Pennsylvania Army National Guard hones in on cyber defense

In order to further bolster Pennsylvania’s cyber defense strategy, nine soldiers from the Pennsylvania Army National Guard’s Defensive
Cyber Operations Element (DCOE) participated in “Amber Mist,” a cyber defense exercise, alongside Lithuanian counterparts. The annual joint training exercise was held in Lithuania, the
Pennsylvania National Guard’s partner nation.

The exercise began by forming a joint team of cyber defenders comprised
of Pennsylvania Army National Guard and Lithuanian Ministry of Defense
cyber soldiers. Once the team was assembled, they were provided with a
fictitious cyber threat briefing and access to the cyber range. This
cyber range simulated a metropolitan area network with multiple
organizations requiring the team’s assistance. Each day of the exercise,
the team worked to shore up defenses while simultaneously detecting and
mitigating the actions of various threat actors.

Exercises and events like these take place as part of the State
Partnership Program (SPP), which connects a state’s National Guard with
the armed forces of an associated country to build mutually valuable
relationships. Pennsylvania has
been partners with Lithuania for more than 20 years.

“Working side-by-side with our international allies
gives us fresh insights into tools, techniques, and procedures that we
can use to help protect our critical technology infrastructure back in
the U.S.,” said Maj. Christine Pierce, cyber team chief of the DCOE.

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