The NATO Cooperative Cyber Defense Centre of Excellence (CCDCOE) has selected the Pentagon’s Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) to lead the U.S. team in an annual cybersecurity challenge to enhance the skills of cybersecurity and IT experts. DISA has held this role for three consecutive years.

Locked Shields – the annual exercise organized by CCDCOE – is an intensive test of cyber defense skills integrated into an operational and strategic environment that sets a CCDCOE Red Team cyberattack against 24 cyber-defense joint Blue Teams.

According to DISA, the annual challenge enables cybersecurity and IT experts to enhance their skills in defending IT systems and critical infrastructure under real-time attacks.

In its role leading the U.S. Blue Team, DISA will facilitate and provide training, guidance, and leadership throughout the planning process and execution of the exercise.

This year’s exercise will take place April 17-21. The U.S. team will operate out of the Morgantown Armory in Morgantown, W.Va.

The U.S. team will consist of 120 members from six universities, five National Guard units,  U.S. Cyber Command, Joint Forces Headquarters-Department of Defense Information Network, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Army Network Enterprise Technology Command, U.S. European Command, and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency.

“Participating in Locked Shields 2023 is an excellent opportunity for IT and cyber professionals to hone their skills,” Fred Ruonavar, DISA Mission Assurance chief, said in a press release. Ruonavar also heads up the U.S. team.

“Supporting Locked Shields 2023 will enable participants to experience the full spectrum of cyber operations, how cyber-attacks impact military operations and impact nation-state stabilization,” he added.

Ruonavar also stated that the U.S. Locked Shields team is looking for individuals with cybersecurity skills in IT or operational technologies.

“The team is looking for personnel who possess legal, public affairs, strategic communications, and programmatic skills,” he said, adding that individuals can be either military or civilian.

Any DoD civilians or military personnel interested in participating have until Feb 15 to sign up for the U.S. Blue Team.

Read More About
More Topics
Lisbeth Perez
Lisbeth Perez
Lisbeth Perez is a MeriTalk Senior Technology Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.