Signal soldiers and airmen with the Guam National Guard are learning to defend the nation’s defense network and systems against threats in the cyber domain during this year’s CyberShield 2020.

Cyber Shield 2020 is an unclassified defensively focused tactical cyber exercise conducted virtually by the Army National Guard with assistance from the Air National Guard, Navy, Army Reserve and industry partners. 

"The intent of Cyber Shield is to provide a collective training event for defensive cyber operations," said Maj. Sameer Puri, Washington Army National Guard director of information management. "It provides a collective training event for cyber forces to set the conditions for evaluation against Army/joint standards, network defense, forensic analysis, reporting, mitigation and incident response."

This is the 10th year Cyber Shield has taken place and is part of the National Guard's ongoing effort to improve the Guard's ability to respond to real-world cyber incidents.

"Cyber shield allows our citizen-soldiers to cross-train and collaborate, improving proficiency in all areas of the cybersecurity domain, and the best part of the exercise is building technical skills and fostering relations," said Capt. JoJohn Quinata, the team's battle captain for the Cyber Shield exercise.

Maj. Bumjin Park, of the Guam National Guard, said there are 11 cyber protection teams in Army National Guard currently with more teams being built.

Park said one of the strategic goals of Maj. Gen. Esther Aguigui, the Adjutant General of the Guam National Guard, is to establish a cyber network defense team for the Guam Guard.

Park recently graduated from the 2020 Army Cyber Operations Officer Course in Fort Gordon, Georgia. He graduated at the top of his class.

“Cybersecurity is one of the highest-demand and highest-paid jobs, in both the public and private sectors,” Park said. “My best advice is for anyone interested in computers to start pursuing a degree, or at least get hands-on experience in the IT realm. It is also critical to earn the industry certifications offered by (CompTIA, Cisco, SANS, Kali Linux) to practice your skillset and land a meaningful career.”

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