AFCEA International Chapter News
Updated: 21 min 26 sec ago
At its June luncheon, the chapter welcomed back to San Antonio Maj. Gen. Garrett Yee, USA, acting director of Cybersecurity Directorate, Office of the Chief Information Officer (CIO)/G-6. The general kicked off the event by reviewing the history of the Army and the founding of the Signal Corps, which celebrated its 157th birthday on June 21. The chapter wished the 120-plus attendees a happy 242nd birthday to the U.S. Army with a cake-cutting ceremony that brought the youngest soldier, Spc. Aeryka Jackson, USA, to help Gen. Yee. San Antonio, known as Military City USA, is home to every branch of service and has one of the nation's largest active and retired military populations. "We have tremendous capabilities in San Antonio. Over 20 Army bases have already migrated over to Joint Regional Security Stacks (JRSS), to include Joint Base San Antonio," Gen. Yee said. These types of innovative, consistent improvements will make the network stronger and more effective. "We are continuously working toward modernization," the general explained. The public and private sectors need to work on this together, he added. Gen. Yee also spoke about the importance of cybersecurity awareness and the responsibility everyone has to ensure that networks are protected. The general ended his talk with a video on wounded warriors and their families. "The importance of recognizing them is paramount," he said.
Lt. Gen. Michael Basla, USAF (Ret.), spoke at the June chapter luncheon. Gen. Basla, senior vice president and U.S. Air Force client executive at CACI International, which sponsored the luncheon, praised AFCEA as a professional organization and strongly encouraged nonmembers to join. He made a generous personal donation for anyone at the luncheon to do so. He thanked the local community of soldiers, Defense Department employees, contractors and their families for the sacrifices they make in the fight against U.S. adversaries. Gen. Basla not only presented a history of AFCEA but also explained how collaboration between the government, industry and academia has contributed to more effective methods, technology and weaponry to prosecute the many conflicts the country has faced in the 70 years since AFCEA was established. AFCEA is crucial to the development of technologies, including cyber. Through coursework, training and networking, the brightest and best share ideas and collaborate to keep the nation safe.
Judge Thomas Munley, Lackawanna County Court of Common Pleas, delivered the keynote address at the Tobyhanna Army Depot luncheon celebrating the Army's 242nd birthday in June. "I was not going to miss this opportunity to come to Tobyhanna, no matter what," said Munley, who told a packed house that he is very thankful for veterans and the U.S. military. More than 130 people attended the event. Munley began his career as a social studies teacher. After his first year of teaching, he was called to serve the U.S. Army in the Vietnam War. Upon his return, he learned that his teaching position had been filled. The principal told him, "If you want your job back, sue us." At that moment, he knew he wanted to go to law school and dedicate his life to serving veterans. The benefits of the GI Bill helped him achieve this goal. "I'm proud to have spent the last 40 years thinking of and working for veterans," Munley said. "All a veteran wants is for us to say, 'Thank you for your service.'" Munley hosts the daily "Veterans Views" segment on Eyewitness News, serving Scranton, Pennsylvania.
The chapter hosted its annual Spring Gala dinner dance and silent auction in May at the Boston Marriott Burlington in Burlington, Massachusetts, to benefit its Education Foundation. The evening included a live feed of the Kentucky Derby, with guests rooting for their favorites, followed by dinner, dancing and a silent auction to raise money for chapter scholarships. Kate Stowe, chair of the gala planning committee, welcomed guests and announced winners of the auction. Bud Vazquez, AFCEA regional vice president for New England-upstate New York, joined Kim Cranson, chapter president, Young AFCEANs, in honoring two chapter winners of the prestigious Young AFCEA 40 Under 40 Award given by AFCEA International to 40 Young AFCEANs for their significant contributions in a science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM) field. Winners were MITRE's Dan Walters and MIT Lincoln Laboratory's Dr. Vijay Gadepally.
