Nouvelle page 1
‘Cyber Flag’ Exercise Tests
From a U.S. Cyber Command News Release.
Fort George G. Meade, Maryland – (DoD
News) – November 12, 2014 – Joint and coalition cyberspace forces completed
Cyber Flag 15-1, a cyberspace force-on-force training exercise fusing attack and
defense across the full spectrum of military operations in a closed network
environment, at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, Nov. 7, U.S. Cyber Command
officials reported today.
As Cybercom’s premier exercise, Cyber Flag 15-1 evaluated
growing cyberspace capabilities within the Cyber Mission Force and joint
headquarters elements, advancing Cybercom commander and National Security Agency
and Central Security Service director, Navy Adm. Michael Rogers’ vision of
operationalizing and fully integrating cyberspace operations into other military
planning and operations.
Rogers has often emphasized that the Department of Defense
must build operational capacity in cyberspace to generate military options for
senior military leaders and decision makers. He has stressed that the U.S.
cannot wait until a cyberspace crisis affects the nation or DoD’s ability to
conduct military operations to develop partnerships, generate cyber capacity and
capability, and ensure coordination processes are in place for national or
Cyber Defense is Team Effort
“Cyber is a team effort, and given the resource constraints
and capacity shortfalls, we need to partner in a way that optimizes operational
outcomes. This exercise is an incredible opportunity to strengthen our
relationships with critical partners,” said Rogers, noting that relationships
are the key to success in the cyberspace domain.
The four main exercise objectives were to:
-- execute joint and coalition cyberspace operations that
were fully integrated with other combatant command air, land and sea operations;
-- identify, prioritize and defend key cyber terrain against
imminent or observed threats;
-- operate in a denied, manipulated or contested cyber
-- rehearse how a coalition will conduct command and control
of cyberspace forces at the tactical and operational levels in response to a
The exercise has evolved each year since its inception in
2011 by incorporating more participants from across DoD, other federal agencies,
and allies in more sophisticated, realistic scenarios against opposing forces.
This year’s scenario, devised by exercise planners, involved a simulated
Combined Joint Task Force response to a notional regional crisis involving
fictional state and non-state actors conducting significant activity in
Exercise Features Multiple Players
Teams from the Cyber Mission Force participated in the
exercise, including the Cyber National Mission Force, which is responsible for,
when ordered, the defense of U.S. critical infrastructure against sophisticated
cyberattacks of significance to national security; the Cyber Combat Mission
Force, which supports combatant commander requirements around the world; and the
Cyber Protection Force, which is responsible for the defense of DoD information
networks. Teams from allied nations brought comparable forces and capabilities,
and integrated with U.S. joint forces into the coalition environment.
The exercise took place on a specially-constructed closed
network designed to simulate the DoD and allied information networks and
adversary networks. The event also featured an expert opposing force, which
takes on the role of the adversary, using a range of tactics and weapons to
provide a realistic training environment.
The opposing force simulated a range of cyberspace threat
actors, testing the readiness and dynamic response capability of the CMF teams.
Throughout the exercise, senior leadership stressed the importance of being able
to continue military operations in denied or contested environments, fighting
through degraded networks to achieve military objectives.
“The U.S. and allied participants dedicated a remarkable
level of effort to participate in Cyber Flag 15-1,” said Coast Guard Rear Adm.
Kevin Lunday, Cybercom’s director of exercises and training. “The coalition
exercise environment was vital to generating insights into how to achieve
military objectives by conducting operations in and through cyberspace. We will
use the lessons identified here to improve joint training, tactics and readiness
of the Cyber Mission Force as we continue to build capability and capacity.”
Cyber Flag is a critical exercise for DoD, but not all CMF
personnel, teams or staff are able to participate in training events like Cyber
Flag, said Lunday. A persistent training environment would meet a growing and
urgent need for small team events as well as supplement individual training,
incorporating physical locations for on-site or distributed training with live
networks. A PTE would include a progressive and evolving curriculum tailored to
individual and team-level training to complement larger exercises like Cyber
Flag that focus on command and control and incorporating cyberspace into
In addition to testing command and control and meeting the
other objectives, the exercise provided the opportunity for CMF teams, Joint
Force Headquarters-Cyber for military services and Cyber National Mission Force
Headquarters to demonstrate proficiency in mission tasks established in joint
standards by U.S. Cyber Command.
Exercise Provides Tremendous Value
"Cyber Flag provided tremendous value for both the cyber
mission teams and their headquarters staff,” said Army Brig. Gen. Paul Nakasone,
commander of the Cyber National Mission Force. “It allowed the teams to
practice, build upon, and validate their individual and collective skill sets.
Likewise, it exercised headquarters staff elements to integrate and synchronize
their command-and-control and planning responsibilities.”
Nakasone continued, “Cyber Flag also reaffirmed our need for
a persistent training environment -- a world-class facility for on-location or
distributed training that includes a ‘hot’ [live] network, an active and
dedicated opposing forceadversary, and skilled assessors."
Through large training events and exercises like Cyber Flag,
or smaller events that could be made possible through a persistent training
environment, officials said DoD is learning how to better integrate operations
in cyberspace with other domains, how to better defend DoD networks from attack,
and how reliance on networks and technology creates both opportunity and
vulnerability for the U.S. and allies.
“The purpose of a military exercise is to learn,” Rogers told
participants. “Push the envelope, experiment, and take advantage of this
opportunity by embracing controlled failure for the learning potential it has.”
U.S. Cyber Command
Special Report: U.S. Cyber Command
The Defense Department on Facebook
The Defense Department on Twitter
DoD News on Facebook
DoD News on Twitter
DoD News Broadcast Channel