ANNUAL REPORT 2013
Above: With cyber terrorism already a significant danger to U.S. security, cyber warriors from NPS are poised to be the future leaders of the Fifth Domain. Rght above and below: From globe-spanning multiplayer online war games leveraging the internet to interdisciplinary cyber-related research, future operations will require leaders who understand how to defend our networks and how to employ cyber capabilities to ensure an advantage in future operations.
STEPPING ONTO THE BINARY BATTLEFIELD
It is common knowledge that technology evolves with a quickness that is challenging to match. Add to this race the complexity of warfare in the Fifth Domain, and the critical nature of cyber begins to take shape.
The Naval Postgraduate School has spent a lifetime mastering the application of rapidly advancing technologies, keeping a keen eye on the benefit to the warrior. Advanced simulations for training scenarios are still in use today?—?but are old news around this campus. Heads-up virtual reality displays and futuristic-looking, hand-held controllers aren’t on the desks of today’s students, rather they collect dust in historical lockers as the tools of the past.
NPS’ master’s degree program in cyber systems and operations (CSO) continues on its own lightning-fast path of evolution throughout 2013. Officers from across the services continue funneling through the CSO curriculum. Student research also pours through the program through countless theses in network vulnerability, intrusion, detection, subversion and every other digital form of warfare we have thus far.
But NPS also began building the next line of leadership for the Navy’s 10th Fleet, when the first cohort of senior enlisted students graduated this past June of 2013 from the applied cyber operations degree program, and the next group of first class and chief petty officers has already begun their own journey through the program. As their education and leadership will be critical to junior information dominance Sailors entering the fleet, these students will continue to be of high value following their studies at NPS.
Developing the leadership cadre at both the officer and senior enlisted levels will certainly provide a ready force for cyber decision makers. But students at NPS haven’t stopped envisioning what their impact on their discipline could be.
Army Capt. Joe Billingsley continues an effort he started in 2013 to further develop a Military Cyber Professionals Association, where likeminded cyber warriors can collaborate and collectively evolve their skillsets. And Navy Lt. Jerry Wyrick performed his degree research on the development of a junior Sailor training package that provides new information dominance Sailors a compressed yet robust training program.
While each of these education and research programs is unique in many aspects, the essential goal of all of these efforts is to prepare a comprehensive cyber workforce. And no matter how quickly the technology they have to use changes, they foundation of the education that prepared them with provide the knowledge on how to move ahead.
"We are an integral part of the development of the Navy’s cyber warfare capability. We will be leading junior sailors in the Navy’s cyberwar efforts?…?The opportunity to come here and get some advanced training is a big deal for us."
INFORMATION SYSTEMS TECHNICIAN
1ST CLASS THOMAS SKOFF