by Tech. Sgt. Stephen J. Collier
310th Space Wing Public Affairs
2/7/2014 - SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- The
Air Force Reserve's 14th Test Squadron was featured side by side with
leading cyber and information-technology companies and organizations
Feb. 5, during the annual Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association CYBPERSPACE Symposium in Colorado Springs, Colo.
The 14th Test Squadron,
a Total Force Integration outfit associated with the active duty 17th
TS, has showcased its mission of operational testing and evaluation of
IT components at the symposium since 2009. For five years, AF Reserve
Maj. Marc Weber said the squadron has showcased its commitment to
"blue-team testing" of Department of Defense components.
"At AFCEA, we have the opportunity to show how our job in the 14th TS is
about cyber security," the squadron's technical director said. "We get
to see if anybody has issues with their IT configuration, ensuring it's
done right. Our demonstration is a simple way to show that if something
is not configured correctly, like a WPA encryption, then it can be
WPA, or Wi-Fi Protected Access, is a type of web encryption used in wireless Internet and routers to ensure secure access.
The squadron showcased the use of a "Cantenna," an amateur device that,
when pieced together with other off-the-shelf electronics, can connect
with Wi-Fi signals sometimes blocks away. Squadron members also
showcased their ability to determine vulnerabilities with existing
wireless routers owned by other 14th TS members.
Fred Mooney, the symposium's chairman and retired AF colonel, said that
in today's era of budget cuts within the federal government, not a lot
of interaction goes on between government and industry partners. His aim
for AFCEA is to bridge that gap.
"When you think about cyber and IT, this symposium is really an
opportunity to keep up with what industry is doing and leverage it,"
Mooney said. "We bring government and industry together in an ethical
forum. When it comes to IT, there are synergies to be had. You can
automate things, you can integrate better or even make up for the loss
of manpower. It really is a beneficial forum for the entire Department
Mooney pointed out the CYBERPSACE symposium will continue to grow during the next five years.
"Even though the government has pushed away from conferences, ours grew
in 2013. While others are scaling back, ours is growing," he said.
"There is a growing dependence on IT and cyber to do all our missions
and it will only have an increasing role. We're getting this symposium
through these tough budget years and we're doing everything we can to
keep it alive. As all our missions depend more on these capabilities,
we'll be ready."
The symposium, which garnered more than 12,000 visitors and was held at the Broadmoor Hotel, included guest speakers Gen. William Shelton, commander of Air Force Space Command; Army Maj. Gen. Alan Lynn, Defense Information Systems Agency vice director and Jeffrey Allen,
AFSPC's director of logistics, installations and mission support. Each
speaker focused on cyber operations and training and the future impact
of cyber in warfare.