The chapter played host to a "Raspberry Pi" contest in June that saw the final five student teams reaching for the gold. Each team was tasked to design an innovative idea by programming an open source microcomputer. The competition was staggering and included a robotic prosthetic hand; a thumbprint-operated lock system; an American Sign Language to brail translator; a smart traffic system; and educational word- and image-recognition software. The students worked exceedingly hard and engineered spectacular products. The judges deliberated long and hard to ensure they recognized the most deserving team. The runner-up teams included "Pi-Traffic," with Ridge Barney, Matthew Pollmiller and Scott Rustenhaven, and "Robotic Hand," with Ken Robinson, Mai Brown, Jose Feliciano and Chris Gray. Team "Talky Blocky" (Noah Bresler, Austin Brindowski and Julia Nakamoto) took home the bronze and three UE Boom 2 speakers. Second place went to Team "DATA" (David Miller, Amanda Agustin, Theresa Boulos, Andrew Agustin), along with four Samsung Gear S3 smart watches. The grand prize, including three Microsoft Surface Pro tablets with Kensington headphones, went to Team "FNGR (Fingerprint Network Graphic Repository)," which included Vincent Povilaitis, Tristan Bueler and Sam Donovan.
The finals of the Czech National High School Cyber Security Competition organized by the Czech Cyber Security Working Group and a number of government, academic and professional organizations ended in June at the International Defense and Security Technologies Fair in Brno, Czech Republic. Twenty-nine students from 17 secondary schools took part in the finals. The students competed both as individuals and randomly selected teams, and solved real-life security scenarios and hacker roles. Apart from other tasks, they analyzed network communication and searched for vulnerabilities in a web application, or tried to break a complex cypher. The winner was Jakub Smejkal, a student from the Secondary School of Informatics and Communications in Brno who earned 118 points. He was closely followed by Jiri Kucera, a student from the Otokar Brezina Secondary and Vocational School in Telc, and Krystof Macek, also from the Secondary School of Informatics and Communications in Brno. The Secondary School of Informatics and Communications has become the most successful school of the national finals. Four out of five of their students have ranked among the first 15 finalists and have thus qualified for the preparatory training camp to be held at the Masaryk University in Brno (KYPO), and seven students will then qualify for the European Finals in the Spanish city of Malaga in late October or early November this year. During the competition, the students and their teachers had the chance to meet many professionals in cybersecurity. They could also visit the University of Defense, the Cyber Polygon of Masaryk University in Brno, forensic labs of Brno Technical University and listen to presentations from the competition. The best students received valuable prizes donated for the competition by event partners. The organizers also recognized the best school and the teachers of the finalists. The second annual edition of the competition will begin in September. Please visit www.kybersoutez.cz for more information.
The chapter held a luncheon in May with speaker Lt. Gen. Ronnie Hawkins Jr., USAF (Ret.), at Shaw Air Force Base. He spoke about cybersecurity and the demands of training required to prepare airmen to live, fight and win in a cyber world. Gen. Hawkins was the first commander of the Joint Force Headquarters-Department of Defense Information Networks, serving commanders, U.S. Cyber Command and the Department of Defense Chief Information Officer. Now president of the Hawkins Group, a service-disabled, veteran-owned business, he provides clients solutions for cybersecurity, strategic planning, risk management and leadership development. The general is an internationally respected subject matter expert on leadership, strategic planning, cybersecurity, information technologies, military matters and Christian discipleship development. He serves on the board of directors and advisers of several corporations and organizations and is the director of Ezra Vision Ministries, which conducts short-term mission trips to Haiti.
Gary Sparks, instructor at Metropolitan Community College (MCC), Omaha, Nebraska, spoke with the chapter in May about becoming a cyber Center of Academic Excellence (CAE). First, Sparks talked about how he watched and participated in Exercise Cyber Shield 17 at Camp Williams, Utah. The event improves cyber acuity and teaches many lessons. Sparks then explained that CAEs receive their designation from the National Security Agency after in-depth assessments ensuring that they meet rigorous requirements. The goal of the CAE program is to reduce vulnerability by promoting higher education and research in cyber defense and producing professionals with this expertise for the nation. Sparks elaborated on the differences between two-year institutions and four-year institutions. He commented on the CAE application process and how MCC has been approved as a cybersecurity facility. In concluding, Sparks pointed out that MCC's two-year degree articulates well to four-year schools.
