AUGUSTA, Ga. - If you attended the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association's TechNet Augusta 2016 you inevitably heard the U.S. Army and industry partners emphasize Army Warfighting Challenge 7, the need for the Army to conduct space and cyber electromagnetic, or CEMA, operations and maintain communications.The Army Warfighting Challenge 7 drove the focus of both the Army's Cyber Blitz and Cyber Quest led by the U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center, or CERDEC, and the Army's Cyber Center of Excellence respectively, according to organization representatives at AFCEA TechNet Augusta 2016 in Augusta, Georgia August 2."Data at the edge is ever increasing. The need to synthesize that data into information and decision support is also ever expanding. The reality of pulling all of that data back to the core across limited tactical networks is not feasible," said Maj. Steve Roberts, Cyber Branch chief at the Cyber Center of Excellence Cyber Battle Lab. "The real challenge is to push data analysis to the edge and then harvesting useful and timely decision support output from it to the echelons above.""We dealt with some of those challenges and lessons learned during Cyber Quest and Cyber Blitz," Roberts said.Roberts and Dr. Michael Brownfield, CERDEC Space and Terrestrial Communications Directorate, addressed how the organizations' inaugural events looked to enhance Cyber in a Combined Arms Fight, which was also the theme for TechNet.This year's events, which used operational forces to help shape and inform the events and findings, fed into one another and future events will look to transform the Army cyber and electronic warfare communities, according to the two panelists."These are complimentary events. We see CERDEC [Cyber Blitz] going after the lower TRL [technology readiness level] capabilities, Cyber Quest going after TRL 6 and 7, basically taking those concepts from the TCMs, defining experimentation so we can go after and refine these requirements and do a DOTMLPF Analysis" Roberts said.As part of the Army Materiel Command, CERDEC focuses on research and development of communications and electronics, while the Cyber Center of Excellence falls under the Training and Doctrine Command and writes Army requirements documents focusing on doctrine, organization, training, materiel, leadership, personnel, facilities and policy, or DOTMLPF-P."If you come out to Cyber Quest, what you get is America's engineers- all of them have operational experience whether they are wearing a green uniform or not, or they just took it off, they are very operationally oriented," Brownfield said. "If you come up to Aberdeen [Proving Ground where many of CERDEC's facilities are located], you have our bench of engineers and subject matter experts that know the entire system and how to employ the entire system. It is deeper from an engineering perspective, but much shallower when it comes to understanding the operational environments."The varying breadth of knowledge from each center allows them to pair up closely to better understand both technology possibilities and to fill in capability gaps.CYBER BLITZ: A SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY APPROACH TO TACTICAL CYBERCyber Blitz, led by CERDEC S&TCD, is a series of Army events looking at staff processes and operations concepts to inform research and development. Additionally, Cyber Blitz focuses on future acquisition and materiel development.Cyber Blitz I: Converged Brigade Combat Team Main Command Post took place April 2016 at CERDEC Ground Activity at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey. It focused on how the Army could potentially converge a BCT Main Command Post by demonstrating command, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance and targeting capabilities through various scenarios Soldiers could encounter, Brownfield said."This is a learning event, it is not a testing event," Brownfield said about Cyber Blitz. "What we wanted to do was invite a lot of different partners… Each one of those partners had learning demands that they wanted to study out in a field environment.""We are focusing on CEMA [cyber electromagnetic activity], we are integrating S&T within the systems-of-systems. That then allows us to be operationally relevant," Brownfield said.Findings from Cyber Blitz I will help inform and shape Cyber Blitz II, which will begin this fall with mini preparatory events dedicated to offensive and defensive cyber operations and the Department of Defense Information Network, or DODIN. A full execution of Cyber Blitz II will take place in April 2017.Cyber Blitz II aims to address CEMA convergence across multiple warfighting functions within current operations to inform and synchronize S&T, acquisition, DOTMLPF-P, and Operational Forces will demonstrate assured electromagnetic ops while denying the same to regional-peer adversaries, Brownfield said.CYBER QUEST: A NEW APPROACH TO WRITING ARMY TRAINING AND DOCTRINE REQUIREMENTSCyber Quest led by the Cyber Center of Excellence collected Training and Doctrine Command DOTMLPF-P requirements and insights, employed cyber and electronic warfare functional prototypes, leveraged emerging government and industry technologies, and identified potential candidates for programs of record.Cyber Quest took place June through July and concluded last week."This year we scoped down the effort because as a first time effort for the Battle Lab, we are still transitioning into that cyber role and we didn't want to take on honestly more than we could chew not knowing fully what that environment was going to look like and how we are going to come together. We do now," Roberts said.The event focused on capabilities that addressed cyber and situational understanding such as data analytics in big data platforms and tactical radios as electronic warfare solutions."One of the key confusing factors about Cyber Quest is 'What is it?' and 'How does it relate to NIE [Network Integration Evaluation]'. It is not NIE, out of Fort Bliss, that is a venue that is looking for the latest and greatest emerging technologies we can give to our deploying forces pretty quickly," said Dale White, deputy director Cyber Battle."The definition of Cyber Quest is generically a prototyping experiment, and what that means is that is to the left of requirements… The three primary intents of a prototyping experiment like Cyber Quest is to inform and validate concepts, inform our TCMs [TRADOC Capability Managers] to write a good requirements document the first time… and, not to say this is going to apply to everybody, but if there is a technology that comes that is so cool and so relevant and so mature that it can be folded into the forces pretty quickly like an NIE would be looking at, there may be some follow on opportunities that come out of Cyber Quest, but that is not a primary intent," White said.Soldiers used CEMA technologies and systems during Cyber Quest. Many of the technologies and systems came from industry vendors who had relevant CEMA technologies."This is a no fear of failure environment," said Maj. Andrew Stennard, Cyber Center of Excellence Cyber Battle Lab U.K. Foreign Liaison Officer and a Cyber Quest coordinator. "If your technology didn't perform as well as you had hoped, you get some feed back on that. So if it's not as relevant as you had hoped, you get feedback on that, but it is not shared with everyone."The Cyber Center of Excellence posted a Broad Agency Announcement for Cyber Quest 2017 July 19 and will host a Vendor/Industry Day August 16.