Cyber Quest 2017 helping Fort Gordon with cyber-security efforts

FORT GORDON, Ga. (WJBF) — There’s a lot happening at Fort Gordon, especially with the United States Army Cyber Center of Excellence.

“Whether you’re industry, academia or you’re the Department of Defense, we’re all in need of securing and defending our networks,” Maj. Gen. John B. Morrison, Jr. said.

Cyber-security is a priority for Fort Gordon and that’s why military leaders created Cyber Quest.

It’s an event to explore cyber and electronic warfare.

“This was the first time that we’ve actually assessed electronic warfare capabilities here at Fort Gordon, ” Morrison, Jr. said.

Cyber Quest 2017 has 27 private companies with 40 different technological capabilities.

The multi-week exercise allows dozens of soldiers to use the new equipment.

“This kind of rapid prototyping by having capabilities in the hands of soldiers is great, not only for the U.S. Army and the Joint Force, but it’s also great for our industry partners because it allows them to sit there and take immediate soldier feedback and improve their capabilities,” Morrison, Jr. said.

The soldiers also take part in real-time war scenarios and react to attacks as if they’re really happening.

“These are things that would be utilized to defend our networks and provide an operational edge for us to not only detect new attacks against our network, but also remediate those attacks in a rapid fashion,” Lt. Col. Stephen Roberts said.

Roberts says the military’s operation is changing a lot from how it was in Afghanistan and Iraq, and that’s because of the ongoing cyber threat from our enemies.

“Cyber space today is not going to be what cyber space is tomorrow, so by teaming with industry and academia, one of the things that we really get is what’s in the art of the possible?” Morrison, Jr. added.

Fort Gordon leaders say the U.S. Army is probably behind when it comes to cyber-security, but Cyber Quest is a way to change that.

“Boy it is a wicked tough challenge because even today, the amounts of data that are flowing off of any network or inside the electromagnetic spectrum, on any given day, is a whole bunch,” Morrison, Jr. said.

Cyber Quest 2017 will wrap up Friday, then Fort Gordon leaders will review the exercise within the next 60 to 90 days.

Planning for Cyber Quest 2018 is already underway.

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