The 618th ACOMS Spartans Take a Quantum Leap into Cyber Security

By: Staff writer, 618th AOC

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The 618th Air Communications Squadron facilitated an experimental exercise in support of the 26th Cyberspace Operations Group and 24th Air Force from December 2018-March 2019. This proof of concept, known as Exercise Quantum evaluated 24th Air Force’s ability to establish a scalable task force that integrates local and enterprise cyber forces to address cyber threats.

SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, ILL. -- The 618th Air Communications Squadron (ACOMS) facilitated an experimental exercise in support of the 26th Cyberspace Operations Group and 24th Air Force (AF) from December 2018-March 2019.

This proof of concept, known as Exercise Quantum evaluated 24th AF’s ability to establish a scalable task force that integrates local and enterprise cyber forces to address cyber threats.

“Each mission partner brought something unique to the exercise,” stated Maj. Robert Gramling 618th ACOMS Commander. “This exercise allows us to practice a coordinated response across multiple cyber stakeholders to ensure command and control of mobility operations in a contested cyber environment.”

Participants for the exercise included many Scott AFB partners; Mission Defense Teams from the 375th Communications Squadron and 618th ACOMS, 561st Network Operations Squadron Detachment 3, and U.S. Transportation Command’s Cyber Protection Team. External players included the 33rd and 426th Network Warfare Squadrons and the 35th Intelligence Squadron from Joint Base San Antonio.

“Although the 618th ACOMS is just over a year old and continuing to define what right looks like, we know the Air Operations Center’s (AOC) success is directly tied to our ability to rapidly synchronize strategic and tactical cyber forces in a near peer environment…it’s truly a team sport,” emphasized Brig. Gen. Jimmy R. Canlas, 618th AOC Commander “This exercise focused on command relationships, mission type orders, and tool kit integration across the entire enterprise.”

The 618th ACOMS took advantage of several cyber defense leaders being in the same place at the same time. Gramling noted that continuing to work with Cyber Protection Teams and Network Warfare Squadrons will be vital as the unit matures its own Mission Defense Team capabilities.

At the conclusion of the exercise, each team briefed AMC, 618th AOC and base leaders on their findings throughout the exercise. The lessons learned will be applied in upcoming 24th AF exercises and will shape future cyber operations.


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