SPAWAR Reserve Program takes first cyber battlefield watch
by Ensign David Tarasi, Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command Public Affairs
FORT WORTH, Texas (NNS) -- Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command Reserve Program (SRP) conducted joint training for CompTIA Security Plus certification May 27-31, addressing mission-critical certifications of service members within the Information Dominance Corps.
The training was held at the Navy Operational Support Center at Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base (NAS JRB), Fort Worth.
The five-day course, designed to align service members across all branches with the required certifications outlined in the Department of Defense Directive 8570, specifically provides Reservists with access to necessary and highly-specific training at a fraction of the cost compared to the Active Component (AC).
"This course really helps us get our workforce certified and trained in concert with their active component brethren," said Senior Chief Information Systems Technician Ramon Cuevas, N7 senior enlisted advisor for Commander Information Dominance Corps Reserve Command.
Highly-qualified instructors, composed entirely of drilling Reservists working on Annual Training orders, spent each class day directing students through the challenging course, highlighting such topics as operational security, threats and vulnerabilities, as well as discussing strategies and tactics to those who are charged with standing on the front lines of the constantly evolving cyber battlefield. At the end of the course, Reservists needed to pass a rigorous, comprehensive exam in order to achieve certification. All 11 students passed the test.
Focusing on the "bottom line," Director of Training (N7), Shawn L. Smith, explained the necessity to always take "the approach that best serves the mission" first. Stressing fiscal re-sponsibility and the welfare of every Sailor, Smith recognized early that Reserve Component (RC) service members, already providing certification training to AC units, could be optimally utilized by serving as instructors to RC commands as well, reducing costs for the DOD across the board. By exercising this cost-effective tactic, Smith believes the Navy is getting "the most bang for our training buck."
As outlined in his Navigation Plan for 2013-2017, Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan Greenert expressly stated the Navy's intention to "fully exploit cyberspace and the electro-magnetic spectrum as war fighting domains." This mission directly calls upon highly trained, operationally ready ITs to "defend our computer networks, sustain information assurance, devel-op network operations technology, as well as educate the next generation of cyber operators."
By implementing this new, stream-lined training model, SRP aims to coordinate its training mis-sion with the objectives set forth by the CNO, concentrating on delivering top-quality instruction to future cyber war-fighters, equipped with the skillset to maintain sustainable deterrence throughout the cyber world.
Figuring out better ways to utilize ITs throughout the RC and developing a more capable ready response force is at the center of what Capt. Andrew Caldera, deputy commander, Information Dominance Corps Reserve Command sees his office supporting.
"The Reserves' role, first and foremost, is to be a strategic capability, ready to deploy forward, whenever needed," said Caldera.
Caldera's efforts are in harmony with the goals of Capt. Paul Costello, director, SPAWAR Reserve Program, in affording all RC Sailors the same, high-quality training as their AC counterparts. By mindfully streamlining training budget needs and creating new channels to get more Sailors in the pipeline to operate forward, SPAWAR has struck the fine balance of "doing more with less," Costello said.
Along with cost-effectiveness, "our amazing Sailors have a wide range of expertise and easily fill the role of subject matter experts capable of supporting the fleet anytime and anywhere," said Costello, recognizing the value added breadth and depth RC service members bring to the SRP and Navy.
In this turbulent economic and global-security landscape, cyber defense stands on the forefront of deterrence. Maintaining a fully qualified and fiscally manageable force is at the core of what SPAWAR Reserve Program and the Information Dominance Corps Reserve Command training are directly aimed at producing.