Nations at Combined Endeavor combat cyberspace security

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Mara Title
  • Det. 4, Air Force News Agency
As technology continues its steady advance, controlling cyberspace becomes increasingly critical to securing warfighting capabilities. In order to help prevent future conflicts by integrating and streamlining communications on a global scale, the 13th annual Combined Endeavor exercise April 27 to May 10 here. 

Combined Endeavor is the largest security cooperation and communications and information systems military exercise in the world, with more than 1,200 military and civilian personnel from 42 countries and two multinational organizations.

Members of the 102nd Information Warfare Squadron from the Rhode Island Air National Guard have participated in Combined Endeavor five years, and help defend these network operations. The training allows them to get out and see their customer base.

The Guardsmen observed the status monitoring board, which shows where the sensors are placed and their activity on the network.

"We've got four regions, Regions A, B, C, and D, with a forward region, Region F, and each of those has an Intrusion Detection Sensor, which acts much like a watchdog would do in your house. It lets you know if there is anomalous activity," said 2nd Lt. Brian Kelly, a communications officer.

If a sensor changes color, this indicates there is a problem. It's up to the 102nd to figure out why the sensor has tripped. If there's an alert on any of the sensors, they try to discern the problem.

"Our analysts will go in, and they'll dig deeper to see, is there truly a hacker activity, or is it something just anomalous?" Lieutenant Kelly said .

Identifying threats helps ensure the communication efforts between nations stays confidential, in order to succeed in real-world operations. The global exercise has already proven a success, enabling United Nations deployments to Lebanon, as well as support the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan.

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