REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. -- "The first shots of the next actual war will likely be fired in cyberspace, and likely with devastating effect," said Chief of Staff of the Army, Gen. Mark A. Milley during a ceremony last year.

To increase cybersecurity awareness at Redstone Arsenal, the U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Research, Development and Engineering Center hosted a Logistics Engineering workshop titled, "Cybersecurity from a Sustainment Perspective" April 5.

AMRDEC's Logistics Engineering team, located within the Industrial Operations Division of the Engineering Directorate, welcomed government civilians and Systems Engineering and Technical Assistance contractors working logistics and sustainment within the aviation and missile community to learn more about potential threats and cyber defense. The LE group partnered with North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University to bring relevant learning opportunities to the AMRDEC community, with a specific target on sustainment activities.

"Cybersecurity is of upmost concern to the sustainment community," said Anthony Haynes, Logistics Engineering's acting chief. "The cyber environment is changing at a rapid pace. This workshop was informational in nature, providing an up-to-date synopsis of what the focus of the Army currently is and what we as engineers, logisticians and analysts should be focusing on."

The one-day event included speakers from AMRDEC, the U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Command, North Carolina A&T State University, and a keynote speaker from U.S. Army Materiel Command's Cyber Division Chief, Dr. Dawn Dunkerley.

AMC developed a Cyber Mission Assurance Plan over the past several years. This is the command's campaign plan for cyber. It is designed to push AMC above the Army baseline activities of information assurance and cyber resiliency. Dunkerley advises AMC leadership and subordinate commands on cyber defense and enterprise resiliency against cyber attacks.

"From an AMC perspective, our mission and the Army's readiness, are directly tied to the information systems that we have become increasingly reliant on," Dunkerley said. "In order to support the CSA's priorities, we must focus on understanding the risks to our information systems, determining the gaps affecting our resiliency in cyberspace, and aggressively work to measure and improve ourselves continuously. We can never rest."

Haynes agreed with Dunkerley stating, "Cybersecurity is critical in protecting the Army's mission for readiness." He referred to the Defense Science Board's recent publication titled, "Cyber Supply Chain."

"Because system configurations typically remain unchanged for very long periods of time, compromising microelectronics can create persistent vulnerabilities," said the board. "Exploitation of vulnerabilities in microelectronics and embedded software can cause mission failure in modern weapons systems. Such exploitations are especially pernicious because they can be difficult to distinguish, from electrical or mechanical failures, and because effects can run the gamut from system degradation to system failure to system subversion. Cyber supply chain vulnerabilities may be inserted or discovered throughout the life cycle of a system. Of particular concern are the weapons the nation depends upon today; almost all were developed, acquired and fielded without formal protection plans."

The Logistics Engineering team plans to examine major thrust areas such as maintenance, product support equipment, product handling, shipping, transportation for cyber vulnerabilities and how to leverage new technologies to overcome cyber risks in sustainment.


U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Research, Development, and Engineering Center is part of the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command, which has the mission to provide innovative research, development and engineering to produce capabilities for decisive overmatch to the Army against the complexities of the current and future operating environments in support of the Joint Warfighter and the Nation. RDECOM is a major subordinate command of the U.S. Army Material Command.