Wings Magazine

218 civil air patrols compete in security challenge

Oct. 28, 2011, Maxwell Air Force Base, Al. - Civil Air Patrol’s defending CyberPatriot III champion, Team Wilson from the Florida Wing’s Orlando Cadet Squadron, leads 217 other CAP teams competing in CyberPatriot IV, America’s ultimate high-school level security challenge that asks students to defend against computer threat scenarios.

October 28, 2011  By Carey Fredericks

“No guts, no glory – we will not rest until we earn the CPIV All-Service Division national trophy – the good Lord willing,” said team leader Cadet Tech. Sgt. Isaac Harding. Harding’s teammates for the 2012 competition include his brother, Cadet Airman Basic Gabriel Harding, as well as Cadet Chief Master Sgt. Matt Medla, Cadet Master Sgt. Kyle Miller and Cadet Airman Basic Stephen Miller.

Established by the Air Force Association in 2009, CyberPatriot is an initiative designed to inspire students toward careers in cyber security or other science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM, disciplines critical to the nation’s future.

The first competition, CyberPatriot I, involved only CAP and Air Force Junior ROTC cadets. Now in its fourth phase, CyberPatriot is the nation’s premiere cyber defense competition, open to all accredited public, private and parochial high schools, CAP units, Junior ROTC units from all services and registered home school programs.

A record 1,019 teams from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and U.S. Department of Defense Dependent Schools in Europe, the Pacific and Canada are competing in CyberPatriot IV, including 621 teams competing this weekend in Round 1 of the All-Services Division. For the first time, more than 200 CAP teams are gearing up for the preliminary online rounds of competition.


“We’re pleased Civil Air Patrol continues to take the lead in this prestigious competition organized by the Air Force Association,” said CAP National Commander Maj. Gen. Chuck Carr. “Registration among CAP teams is up 45 percent – from the more than 150 teams entered last year – and, of course, we are proud CAP is the defending champion.”

Team Wilson, made up last year of members of the Orlando Cadet Squadron and other central Florida units, will defend its title as the Orlando Cadet Squadron with only members from that CAP unit. Last year, members from a combination of units or schools were allowed to compete.

“Over the next few months, these young competitors will learn the basics of cyber security in a competitive environment, while also developing skills in teamwork and critical thinking. This will surely be another exciting season,” said CyberPatriot Commissioner Bernie Skoch.

Teams enrolled in CyberPatriot IV consist of two to five members and up to five alternates. Competitors must be high school students and at least 13 years old. During each of three rounds before the national championship competition, teams are faced with realistic computer network threats from their home locations.

Each team will have six hours to seek out weaknesses in simulated online networks and work to defend those networks from threat scenarios. Teams are scored according to how quickly and effectively they establish and maintain secure networks. To accommodate the different time zones involved, there will be a 36-hour block to compete, starting at noon today and closing at 11:59 p.m. Saturday, Eastern Daylight Time.

The scores from the first and second preliminary rounds will be aggregated to determine the top 36 teams, which will advance to the third round. The top 12 qualifying teams emerging from the third round then receive all-expenses-paid trips to the national championship competition March 22-23 in National Harbor, Md.

In addition to the hands-on experience entrants receive in all rounds of CyberPatriot IV and a distinguishing resume entry especially for high school summer internships, winning team members from the championship round also receive scholarships and prizes from supporting CyberPatriot sponsors.


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