The chapter hosted the Cybersecurity Forum 2017 in May, in partnership with IDC Portugal for the sixth consecutive year. Speakers included national and international experts in cybersecurity. This years event, "Digital Security: a pervasive threat vector for economic, competitive and criminal subversion," was held at the auditorium of the Military University Institute (IUM) in Lisbon. The objective of the forum was analyzing how national organizations must rethink their strategies of information security and risk management, a realitythat of digital transformationthat is increasingly at the top of the organizations' priorities. The key factor is the ability to harness information security as a facilitator for digital transformation The event was attended by more than 250 representatives of institutional organizations, armed and security forces, industry and entities from the scientific and technological systems community.
In May, the chapters Women In Intelligence Group (WIIG) book club met to discuss Dr. Lois Frankels Nice Girls Don't Get the Corner Office. The discussion centered on specific steps to achieving further success at work through astute networking, communication and mentorship. The WIIG book club has met since 2007 to address the challenges and issues women leaders face in the government, military and industry communities. The group is inspired through sharing career experiences and meets regularly to discuss books on business, career development and technology.
In May, the chapter hosted its annual Education Foundation luncheon to recognize and reward 12 outstanding students from the Montgomery, Alabama, River Region. The luncheon took place in conjunction with the chapter's annual information technology conference, the Montgomery Information Technology Summit (MITS), at the Renaissance Montgomery Hotel and Spa at the Convention Center in Montgomery. The luncheon drew a full house from industry, government and military. Charisse Stokes, director of the chapter's Education Foundation, presided over the luncheon with the assistance of Senior Master Sgt. Neil Stewart, USAF, chapter vice president. The chapter was honored to have Richard Aldridge, program executive officer for Business and Enterprise Systems, Maxwell Air Force Base, Gunter Annex, Alabama, not only attend the luncheon but also assist in handing out awards during the ceremony. The chapter awarded $15,000 in scholarships as part of its High School Information Technology Summer Internship Program. Six deserving graduating high school seniors were each awarded a $2,500 scholarship, a new Dell laptop computer and a 10-week summer internship with an information technology company valued at $3,500. Array, IndraSoft, ICS, SJ Technologies and eSA are all corporate sponsors providing internships to students. The six recipients were Bryce Staves and Hunter Wingard from Wetumpka High School; Adam Bristol and Nicholas Homsher from Montgomery Catholic Preparatory School; Ashley Wells from Lee High School; and Charles Deuter from Hooper Academy. As part of its Education for Industry Scholarship Program, the chapter also recognized six rising college seniors who are majoring in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) degree programs at local universities by providing them each a $5,000 scholarship. The scholarship recipients are Tawana Fuller and Nicholas Edwards of Alabama State University; Brittany Phillips and Jonathan McNulty of Auburn University at Montgomery; and Kaiya Sykes and Daniel Thornton of Troy University Montgomery. Earlier in the week, the chapter hosted its annual golf tournament at Wynlakes Golf and Country Club. The event raised more than $140,000 in sponsorships and donations. The funds directly support the chapter's Education Foundation efforts by providing STEM-related grants, scholarships and other monetary support to local students in financial need. The chapter congratulates the award winners and thanks IBM, the Education Foundation annual luncheon corporate sponsor for the fifth consecutive year. The chapter also extends sincere thanks to all corporate sponsors that donated generously to support the Education Foundation's efforts and enabled the chapter to have the privilege of providing grants, scholarships and support to hard-working students and local educational institutions.
