training and education

January 1, 2022
By George I. Seffers
A team leader with 1st Battalion, 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment, directs movements of his team using the Harris Leader Radio during an assault on an objective during the initial operating test for the system. The rapid development and fielding of cutting-edge systems help drive the need for agility and adaptability at Army signal and cyber schools.  Nicholas Robertson, U.S. Army Operational Test Command Visual Information Specialist

The U.S. Army’s massive modernization effort requires rapid adaptability in the courses being taught in its cyber and signal schools. Efforts are underway to fundamentally change the approach to teaching and instituting courses for zero trust, cloud computing and other technology advances that will affect the future of combat.

September 1, 2020
By Robert K. Ackerman

Legacy methods and arcane rules are hamstringing U.S. intelligence analysis at a time when it should be innovating. From training, which needs to shift emphasis to more basic skills, to collection and processing, which must branch into nontraditional areas, intelligence must make course corrections to solve inflexibility issues, according to a onetime intelligence official.

July 27, 2020
By Robert K. Ackerman
Credit Shutterstock/JoeZ

Legacy methods and arcane rules are hamstringing U.S. intelligence analysis at a time when it should be innovating. From training, which needs to shift emphasis to more basic skills, to collection and processing, which must branch into nontraditional areas, intelligence must make course corrections to solve inflexibility issues, according to a onetime intelligence official.

July 15, 2020
By George I. Seffers
A U.S. Army specialist tracks and monitors flight hours for an RQ-11 Raven unmanned aerial vehicle. Multiple Army initiatives aim to better attract and retain a talented workforce, including those with technical skills. Credit: U.S. Army

The U.S. Army is implementing new programs aimed at attracting and retaining talented workers, including cyber and other information technology professionals.

The two initiatives fall under a program known as the Army Talent Alignment Program. Both initiatives currently focus on small groups within the officer corps and include pilot programs and prototypical processes that can then be rapidly expanded to the rest of the force.

July 14, 2020
By George I. Seffers
Soldiers stationed at Camp Casey conduct pre-screening processes on individuals awaiting entry to the base in South Korea, Feb. 26, 2020. The Army likely will see permanent changes to tactics, techniques and procedures due to the pandemic, says Lt. Gen. Bruce Crawford, USA, the service’s retiring CIO/G-6. Credit: Sgt. Amber Smith

The U.S. Army will likely see permanent, technology-enabled changes to tactics, techniques and procedures following the COVID-19 pandemic, says Lt. Gen. Bruce Crawford, the service’s retiring chief information officer and G-6.

In a keynote address on the first day of the virtual Army Signal Conference, hosted by AFCEA, the general noted that the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, led to a host of changes to tactics, techniques and procedures (TTPs), as well as legislation and “ways of doing business.” Many of those changes remain in place.

August 9, 2019
By Travis Smith
MITRE’s ATT&CK Framework can be used for cyber defense training even though it wasn’t created for that purpose.  Credit: Stuart Miles/Shutterstock

When government agencies consider the MITRE ATT&CK Framework, most want to better understand and address adversary behavior. When it comes to combating an agency’s debilitating shortage of skilled cyber personnel, most are still looking for effective solutions. But, what if the MITRE ATT&CK Framework is as effective at enhancing cyber defense skills as it is at identifying the adversary’s antics?

December 1, 2017
By Margaret S. Marangione

As the need for new analysts continues to grow, the intelligence community is looking to add millennials, the largest generation in the U.S. work force. These young people—born between about 1980 and 2000—bring a new perspective, but teaching them the necessary skills for analysis must be done differently than it was in even the recent past. Their attitudes and thought processes are vastly different from their predecessors, requiring a new approach to intelligence training and education to make the best use of their abundant skills.

June 1, 2017
By Medha Tare, Ewa Golonka and Martyn Clark
A panoramic camera view shows the room setup before conversations are recorded for REVEAL 360 Degrees, a joint immersive learning research project conducted by the University of Maryland Center for Advanced Study of Language and the university’s Institute for Advanced Computer Studies.

Language study is a national imperative, and the technology shaping it goes as far back as 1877, when Thomas Edison’s phonograph promised to break down geographical barriers to let Chicago learners practice German as it is spoken in Berlin.

Fast-forward 140 years to an era when virtual reality (VR) is transforming language instruction as we know it. Exciting breakthroughs capitalize on the rapidly progressing technology to help deliver critical language and sociocultural content and experiences faster than ever before with fewer resources than full immersion experiences.

May 1, 2017
By Robert K. Ackerman
A U.S. Army captain uses a Nett Warrior end-user device in Afghanistan. A new approach to network training aims to teach soldiers what they need to know at their home station before deployment.

The U.S. Army is strengthening network operations by giving soldiers true ownership responsibilities, according to service officials. A new training effort teaches soldiers the elements of network operation at their home bases before deployment, reducing the need for contractors to provide support in the field. It empowers soldiers to operate networks more efficiently as they assume greater responsibility for the task at the unit level. 

January 1, 2017
By Sandra Jontz
Airmen from the New York Air National Guard’s 152nd Air Operations Group participate in Virtual Flag, a computer war game held in February 2015. The computer hookup let war planners interact with other Air Force units around the United States and in Europe.

War gaming across the U.S. Defense Department has been wasting away over the past few years, atrophied because of rapid technological changes and constrained defense spending, department officials say.

January 1, 2017
By Lt. Gen. Robert M. Shea, USMC (Ret.)

Our next adversary likely will use far more sophisticated technologies against our command, control, communications, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities than the Taliban, al-Qaida and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant have employed. U.S. armed forces will face significant radio jamming, cyber attacks, misinformation, elaborate deception operations and denial of access to radio frequency spectrum. My concern is that some of the military’s best technical capabilities could be unavailable or degraded. To counter this, a renewed effort to double down on mission-oriented training is needed.

November 1, 2015
By Sandra Jontz
Led by Sandia National Laboratories instructors (top row, from l) C.W. Perr and Steve Hurd, students (bottom row, from l) Anuj Kak, Samantha MacIlwaine, Makena Harmon and Evan Laufer participate in hands-on training exercises as part of Sandia’s annual summer Cyber Technologies Academy.

The overwhelming consensus among cyber professionals is that the labor pool significantly lacks qualified experts, let alone the ability to meet demand in the coming years. Hoping to entice new generations to enter the field, government agencies and nonprofit groups are placing added focus and dollars on training youths in computer science and cybersecurity.

April 1, 2015
By George I. Seffers
Maj. Gen. LaWarren Patterson, USA, the U.S. Army Cyber Center of Excellence and Fort Gordon commander, and Col. Jennifer Buckner, USA, Army Cyber School commandant, unveil a sign during a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the school.

The U.S. Army’s newly created cyber school is prepared to accept its first class of second lieutenants this summer followed by enlisted personnel and warrant officers. The historic first class signifies a significant first step toward building the service’s new cyber branch.

Army Secretary John McHugh and Chief of Staff Gen. Raymond Odierno approved the creation of the cyber branch in September 2014 as one of the first official steps in establishing a 17-series career field dedicated to managing the careers and professional development of officers. The remainder of the 17-series career field management program is expected to be implemented by October, with both enlisted and warrant officer career paths.

July 12, 2013
George I. Seffers

Computer Sciences Corp., Falls Church, Va., is being awarded $41,096,308 for modification to previously awarded cost-plus-fixed-fee, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract to exercise an option for information technology support services for Naval Education and Training Professional Development and Technology Center. The Naval Supply Systems Command Fleet Logistics Center, Norfolk, Philadelphia Office, is the contracting activity.