By Kyle Coon, NAWCTSD Public Affairs
Collaboration in STEM areas of cybersecurity, cyber warfare modeling, simulation, training and human performance
Naval Air Warfare Center Training Systems Division (NAWCTSD), on behalf of Team Orlando, and the Florida Center for Cybersecurity (FC2), have entered into an educational partnership agreement (EPA) to leverage the combined resources of both organizations for the mutual pursuit of advancing science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education — especially in the areas of cybersecurity and cyber warfare modeling, simulation, training, and human performance (MST&HP).
“Cybersecurity is one of the top five areas we focus on as it affects much of what we do,” said Capt. Erik Etz, NAWCTSD commanding officer.“ Integrated warfighting capability, networked operations, distributed training, linking trainers together across platforms…all of that requires cybersecurity and cyber awareness, as it has the potential to be the battlefield of the future.”
FC2, located at the University of South Florida, will provide strategic vision and guidance facilitating collaborative training and research opportunities between Team Orlando and Florida’s 12 public universities.
The FC2 was created by the Florida Legislature in 2014 and is “charged with securing Florida’s place as the national leader in cybersecurity through education; innovative, interdisciplinary research; and community outreach.”
Adam Sheffield, associate director for FC2, said the partnership will strengthen the Center’s Collaborative Seed Grant Program by aligning basic research projects with applied research requirements that are funded through the federal government. Since 2015, FC2 has awarded $1 million in research grants to support research within the State University System (SUS).
“This partnership will allow us to ensure we are investing resources wisely to fund meaningful research projects that have a higher probability of solving real problems,” Sheffield said. “Having Team Orlando at the table during this year’s Seed Grant selection was a great opportunity to pilot this partnership.”
Through its cybersecurity working group, Team Orlando will collaborate with FC2. This working group, which includes representatives from the different Team Orlando commands, was created by the Team Orlando executive Board of Directors to facilitate the sharing of cyber training and technologies, lessons learned and initiatives; and to facilitate cyber collaboration among Team Orlando members and other organizations outside of Team Orlando.
Access to Team Orlando via NAWCTSD also will provide USF students and faculty a unique opportunity to become aware of and collaborate in the many disciplines associated with modeling, simulation, training, and human performance, which would not otherwise be available. To assist in executing their mission, NAWCTSD engineers and other employees will be able to leverage the educational knowledge and capabilities of USF students and faculty.
“We are excited to bring the best attributes of our research and begin working with Team Orlando,” said Sri Sridharan, managing director and chief operating officer for the Florida Center for Cybersecurity at USF. He explained that working together allows academia and government to more effectively solve common cybersecurity challenges. “We look forward to a very fruitful relationship.”
The leaders from FC2 and NAWCTSD said they are excited about increasing the opportunities for scientific growth, exploration and experience through collaborative efforts in various technology areas as they relate to various scientific disciplines.