AFNIC supports U.S. Cyber Command’s first major tactical cyber exercise

  • Published
  • By Liz Stoeckmann
  • Air Force Network Integration Center
The unique capabilities of the Air Force Network Integration Center recently supported U.S. Cyber Command in conducting its inaugural joint cyberspace training exercise, Cyber Flag 12-1. The exercise was conducted from Oct. 31 through Nov. 4 at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev.

AFNIC's Simulator Training Exercise (SIMTEX) division provided range, battlefield scenario and simulation development during all phases of the planning and execution of Cyber Flag. The SIMTEX team has been providing realistic cyberspace operations training and exercise range capabilities to the Air Force for more than nine years.

"The members of SIMTEX were extremely instrumental in the success of the first-ever joint Cyber Flag exercise that involved cyber security efforts," said Tom May, AFNIC's SIMTEX technical lead.

SIMTEX provides cyberspace operators the ability to train in realistic environments. The operators gain hands-on experience in protecting, defending and fighting in a safe cyber realm without impact to real-world operational networks. SIMTEX is the Air Force's portion of the U.S military's Joint Cyberspace Operations Range (JCOR) consortium.

In support of the U.S. Cyber Command's mission to securely operate and defend DoD networks against all threats, Cyber Flag 12-1 provided realistic training opportunities for a number of Defense Department Commands charged with deterring and, if necessary, defeating a cyber attack against the Department as directed by the President.

"Cyber Flag's unique environment and teaming with other capability providers, expanded our training and exercise capabilities into shaping our vision of how future events can be developed," said May. "Providing a 'real-world' network environment was instrumental to the success of the exercise and the hands-on experience demonstrated what it takes to collaborate with the best units in the Armed Services while defending against a cyber enemy."