructures that are candidates for attack.
"It's like if you want to break into a building, and you want to plan that attack, find somebody who builds secure buildings for a living," Igou said.
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Cyber Shield 18 Culminates In Exercise Week

Story by SSG Chad Menegay on 05/19/2018
Members of the Army National Guard, Air National Guard, Army Reserve and partner civilian agencies carried out mock cyber attacks in a Red Cell versus Blue Cell exercise as part of Cyber Shield 18 at Camp Atterbury, Ind., May 14-18.
Cyber Shield 18 is a Army National Guard event with over 800 participants that begins with a week of classroom preparation and culminates in Exercise Week, scenario-based cyber role-playing. This is the seventh iteration of Cyber Shield, which began in 2012 and trains cyber warriors of the Army National Guard, Air National Guard and Army Reserve, as well as civilians who work in law enforcement, intelligence and information technologies.
"Cyber Shield is real," said Lt. Col. Brad Rhodes, commander of Cyber Protection Team 174 for the Colorado Army National Guard, and the Deputy Officer-In-Charge for Cyber Shield 18. "It's about as real as it gets for these defenders, and it gets them that realism, so they can take that back and actually perform in an incident response in a credible manner."
During Exercise Week, the mock scenario featured a private sector, contracted infrastructure partner in the transportation industry, whose network systems were infiltrated by hacktivists. The partner needed to call in the National Guard to mitigate the risk and improve their networks.
Red Cell members acted as enemy or hostile adversary hackers to challenge and push the limits of the Blue Cell's cyber warriors.
"Red cell worked as a thinking OPFOR (Opposition Force), moving through the network, exploiting the vulnerabilities of the network, stealing data just like in real life, and trying to break stuff,"
Blue Cell members worked to defend their infrastructure against the Red Cell's attacks.
"Our blue team members are our defensive cyber operations elements, our network defenders: Cyber Protection Teams and our Reserve Partners who are Army Reserve Elements," Rhodes said. "If you've seen the data breaches that are going on in the world today, that's what they're seeing, data exfiltration. They've snuck in the back door that was unlocked; they've rifled through the safe. They've found the key documents they needed with the private information on it. They steal those documents, go back out that back door, and post that information online."
Gold Cell members coach and mentor the Blue Cell, and White Cell members evaluate the Blue Cell's performance.
"As we get toward the end of the week, we see the teams every day get more and more done, take the tools that they learned, do research, and figure out new ways to catch the bad guys. Now the teams are at the point where they are catching OPFOR on their networks. They're starting to see the patterns. We throw a lot of data at them. We try to get them to know what they're looking for, so they can catch the bad guys quicker."
Military personnel work closely with interagency partners and the private sector to strengthen network cyber security and capabilities to support local responses to cyber incidents in the exercise.
Cyber warriors from civilian agencies and military units with varied skill sets and levels of experience shared their knowledge freely with one another.
"I've met a lot of people with unique skill sets," Air Force Master Sgt. Matthew Dill, lead administrator with the Ohio National Guard's 269th Combat Communications Squadron. "I've gotten a lot of tools from other organizations, such as the F.B.I. and other states. The training here was fantastic, so when I get back I plan to integrate some of the Standard Operating Procedures into my units."
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'hard As Nails' Ohio Guard Member Plays For All-Army Rugby Team

Story by SSG Chad Menegay on 05/18/2018

"Balancing the Guard, the sport that I'm on scholarship for and school, which I'm taking 19 credit hours right now, gets hectic, but it makes me push harder. I feel like I will be successful because I'm used to being busy," Forro said.

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Military Firefighter Heritage Foundation Hosts Annual Firefighter Ball

Story by A1C Seraiah Hines on 05/18/2018

The mission of the MFHF is to preserve the heritage of the military firefighter, to honor those who have fallen in the line of duty, and to support through financial and other means, the immediate family members of those who have fallen.

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Distinguished Visitors Visit Cyber Shield 18

Story by SPC Michael Hunnisett on 05/18/2018

Over 200 distinguished visitors observed the exercise, attended informational briefings and a forum to discuss emerging topics of cyber security. The forum covered multiple topics, which include preparing the National Guard and Reserve to fill evolving roles in the new and challenging cyber landscape.

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Stuttgart Volunteers Offered A Stampede' Of Service In 2017

Story by Kevin S. Abel on 05/18/2018

Col. Neal A. Corson, USAG Stuttgart commander, paid tribute to the integral role that volunteers play throughout the garrison. "Without volunteers, this community would not run; they are integral to everything we do," said Corson, noting their contributions in areas ranging from schools and private organizations to the garrison Directorate of Human Resources. "I appreciate every single one of them and all of you here who will be recognized today."

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Why I Serve: Soldier Aims For Every Infantry Badge

Story by SSG David Overson on 05/18/2018

Bryant, 20, enlisted in the Army roughly two months after graduating high school in 2016 for no other reason than, it seemed like the right decision at the time,' he said. By the time he made it through basic training, he already knew that decision would change his life forever.

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Small Chapel Team Praised As Best In Air Force For 2017

Story by SSgt Alex Montes on 05/17/2018

With a long list of accomplishments throughout the year, this team of five, along with several Airmen by Leadership and Example, or ABLE, Airmen, has put in the time and effort to care for and strengthen the spiritual pillar of the 70th ISRW's human weapon system. Not just at Fort Meade, but at all of the wing's Geographically Separated Units around the world.

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Nswc Dahlgren Division Releases Its Economic And Intellectual Impact Findings

This year's study also analyzes how the command's role as a Working Capital Fund Activity influences its operations, products, and services, and by extension its customers, sponsors and the wider community.

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