JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas -- (Editor's note: Due to the sensitivity of the Air Force cybersecurity mission, the last names of personnel referenced in this article have been removed.)
In a conference room littered with tables, chairs, extension cords and caffeinated beverages, 66 cyberspace professionals sat, eyes glued to their laptops. The room was quiet and focused, minus the steady tapping of computer keys and the hum of music overhead.
This was the setting of the 67th Cyberspace Wing’s annual weapons competition, which ran March 5-10, 2018, in San Antonio, Texas.
The competition provided a place to further each participant’s knowledge and experience in offensive and defensive cyberspace operations, explained Capt. Daryl, 26th Operations Support Squadron, Wing Weapons and Tactics chief.
Daryl, along with Mr. Irand, 26th OSS Wing Weapons and Tactics deputy flight commander, and Tech. Sgt. Andrew, 26th OSS Wing Weapons and Tactics NCO in charge, directed the event.
Competitors gathered to showcase their skills, earn bragging rights and have their name etched on the competition trophy. First, second and third place winners were named in individual, mixed team and unit categories. To gain points to victory, participants controlled and operated targets within a virtual environment, such as file and mail servers.
“We wanted them to see what would happen if, say, someone took over our e-mail server,” said Daryl. “We had some top-tier cyberspace operators here this week, all helping one another become better.”
The competition, previously named “Cyber Nexus,” was last held in 2012 when the 67th CW was still the 67th Network Warfare Wing.
“Col. [Bradley] Pyburn, [67th CW commander], wanted to make this happen again,” said Irand. “He made it one of his and the wing’s priorities, and wanted us to make it fun.”
Pyburn had only compliments for the competition and competitors.
“In cyber, our most capable, powerful and lethal weapon is not hardware or software—it’s our people,” Pyburn said. “This weapons competition was all about the carbon element: sharpening our tradecraft, raising our collective game and having fun, and I think we nailed it.”
The team’s aim is to include the 67th CW’s sister wing, the 688th Cyberspace Wing, in next year’s competition.
The individual winners are:
First place – Staff Sgt. Ryan, 315th Cyberspace Operations Squadron, Detachment 3
Second place – Lt. John, 352nd Cyberspace Operations Squadron
Third place – Capt. Travis, 91st Cyberspace Operations Squadron
The mixed team winners are:
The team winners are:
First place – 1st Lt. Kevin, 33rd Network Warfare Squadron, Master Sgt. Trevor, 561st Network Operations Squadron, Tech Sgt. Benjamin, 315th COS, Tech. Sgt. Alexander, 390th Cyberspace Operations Squadron, and Tech Sgt. Louis, 691st Cyberspace Operations Squadron
Second place – 1st Lt. Anthony, 390th COS, Staff Sgt. Jonathan, 83rd Network Operations Squadron, Staff Sgt. Fiona, 315th COS, Staff Sgt. Reid, 691st COS, and Senior Airman Mihai, 68th Network Warfare Squadron
Third place – 1st Lt. Chad, 691st COS, Tech Sgt. Jonathan, 315th COS, Tech. Sgt. Zachary, 390th COS, Senior Airman Jacob, 68th NWS, and Airman 1st Class Patrick, 690th COS
First place – 390th COS, Capt. Paul, Capt. Jordan, 1st Lt. Anthony, Tech. Sgt. Alexander, Tech. Sgt. Zachary
Second place – 33rd NWS, 1st Lt. Kevin, Tech. Sgt. Jonathan, Staff Sgt. Dalton, Staff Sgt. Brady, Staff Sgt. Joshua
Third place – 315th COS, 1st Lt. Brian, Master Sgt. Wesley, Tech. Sgt. Jonathan, Tech. Sgt. Benjamin, Staff Sgt. Fiona