By William B. King, 5th Signal Command Public AffairsJuly 29, 2015
WIESBADEN, Germany (July 29, 2015) -- More than 140 cyber, communications and intelligence professionals from across Europe and as far away as Hawaii gathered in Wiesbaden for the Cyber Summit 2015, July 27-29.
The summit was hosted by U.S. Army Europe, or USAREUR, G6 with the theme "Cyber Strong Keeps Europe Strong."
"The goal of the summit was to bring together the cybersecurity workforce to share interoperability best practices from U.S., NATO allies and the corporate world," said Dan Hingtgen, one of the summit's organizers from USAREUR G6 Cybersecurity Division. "Interoperability is all the different forms of media and communications, including cyber."
He said in addition to the presentations and hands-on lab demonstrations, attendees also gained valuable insight through partnership, team building and networking events and opportunities at the summit.
Col. Jimmy L. Hall Jr., USAREUR chief information officer/G6, welcomed the attendees and defined the overall theme for the summit - how to protect critical networks and infrastructure, but still achieve interoperability with allies in the cyber domain.
"We must figure out a way to collaborate, to share information," Hall said.
Brig. Gen. Markus Laubenthal, USAREUR chief of staff, said NATO and Europe is in desperate need of a common communications and cyber defense network.
"Enabling the alliance means also protecting your network. Cyber defense, network defense is one of the most important parts of interoperability," Laubenthal said.
One of the first presenters at the summit was Col. Ray Adams, U.S. European Command, or EUCOM, J6 deputy director, who spoke on the topic of "theater cyber strategy." He said EUCOM uses a continuous, vigilant vulnerability identification process, including working with partners and allies.
"There is no one better to work with you and determine what your threats are than your coalition partners," Adams said.
Attendees hailed from several allied and partner nations, including Romania, Estonia, Ukraine, Poland and Germany.
Josh Knisley, an attendee from U.S. Pacific Command, or PACOM, in Hawaii, said PACOM faces similar interoperability challenges. He said just as in Europe, PACOM leaders believe that should they be called to fight, they won't fight alone but rather as part of a coalition.
"It's important to connect with countries and leverage other people's work. That [coalition] is the fight of the future, and we have to plan for it," Knisley said.
5th Signal Command's mission is to build, operate and defend network capabilities to enable mission command and create tactical, operational, and strategic flexibility for Army, Joint and Multinational forces in the EUCOM and AFRICOM areas of responsibility.