U.S. Army Europe Soldiers beef up on cyber security during exercise Combined Endeavor 2011

Sept. 13, 2011

U.S. Army Europe Public Affairs

U.S. Army Europe

Photo credit: U.S. Army

2nd Lt. John Tidwell, platoon leader with the 72nd Expeditionary Signal Bn., coordinates with a Ukrainian soldier to test the video teleconference system to ensure compatibility and reliability during exercise Combined Endeavor 2011.

HEIDELBERG, Germany -- Safety and security are a top priority for nations around the world and that priority includes protection of cyber networks and systems.

As part of the U.S. European Command led, U.S. Army Europe supported exercise Combined Endeavor 2011 held at the Joint Multinational Training Center in Grafenwoehr, Germany nations from around the world have the opportunity to discuss just that.

Cyber Endeavor 2011 is a cyber security collaboration, familiarization and engagement program designed to strengthen partner nation cyber defense capabilities through seminars, events and exercises. This exchange of ideas builds cyber defense partnerships with NATO, partner nations, academia and industry.

“This is really an event that brings people from a lot of different facets together to work on best practices and collaborate on cyber defense,” said William Poole, U.S. European Command cyber engagements branch. “I really hope that participants take away a much better understanding of cyber defense, of how to implement cyber defense and why, and to let them know they have an avenue for assistance if they need it.”

Participants also have an idea of what they would like to take away from this event.

“I hope to bring back to USAREUR a better understanding for myself of everything that goes into cyber,” said Chief Warrant Officer 4 Garth Hahn, U.S. Army Europe G6 spectrum and satellite communications branch chief. “I’ve got some background, but I hope to bolster that with more information and participate more fully in the planning for operations and contingencies that we do as a USAREUR staff when it comes to cyber and making sure that our networks are defended.”

This year, over 30 of the 40 nations present for Combined Endeavor, decided to send representation to Cyber Endeavor.

“We have many different nations here and many different experience levels within IT,” Hahn said. “For example, a gentleman from Turkey had some great comments today, things that I hadn’t thought of before, so that was interesting. Cyber Endeavor is certainly a very mutually beneficial event for all nations involved.”

Last year Cyber Endeavor offered only a management track, this year in keeping with the operational direction of Combined Endeavor, there is also a technical track.

“If you look at Cyber Endeavor, this is about building partnerships, building bridges and this is part of that construction,” said Chief Warrant Officer 2 James Henry, information assurance manager for the 7th Theater Tactical Signal Bde. “As NATO countries, we are together all over the world working side by side and it really helps when we are all on the same sheet of music so we can relate to each other about network security or cyber security and that’s exactly what we are doing here. This event is phenomenal.”