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    Pennsylvania National Guard Army Cyber Team participates with state partners in overseas cyber exercise



    Courtesy Story

    Joint Force Headquarters - Pennsylvania National Guard

    VILNIUS, Lithuania – Nine Soldiers from the Pennsylvania Army National Guard’s Defensive Cyber Operations Element (DCOE) along with their Lithuanian counterparts participated in “Amber Mist,” a week-long cyber defense exercise Aug. 18-28.

    The annual joint training exercise was held in Lithuania, Pennsylvania National Guard's partner nation, after being remote the previous year, marking a shift back to in-person training exercises.

    “The team was extremely excited to work in-person again with our Lithuanian partners. Working side-by-side with our international allies gives us fresh insights into tools, techniques, and procedures that we can use to help protect our critical technology infrastructure back in the US,” said Maj. Christine Pierce, cyber team chief of the DCOE.

    Exercises and events like these take place as part of the State Partnership Program (SPP), which connects a state’s National Guard with the armed forces of an associated country to build mutually valuable relationships. The program includes 83 unique security partnerships involving 90 nations around the globe, and is considered a key U.S. security cooperation tool by the Department of Defense. Pennsylvania has been partners with Lithuania for more than 20 years.

    The exercise began by forming a joint team of cyber defenders comprised of Pennsylvania Army National Guard and Lithuanian Ministry of Defence cyber soldiers. Once the team was assembled, they were provided with a fictitious cyber threat briefing and access to the cyber range. This cyber range simulated a metropolitan area network with multiple organizations requiring the team’s assistance. Each day of the exercise, the team worked to shore up defenses while simultaneously detecting and mitigating the actions of various threat actors.

    “Our team enjoys participating in Amber Mist because it is one of the few exercises where teams have the flexibility to perform changes in order to actively defend against enemy threats. Allowing teams to defend creates a level of realism which is difficult to replicate at scale in a training exercise. The Lithuanian Amber Mist exercise staff deserve great credit for their hard work in putting together such a valuable experience,” said Chief Warrant Officer 3 Jeremy Marroncelli, information protection lead of the DCOE.

    The exercise concluded with an awards ceremony where the team’s success and hard work was acknowledged and recognized.

    “Every soldier on our team is absolutely passionate about cybersecurity and loves what they do. They give 110% at all times – because of this, when the Pennsylvania Army Cyber Team participates, we perform at an exceptionally high level.” said Capt. Sean Smith, deputy cyber team chief of the DCOE.

    Pennsylvania National Guard is one of the largest and most deployed National Guards in the nation and headquartered at Fort Indiantown Gap, Pennsylvania. In addition to its federal mission, the Pennsylvania National Guard responds to domestic emergencies, working with the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency, FEMA, U.S. Northern Command and dozens of federal, state and local agencies. The Pennsylvania National Guard maintains a joint operations center at Fort Indiantown Gap staffed by Pennsylvania Guard members 24/7 that support its domestic mission.

    FOR MORE INFORMATION: Please contact Lt. Col. Angela S. King-Sweigart (717) 861-6820, or e-mail



    Date Taken: 09.19.2021
    Date Posted: 09.19.2021 11:32
    Story ID: 405573
    Location: VILNIUS, LT

    Web Views: 425
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