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  • Soldiers will experiment with a range of cyber, electronic warfare and signal technologies during Cyber Quest 2017.  (Photo courtesy CCoE Public Affairs)
     Soldiers will experiment with a range of cyber, electronic warfare and signal technologies during Cyber Quest 2017. (Photo courtesy CCoE Public Affairs)

Army's Cyber Quest Focuses on Industry Input

The Cyber Edge
June 2, 2017
By Sandra Jontz
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The annual 26-day event runs through June 30 at Fort Gordon, Georgia.

The U.S. Army is adjusting its cyber aperture a bit, refocusing attention from developing in-house talent to seeing what the commercial world has to offer. On Monday, an Army branch launches its annual Cyber Quest 2017 event, a multiweek exercise in cyber and electronic warfare (EW) exploration and collaboration hosted by the Army Cyber Center of Excellence (CCoE) at Fort Gordon, Georgia. 

The intent of this year’s event is to provide external vendors the opportunity to demonstrate innovative solutions and integrate capabilities within Army systems.

“Cyber Quest is the Army’s initial investment to help our U.S. Army’s Training and Doctrine Command capability managers in the definition of requirements, validation of concepts and identification of quick turnaround acquisition opportunities,” Lt. Col. Stephen Roberts, USA, cyber branch chief of the CCoE Cyber Battle Lab, said in a statement. He also is the lead project officer for the annual experiment.

The 26-day event runs through June 30. Army officials will have their sights set on many cyber and EW technologies, such as nearly silent tactical radios with direction-finding capabilities and the ability to prevent enemies from detecting or disrupting friendly force communications, Col. Roberts said.

Officials also will be looking for industry solutions that help address the challenge of data overload that confronts battlefield commanders. “We need to get more efficient at dealing with big data problems while driving data analytics and artificial intelligence into the tactical space to help commanders make better decisions with the enormous volumes of data they are presented with,” Col. Roberts said.

The CCoE is tasked with modernizing the Army’s cyberspace operations, integrating signals with EW capabilities and establishing the signal and cyber schools. It also has partnered with the Intelligence Center of Excellence (ICoE) for institutional intelligence support to cyberspace operations. 

On a broader scope, the Army created a directorate dedicated to providing the big-picture planning for integrating cyber with signals, intelligence and EW operations nearly a year ago. The directorate also will issue guidance to sharpen cyber offensive and defensive skills at the tactical edge. The directorate issues authorities, policies and resource requirements that enable Army Cyber Command and other major commands to defend networks, data, weapon systems and infrastructure.

“Events like Cyber Quest are absolutely critical as we develop, experiment and validate electromagnetic spectrum and cyber capabilities and concepts in an ever-changing operational domain,” Maj. Gen. John Morrison Jr., USA, commanding general of the CCoE and Fort Gordon, said in a statement. “We must leverage venues like Cyber Quest to continue to learn, adapt and evolve to meet today’s and tomorrow’s threats.”

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