Class selected for cyber security boot camp

  • Published
  • By Francis L. Crumb
  • AFRL Information Directorate Public Affairs
Forty young men and women from across the country will focus on a futuristic "cybercraft" as they participate in the 2006 Class of the Advanced Course in Engineering Cyber Security Boot Camp.

A joint selection committee of Syracuse University and Air Force Research Laboratory personnel reviewed the credentials of applicants and identified the 40 candidates who will make up the class of 2006, comprised of 36 new students and four returning graduate assistants.

The profile of the 36 students of the ACE 2006 class includes 33 men and three women who attend colleges in 22 states and carry an average Grade Point Average of 3.5 on a scale of 4.0. The class will have 20 Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps cadets, three Army ROTC cadets, two Navy ROTC cadets, eight National Science Foundation Scholarship for Service Cyber Corps Fellows and three unattached civilians. Eighteen of the students are majoring in computer science, while five are studying computer engineering, 11 electrical engineering and two are pursuing degrees in related disciplines.

"The ACE was developed in 2002 to address the challenge of President Bush's National Strategy to Secure Cyberspace by developing the top students in Air Force, Army and Navy pre-commissioning training programs, in addition to the best among civilian college students, into the next generation of cyber security leaders," said. Dr. Kamal Jabbour, principal computer engineer in the Cyber Operations Branch at the AFRL Information Directorate.

"This year, the ACE will feature cybercraft as its common academic theme," said Dr. Jabbour, the program leader, who is also tenured associate professor of computer engineering at Syracuse University. "A futuristic, non-kinetic weapon platform that seeks dominance in cyberspace, the cybercraft responds to the requirements of the new mission of the U.S. Air Force to 'fly and fight in air, space and cyberspace'."

ACE 2006 students will spend the summer in Rome, N.Y., studying the analytical and scientific foundations of cybercraft. Lectures include legal and policy issues, cryptography, network defense and attack, steganography, analysis of malicious code, and wireless security. The ACE culminates with a two-day capstone cyber security exercise, or "Hackfest."

In addition to advanced coursework, problem-solving and weekly report-writing, ACE participants spend on average three days per week in internships at AFRL or local industry partners, and participate in officer development activities. A mandatory eight-mile run at 7 a.m. each Friday brings the ACE staff and students together in a non-academic setting.

In addition to Dr. Jabbour, the staff will include Regina Recco of Syracuse University and ITT Industries as ACE director of operations; Col. Fred Wieners (U.S. Air Force, retired), director of military instruction; Capt. Kevin Bartlett, AFRL Information Directorate as program training officer; and retired Air Force Col. William Gray, chairman of the ACE Advisory Board.

The faculty of the ACE is drawn from the AFRL Information Directorate technical work force, Syracuse University, the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and Norwich University. It is supplemented with private industry domain experts.