By Laura Levering, Fort Gordon Public Affairs OfficeMay 16, 2014
FORT GORDON, Ga. (May 16, 2014) - The General Dynamics C4 Systems LandWarNet School has an addition that offers signal personnel the latest in cyber training technology.
Referred to as the Cyber Operations Training Environment, the site provides an opportunity to train top to bottom network connectivity from the strategic level down to the user. It has the ability to conduct cyber network offense and cyber network defensive operations by delivering injects such as denial of service attacks, malware, and viruses causing defensive actions.
Unlike other sites on Fort Gordon, the training is conducted using real equipment on a closed network. It's a way of keeping in line with the Army Learning Model of applying knowledge with a hands-on approach.
"You experience it instead of just talking about it. There's a big difference," said Jim Stanton, Cyber Office training lead, LWNS.
The COTE consists of equipment used to represent a deployment using the "GAAT" (Georgia Armenia-Azerbaijan-Turkey) scenario, although Stanton said it can be tailored to meet other training requests and requirements. Content from actual websites are loaded into servers and used to simulate pages including the Department of the State, Army Knowledge Online and other sites of interest to the cyber community.
The most important aspect of the COTE is training signal troops on how to respond to cyber attacks without jeopardizing security so they will know what to do in the event of a real life situation.
"We have a facility capable of training all levels without consequences or any retribution," Stanton said. "We learn from it, talk about it, and walk out of here wiser."
In an era where countries depend heavily on technology, having highly trained cyber troops is critical to a nation's security. Lou Nagel, COTE instructor, recalled the Russia-Georgia cyber war in 2008, in which Russia launched a logic bomb against Georgia. The attack was a reminder of how detrimental technology can be when potential attacks are not thwarted.
"If you take down a nation's networking connectivity information collaboration capabilities, it's almost like they're dead in the water," Nagel said. "The fight can almost be won before a shot is fired."
As tactics, techniques and procedures change, the COTE changes with them. COTE instructors are open to implementing scenarios requested by leadership and encourage leadership to take advantage of the facility.
" We want everyone to be properly equipped so that they know what they're doing is right," Stanton said.
For information about training opportunities, contact Stanton at (706) 814-8059 or firstname.lastname@example.org.