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    Pa. Guard Wi-fighter cyber challenge engages students

    Pa. Guard Wi-fighter cyber challenge engages students

    Photo By Staff Sgt. Zane Craig | Soldiers with the Pennsylvania National Guard Cyber Branch and Recruiting and...... read more read more



    Story by Staff Sgt. Zane Craig 

    Joint Force Headquarters, Pennsylvania National Guard

    FORT INDIANTOWN GAP, Pa. – Soldiers with the Pennsylvania National Guard Cyber Branch and Recruiting and Retention Battalion engaged a group of 18 high school students in the new Wi-Fighter cyber challenge Dec. 12 at DeSales University in Center Valley, Pa.

    The students were divided into four teams to compete using their cyber skills to hack into a series of networks with the objective of launching a foam “missile” to win.

    Working with state, local, non-profit and private sector partners, the cyber operations element developed the Wi-Fighter cyber challenge which can be taken anywhere in the state to get high school and college students interested in cyber security and the role the Pa. Guard plays in securing our elections and infrastructure.

    “Some of our biggest threats now aren’t physical, they’re virtual, and we have adversaries constantly attacking our infrastructure,” said Capt. Sean Smith, Pennsylvania National Guard deputy cyber team chief.

    Smith added that his team plans to do more Wi-Fighter cyber challenges for Pennsylvania students. This event was the second to date, following one at Pennsylvania State University main campus.

    “I’m extremely impressed with their capabilities at the high school level,” “I think we have a bright future ahead of us for the next generation,” said Smith.

    He said the students were really excited about computers and the event definitely found the right audience. It took the high schoolers about an hour longer than the college students to launch the missile.

    “The Wi-fighter cyber challenge was an engaging, hands-on activity that taught us a lot and walked us through step by step with the PA Guard and it was a lot of fun,” said Jordan McGrath, a student at Monroe Career and Technical Institute and member of the winning team. “Each step we had to overcome was challenging.”

    The Pennsylvania National Guard Cyber Branch is steadily working to increase its capacity to secure our vital networks through frequent real world operations like last month’s elections, training, and ensuring the next generations of leaders has the skills to face the increasing risks to our nation in the cyber realm.

    FOR MORE INFORMATION: Please contact Lt. Col. Keith Hickox (717) 861-6254, or e-mail



    Date Taken: 12.18.2019
    Date Posted: 12.18.2019 16:01
    Story ID: 356304

    Podcast Hits: 0