In May, the chapter hosted the 24th annual Montgomery Information Technology Summit (MITS) at the Renaissance Montgomery Hotel and Spa at the Convention Center in Montgomery, Alabama. The theme of this year's summit was "Accelerating Data-Driven Decisions." Chapter President Brian Knott and Cynthia Crews, MITS 2017 government liaison and chief of contracting for Business and Enterprise Systems, Maxwell-Gunter Annex, opened the conference, and Montgomery Mayor Todd Strange extended a welcome. The conference featured an assortment of presentations from a variety of speakers, including Richard Aldridge, program executive officer, Business and Enterprise Systems (PEO/BES), Maxwell-Gunter Annex, Alabama; Maj. Gen. Cedric George, USAF, deputy director of resource integration and logistics chief information officer (CIO), Deputy Chief of Staff for Logistics, Engineering and Force Protection, Headquarters U.S. Air Force; Lt. Gen. Ronald Burgess Jr., USA (Ret.), Auburn University's senior counsel for research security and Cyber Initiative; William Marion, deputy chief, information dominance, and deputy CIO; Mokhtar Chaker, vice president of information technology, DHL Supply Chain; Col. John Bedingfield, USAF, C3I Infrastructure Division, Hanscom Air Force Base, Massachusetts; Walker Royce, author, consultant and software economist, Silverthread; and Tanya Lambert, deputy director command, control, communications, intelligence and networks (C3I&N), Air Force Life Cycle Management Center (AFLCMC), Hanscom Air Force Base. MITS also included three panel discussions. The first panel's topic was "Objectives for AF Data-Driven Business Enterprise." Gen. George moderated the panel, which included John Koski, director of information systems and technology for the SAF/FM CIO, and Col. Kjall Gopaul, USAF, deputy director, Air Force Personnel Operations Activity. The second panel's topic was "Data-Driven Technology Solutions." Toy Robinson, BES director of engineering, acted as moderator of the panel including Alison Laporte-Oshiro, IBM Watson Government Solutions; David Williams, Microsoft; Thomas Brazil, chief digital officer, Integrated Computer Solutions Inc.; Jon Mitchell, CEO, Illumination Works; and Aaron Cornfeld, group vice president, Oracle. The third panel discussed "Mining Legacy Systems for Data, Process, Metrics." The moderator was Dr. Joe Besselman, an independent information technology consultant, and the panelists were Dr. Dan Sturtevant, CEO and founder of Silverthread; Dr. Forrest Shull, Software Engineering Institute; and Marc Jones, CAST Software. MITS attendees also were invited to the chapter's annual Education Foundation luncheon. At the luncheon, 12 hard-working students from the River Region were recognized for their achievements with more than $45,000 in scholarships and internship opportunities at local information technology companies.
The chapter's spring 2017 meeting was held in May at the Middle East Technical University Alumni Association's Vişnelik Facility. Past President Yalcin Onyuruand Col. I. Bora Buyukoner, TUA (Ret.), current board of directors, and Young AFCEANs attended the meeting to discuss the chapters future activities.
The chapter hosted eight veterans from the Austin and Houston areas for a Texas Spokes Sports Car Club autocross event in May in Austin as part of its first outreach effort with VETMotorsports. A unique nonprofit, VETMotorsports recruits veterans, embeds them with professional racing teams or puts them behind the wheel to race themselves, and covers all expenses for them and a caregiver to take part in the experience. Were very excited to support and be associated with VETMotorsports, said Chapter Chairman of the Wounded Warrior and Military Family Endowment Fund Committee Jeff Kendall. We had a fantastic first event together in Austin. The vets we sponsored had a great time learning how to use memory retention, responding to adrenaline proactively and enjoying some military-to-civilian integration. Were grateful to VETMotorsports for all they do to support our veterans and look forward to many more events like this one. By placing veterans in hands-on, high-stress, team environments that mimic active duty, the organization gives them direction, empowerment and challenges that help them focus on ability and moving forward rather than disability and the past. Our goal is to make the veterans we serve part of a new team and give them a new mission, said VETMotorsports Founder and Executive Director Peter Cline. AFCEAs investment is going to go a long way in helping us do that.
