Cyber Superiority The US Navy is facing this challenge head on. Group Editor Marty Kauchak reviews how this service is training its cyber warriors, and examines industry’s efforts to bolster its S&T offerings in this domain.
Unique Training Model
The state of cyber training for this community was pronounced by Captain Kevin Hooley, the Assistant Chief of Staff for Readiness and Training at Navy Cyber Forces (CYBERFOR) “as strong but under constant and continuous discovery, adjustment and refinement.” This is a dynamic training enterprise due to the rapidly evolving tactics, techniques and procedures of individuals, non-state actors, nation states and other organizations that conduct attacks against U.S. systems and networks in this domain. “We have to have the most dynamic training capability that we’ve ever seen in the Navy if we want to pace and optimize ourselves in cyber space,” he emphasized. Hooley’s organization is categorized as a Navy type command – chartered to provide ready forces and equipment in cryptology/signals intelligence, cyber, electronic warfare, information opera-
tions, intelligence, networks, and space. His perspectives provided to MS&T were delivered through the lens of the officers and sailors who operate and defend their networks, and use the networks as a point of analysis and intelligence. These cyber warriors allow the operational commander to more efficiently exercise command and control of forces, and support the interoperability of early warning, tasking and combat systems through networks and the cyber domain. The Navy’s significant commitment to cyber training has resulted in increasing the length of accession training for several groups of front line cyber operators. In one case, the accession level (A) school for the information systems technician (IT) rating has increased from 8 to 19 weeks. Topics in the 11 additional weeks include network and cyber security, and the earning of commercial, professional certifications including A+, Microsoft and others. The commercial
certifications also provide minimal levels of information assurance (IA) skill sets. Concurrently, the service added a new, 18-week, advanced (C) school (Systems Administrator) to be completed after A school. Topics in this new offering include advanced security level training. The Navy has also increased the length of A school (Joint Cyber Analysis Course) for the cryptologic technician network (CTN) rating from 7 to 24 weeks. The additional classroom time provides an overview of rules of engagement, the application of law and other topics at the classified and unclassified levels. The Navy, as the department’s executive agent for the course, enrolls students from the other services and the Department of Homeland Security. This service’s commitment to dramatically increase the classroom training for these ratings comes at a time when