Cadet joint domain exercise incorporates cyber, proves successful
by Ashley D. Murphy, Strategic Communications
U.S. Air Force Academy cadets successfully accomplished the first run of the Joint All Domain Environment (JADE) exercise – including cyber as an additional, critical domain.
During the exercise, cadets acted as members of an Air Operations Center (AOC), directing two other cadets as remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) pilots during an intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) mission leading to a simulated kinetic strike on an ISIS leadership meeting. Cadet Cyber Team members served as a cyber effects cell and cyber liaison officers who were providing cyber ISR to help track the target, and identify who was actually at the meeting.
This demonstrated the importance of cyberspace operations in joint operations and the additional complexity of coordinating multi-domain operations.
“I think these types of exercises are critical for cadets because current operations require coordinated actions across all domains,” said Maj Bobby Birrer, Dean of Faculty Cyber Science Branch Chief. “By linking these exercises, the cadets can still train in their respective domains (air versus cyber), but also see how the actions in each domain affect the others.”
The entire cyber mission including the network, targets, and expected execution plan was built by cadets during last summer’s Cyber 472 program, including multiple members of the Cadet Cyber Team.
These skills will be critical when these future officers deploy to an Air Operations Center and execute these types of missions – so any exposure and training we can provide now will pay significant dividends in the future” said Birrer.
Due to the success of this exercise, the JADE effort is working to integrate other domains such as space into the exercises and identify linkages between the Unmanned Aircraft Systems, Cyber, and Space summer programs.
For more information on cyber education at the Academy, click here.