Kansas National Guardsmen participated in Cyber Shield 2023, the nation’s premiere unclassified cyber training exercise, June 2-16 at the Army National Guard Professional Education Center, Camp Joseph T. Robinson Maneuver Training Center, North Little Rock, Arkansas. The exercise involved more than 800 National Guard Soldiers, Airmen, U.S. Navy sailors, civilian experts, and other military services from throughout the nation and across the globe. It also included interagency partners from all levels of government and cyber leaders ranging from high-tech corporations to local utilities.
The focus of the exercise was on the National Guard’s role in responding to an attack on critical infrastructure of U.S. transportation systems.
The mission of Cyber Shield was to develop, train and exercise cyber forces in computer network internal defensive measures and cyber incident response. These capabilities facilitate National Guard Cyber Teams’ abilities to coordinate, train and assist federal, state and industry network owners threatened by cyberattack. The exercise was conducted at the unclassified level to allow greater participation.
This year marked a significant milestone as members from five State Partnership Programs joined forces with National Guard Cyber Teams for the first time during the exercise. The collaborative efforts brought together Armenia and Kansas; Poland and Illinois; Kosovo and Iowa; and Moldova and North Carolina.
Kansas has been partnered with Armenia through the State Partnership Program since June 2003. This year marks the 20th anniversary of that partnership.
"The Kansas Defensive Cyberspace Operations Element team was thrilled to partner with our Armenian partners for the Cyber Shield 2023 exercise,” said Capt. Matthew Sevcik, team lead. “Discussing tactics and techniques in the realm of cyber with our Armenian counterparts helps inform our team's capabilities and strengthen the partnership.”
Photo Cutline: Kansas National Guard and some of their State Partnership Partners from the Armenian Armed Forces pose for a group photo in front of the Minuteman Statue at the Professional Education Center in Little Rock, Arkansas, June 12, 2023. Approximately 800 National Guard and Army Reserve Soldiers, Airmen, sailors, and civilian cyber professionals from around the world gathered during this year’s Cyber Shield Training exercise. More than 36 states and territories participated in the event that marked a significant milestone as members from five State Partnership Programs joined forces with the National Guard cyber teams for the event. (Photo by Cpl. Dasianelle Burton)
Back row, Left to Right: Sgt. James Pennington, Sgt. Johnathon Lenfestey, Sgt. Seth Hinkle, Sgt. 1st Class Andrew Sampson, Chief Warrant Officer 3 Jared Meier, Col. Aram Gevorgyan (Head of Cybersecurity, Armenia), Master Sgt. Jeremy Armstrong, Capt. Matthew Sevcik.
Front row, Left to Right: Sgt. James Tyrell, Cpl. Desirea Smith, Capt. Angela Stevens, Chief Warrant Officer 4 Scott Sackrider, Maj. Misha Asatryan (Chief of Cybersecurity Division Armenia), Capt. Aram Maggakyan (Cybersecurity Ddivision Armenia), Senior Lt. Albert Avetisyan (Cybersecurity Division Armenia), Gevorg Hayrapetyan (interpreter Armenia).
Not pictured: Maj. Benjamin Gruver, Sgt. Maj. Jeremy Byers, Sgt Ruth Williams.