DVIDS – News – A first of its kind, Adriatic Thunder
A first of its kind, Adriatic Thunder
Soldiers and Airmen from the Minnesota National Guard and the Iowa National Guard gathered to conduct Exercise Midwest Croatia Kosovo Adriatic Thunder with the Kosovo Security Forces and the Croatian Armed Forces in Zagreb, Croatia, to show their ability to work across nations on mission critical systems, June 5-19, 2021.
“We are in partnership; show our ability to work with each other; work across nations; work in common environments. We do it in a practical way, where you really see ones and zeros in critical defensive mission systems, ”said U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Lawrence Yazzie, commander of the 168th National Guard Cyber Operations Squadron. aerial of Iowa. .
Soldiers and Airmen from the 177th Cyber Protection Team and the Cyber Defensive Operations Element from Minnesota National Guard Headquarters participated in the exercise. Minnesota is partnering with Croatia under the National Guard State Partnership Program, or SPP.
This is the third SPP event with Croatia as the US Air Force Master Sgt. Ryan Borre attended. Borre is the non-commissioned officer in charge of DCOE. After spending 16 years in air transport, he answered a call for Airmen with cyber skills and cross-training in cyber operations. He also works as a reverse engineer for Target Corporation.
“Cyber is the way of the future,” Borre said. “Right now, I don’t think it’s as well-known in academia as it should be. Even in school, they are just starting to create these cyber courses, but there really isn’t any formal training that prepares you because things change much faster in this environment. So for me between military and civilian, I spend a lot of time training, researching and learning about new technologies and new capabilities and it’s just endless work.
Members of the 177th CPT and DCOE work in career areas related to cybercrime in their civilian careers or in the Minnesota National Guard as full-time members. The field of cyber careers is one that requires constant training and is constantly evolving.
This multinational exercise is unique in its scope with two opposing teams, a red team on the offensive and a blue team on the defensive, said Major of the Croatian Armed Forces Dajan Petek, commander of the cybersecurity and security operation. intervention unit in the Croatian Cybercommand. This exercise also comes at an important time for Croatia.
“This event marks a really special anniversary for us,” said Petek. “This year we are celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Croatian Armed Forces. The Croatian War of Independence, or Homeland War, began in 1991.
It is also the 25th anniversary of the partnership between the Minnesota National Guard and Croatia. The partnership with Cyber Defense Events started in 2012.
“Partnerships make everyone better,” said US Army Lt. Col. Dan Cunningham, a networking officer with the Minnesota National Guard Joint Force Headquarters. “We learn from the Croats as much as they learn from us. The friendships that you can make in these programs are pretty amazing. “
These types of exercises allow each nation to learn what the other is going through, the challenges they face, what they are good at, and then learn from each other, Cunningham said.
State partnerships facilitate learning, cooperation and cultural exchange for the benefit of the US armed forces and their partner countries. Exercises across career areas from armor to cyber reinforce service members in their expertise. Partnerships are more than a cultural trip abroad, they are essential missions.