Taking cyber warfare training to new heights

In the first classified-level cyber exercise of its kind, Australian and US military cyber experts joined forces to battle simulated network attacks in Canberra this month.

The ADF-hosted Exercise Cyber Sentinels, a tactical cyberspace operations mission-rehearsal exercise, spearheads innovation into the integrated force training continuum and strengthens partnerships with international allies and partners.

The exercise involved participants battling, strategising and defending cyber assets in an environment that simulates real-world attacks in the cyber domain.

This year was the first time the exercise was planned and held at the classified level.

The exercise was hosted on the Persistent Cyber Training Environment in Australia, with previous exercises hosted by global partners.

More than 90 ADF personnel and 60 personnel from US Fleet Cyber Command and Marine Corps Forces Cyberspace Command participated in the 12-day exercise.

Observers from Canada, New Zealand and the United Kingdom also joined the exercise.

Head Cyber Warfare Major General Ana Duncan said Australia hosting this year’s Exercise Cyber Sentinels was one of Defence’s many initiatives for achieving greater coherence and resilience in cyber operations.

“The Defence Strategic Review identified the need for Defence to enhance its cyber capabilities to deliver the responsiveness and breadth of capability to support ADF operations,” Major General Duncan said.

“This exercise is a perfect example of our efforts in ensuring Australia’s cyber and information operations capabilities are being scaled up and optimised.”

She said opportunities to collaborate with partners were critical to Defence’s preparedness.

“Together, we sought to increase cyber resilience domestically and in the near region through networking, collaboration and development.”

Vice Admiral Craig Clapperton, Commander US Fleet Cyber Command/US TENTH Fleet, said the historice partnership with Australia was critical to Fleet Cyber Command’s enduring advantage in the Pacific.

“Through exercises like Cyber Sentinels, we enhance our readiness and strengthen our vital partnership, working toward our common goal of a safe and secure Indo-Pacific region.”


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