Patrick Marr, chapter 2nd vice president, welcomed guests to a speaker series luncheon in May at the Doubletree Bedford Glen Hotel, Bedford, MA. Gen. Robin Rand, USAF, commander, Air Force Global Strike Command, who is responsible for organizing, training and equipping the nations ballistic missile and bomber forces and command of over 33,700 personnel, enthralled a packed audience of government and industry representatives with a discussion about the challenges and opportunities of the 21st century, focusing on the countrys strategic capabilities. Following Gen. Rands captivating address, Marr presented the chapters AFCEAN of the Quarter Award to Maj. Matthew Speed, USAF, for his outstanding support helping to organize and successfully execute the chapters recent annual ROTC scholarship awards luncheon.
The chapter awarded $40,000 in scholarships-its biggest total yet-and $5,000 in grants to educators at its annual scholarship and grants awards banquet in May. Lance Litteken, chapter vice president of scholarships and grants, presided as master of ceremonies for the event at the Bellecourt Manor in Belleville, Illinois. Scholarships ranging from $1,000 to $5,000 each were awarded to 16 exceptional high school seniors and college students pursuing degrees in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines. A panel independently reviewed and rated students' applications and then ranked them according to their consolidated scores. Award amounts were determined based on these rankings. Scholarship recipients and their respective colleges include Anna Bartz, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University; Meghan Bibb, Baylor University; Joey Black, Valparaiso University; Paul Carter, the University of South Carolina; Connor Flack, the University of Tulsa; Amanda Grither, the University of Kentucky; Alex Isaak, the University of Alabama; Ibrahim Javaid, Saint Louis University; Trever Johnson, Saint Louis University; Emma Knight, Southeast Missouri State University; Brady Kunz, Illinois State University; Olivia Martin, Washington University in St. Louis; Taylor Mateyka, the University of Wisconsin-Madison; William Richards, Purdue University; Tejas Sekhar, Northwestern University; and Joy Shaffer, Andersen University. Four local educators also received STEM grants to support programs with their organizations. Martin, a chapter scholarship winner this year and last, was the evening's guest speaker. Martin described how the STEM scholarship has helped as she pursues her dream in obtaining a biochemical engineering degree. She also offered advice to high school students getting ready to transition to college. At the banquet, several local AFCEANs of the Month were recognized as well as AFCEA International's and the chapter's Small Businessperson of the Year, Connie Robben. Washington University of St. Louis and Saint Louis University sponsored the event.
Breaking down silos across intelligence typologies is key to successfully providing worldwide intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) to our military. This collaborative effort was stressed by Col. James Cluff, USAF, 25th Air Force vice commander, Joint Base San Antonio, at the chapter's May luncheon. "We must harmonize intelligence across the spectrum to get the right information at the right time, to the right decision maker," he said. Col. Cluff provided examples of critical times when varied members of the intelligence teamanalysts, advanced researchers, service members and linguists alikeworked together seamlessly to quickly collect, analyze, interpret and disseminate data key to decision making during operations on the ground. He explained how his team obtains national tactical integration from the signal intelligence (SIGINT) system and provides it to deployed tactical warfighters and air operations centers worldwide. Discussing the challenges of daily operations, the colonel said he looked forward to future updates on the IT platform used to fuse and share intelligence information as it is being communicated in real time, stating that there is significant room for growth toward a more innovative platform reflective of 21st-century capabilities. He also highlighted the growing importance of evaluating "How do we train analytical rigor? How do we train critical thinking?" Col. Cluff stressed that analysts must be trained not only to identify and report information but also to interpret and seek to understand the event itself and motivation behind it.
