WILMINGTON, De. – Civil Air Patrol’s (CAP) Mid-Atlantic Region (MAR) offered its first weekend cyber security virtual camp on April 23-25. Twenty-five CAP cadets, ages 12-18, attended the training to solidify their knowledge and expand their interest. A virtual classroom enabled cadets to participate that might not have been able to otherwise and the venue satisfied CAP COVID-19 cadet activity restrictions.

Capt. Roy Vestal, region assistant director of cyber programs, assembled a team of experienced cyber camp instructors and staff. The focus of this training was an introduction to operating systems and security best practices. The curriculum included an overview of basic security configurations for Linux and Windows operating systems, cyber ethics, passwords and authentication, operational security, cryptography, forensics, and a career panel to answer questions into various facets of cyber security.

The weekend concluded with a graduation exercise during which cadets applied the skills they learned to secure Linux and Windows operating systems as system administrators. All of the cadets who responded to the feedback survey indicated they were interested in an advanced training weekend.

The weekend inspired many of the cadets to continue pursuing cyber education through opportunities already available within CAP. Some plan to attend Air Force Association CyberCamps this summer. Others will compete next year on their unit’s CyberPatriot team. Many will complete the free Cisco Networking Academy courses available to all CAP members due to the partnership between CAP and Cisco.

An essential resource enabling the virtual training and contributing to the success of the weekend was the donation of access to a cyber range by Syndicus NACON. The cyber range allowed cadets to use their computer’s web browser to access a virtual copy of Linux and Windows systems so that they could apply skills presented in training sessions.

Syndicus NACON is a commercial staffing and defense contracting firm specializing in placement of information technology and cybersecurity personnel along with supporting the Department of Defense and federal agencies with cybersecurity training programs. Their VirtualOnDemand® LMS and CyberRange provides state-of-the-art access to virtual training environments and is used by the U.S. Army, Department of State, Defense Information Systems Agency and other federal agencies.

“This first weekend cyber virtual camp accomplished all our goals can be considered a success. It is an important step toward establishing recurring virtual cyber training opportunities in Mid-Atlantic Region enabling cadets to jumpstart participation in CyberPatriot competitions, create opportunities for cadets to teach cyber security to other cadets, and develop another cadet activity that can potentially qualify as a prerequisite for the CAP National Cyber Activity.” said Maj. Derek Rustvold, region director of cyber programs.

Established in 1941, Civil Air Patrol is the official auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force and as such is a member of its Total Force. In its auxiliary role, CAP operates a fleet of 560 single-engine Cessna aircraft and more than 2,000 small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS) and performs about 90% of continental U.S. inland search and rescue missions as tasked by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center. Often using innovative cellphone forensics and radar analysis software, CAP was credited by the AFRCC with saving 130 lives in fiscal 2020. CAP’s 54,000 members also perform homeland security, disaster relief and drug interdiction missions at the request of federal, state and local agencies. As a nonprofit organization, CAP plays a leading role in aerospace education using national academic standards-based STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education. Members also serve as mentors to over 20,000 young people participating in CAP’s Cadet Programs. One of the premier public service organizations in America, CAP benefits the nation with an estimated economic impact of $209 million annually. Visit www.CAP.News or for more information.

CAP Contact Info
Maj. Jacob Bixler – [email protected] / 540-664-4376

Download the press release.