First Lt. Rachel Szall, USAF, presided as master of ceremonies over the joint AFCEA Lexington-Concord and Association of Old Crows (AOC) Patriots' Roost, an annual ROTC scholarship luncheon held in April in Bedford, Massachusetts. The event recognized 42 of the most outstanding AFCEA and AOC ROTC cadets and midshipmen from across northern New England with $1,000 science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) scholarships. Brig. Gen. Jack Hammond, USA (Ret.), executive director, Red Sox Foundation and Massachusetts General Home Base Program, delivered an inspirational address on military service and leadership. Col. Stephen Brooks, USAF, chapter vice president, ROTC affairs, presented $21,000 in scholarships. Gen. Hammond then joined Col. Brooks in presenting the Gen. Bernard Schriever Award, which carries an additional $1,000 scholarship, to Tessa Winkel of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the top cadet among her peers. Col. Brooks and Pat Dagle, AOC director of scholarships, presented tokens of appreciation to Gen. Hammond, and Lt. Szall gave special thanks to Col. Brooks and the other volunteers for orchestrating the event. In all, a total of $44,000 in AFCEA and AOC STEM scholarships was presented. Chapter ROTC award winners included: Army Cadet Yan Agudelo, MIT; Air Force Cadet Jacob Bryant, Worcester Polytechnic Institute; Army Cadet Nathan Caso, Worcester Polytechnic Institute; Army Cadet Jacqueline Corcoran, Northeastern University; Navy Midshipman Sean Courtney, Norwich University; Air Force Cadet Brianna Croteau, University of Massachusetts, Lowell; Army Cadet John Geenty, University of Massachusetts, Amherst; Army Cadet Ryan Hoffman, Boston University; Navy Midshipman Zachary Litwin, Boston University; Army Cadet Jacob Remick, University of New Hampshire; Air Force Cadet Jeffrey Schafer, University of New Hampshire; Air Force Cadet Maria Trejo, Norwich University; Army Cadet Kiana Whitney, University of Vermont; Air Force Cadet Tessa Winkel, MIT. Unable to attend: Navy Midshipman Kirstin Anderson, MIT; Air Force Cadet Austin Currier, University of Massachusetts, Amherst; Navy Midshipman Gabriela De Peralta, College of the Holy Cross; Army Cadet Justin Puckett, Boston University; Navy Midshipman John Ramsey, Maine Maritime Academy; Army Cadet Evan Shortsleeve, Norwich University; Air Force Cadet Michael Zaniboni, Boston University.
The chapter's May luncheon focused on the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), with a panel discussion led by John Gilligan. Gilligan is the chairman and interim CEO of the Center for Internet Security. Panelists included Randi Kieffer, deputy director of the National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center, Cyber Threat Detection and Analysis, (DHS NCCIC); Michael Smith, executive director, DHS Office of Selective Acquisitions; and Paul Morris, chief information security officer (CISO) and executive director, Information Assurance and Cyber Security Division, Office of Information Technology, Transportation Security Administration (TSA). The luncheon recognized Young AFCEAN Kaitlin Bulavinetz of the Meyers Group. Bulavinetz is a frequent volunteer and chair of the chapter's Social Media Team. She is energetic and enthusiastic. The chapter's SUPERNOVA was Wendi Hawk of LookingGlass Cyber Solutions. Hawk is a longtime member and a supporter of chapter luncheons and created the first blog for luncheons.
At the chapter's May lunch, attendees said their heartfelt goodbyes to Capt. Matthew Streett, USAF, 86th Airlift Wing chaplain, as he continues on his military journey. Capt. Streett has moved many with his technology-driven invocations and will truly be missed. The chapter then had the opportunity to learn about the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) from Lt. Col. Matthew Taylor, USAF. The agency includes nearly 6,000 civilian employees; more than 1,500 active-duty military personnel from the Army, Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps; and approximately 7,500 defense contractors. DISA's mission in Europe is to provide, operate, maintain and defend the Department of Defense Information Network (DODIN), ensuring the success of enterprise solutions and capabilities while executing unified command and control (C2) throughout the full spectrum of operations supporting U.S. European Command, U.S. Africa Command and other partners. This is achieved through theater, operational and programmatic engagement. DISA enterprise services focuses on cyber security, networking, computing, mobility and enterprise.