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Comm Flight attends inaugural Cybersecurity Conference held at UNR

  • Published
  • By Senior Master Sgt. Paula Macomber
  • 152nd Communications Flight

 The University of Nevada, Reno held its inaugural Cybersecurity Conference at the Joe Crowley Student Union here on Tuesday.  The 152nd Communications Flight sent a group of Airmen to attend the conference and network with local professionals.

A cyber transport specialist in the infrastructure shop from the 152nd Communications Flight, Tech. Sgt. Thomas Bruce, was interested in meeting other professionals from the community.

“At the base level, we don’t have as much control over our systems as most companies do. My biggest goal in attending was meeting other professionals and establishing connections in order to take some of our Airmen out to see how information technology is done in the civilian sector, where they do have complete control over their networks.”

He was able to make those connections during the Industry Showcase.  

“Alan Cunningham, the information security officer from Washoe County School District, invited us to come see his network, which services all of Washoe County School District. Randy Tillett, corporate manager information technology at Sierra Nevada Corp., also invited us to come out to his facility in Sparks.”

The conference included several panels of professionals where they discussed everything from vulnerability analysis and penetration testing to legal and interdisciplinary aspects in cyber security.

The co-founder and CTO of BlackRidge Technology, John Hayes said, “Cyber defense is the newest ‘arms race.’”

 “I found it very interesting to hear that civilian companies are dealing with the exact same things we deal with on our base—to me that was surprising,” Bruce said. “In a way, it validated that we have the same issues as others in our profession. This is all the more reason, I want to get our Airmen out in the civilian sector so that they can understand that we are all dealing with the same complex issues.”

“It was a joy to participate in the conference,” said Senior Master Sgt. Tregg Jackson, 152nd Communications Flight plans superintendent. “This is the foundation of future involvement between the local community, state of Nevada departments and the 152nd Mission Support Group’s Communications Flight. Communications Flight Commander Maj. Gregory Green has long initiated, endorsed and pursued opening direct involvement with the community stakeholders to support the domestic operations requirement for the flight; from the fire command and control support to assistance with critical infrastructure issues with state and local partners. The partnerships Green is promoting will enable Nevada Airmen to perform and support key sustainability functions in a seamless manner, should the need arise. We are looking forward to the continued involvement and collaboration with all community partners.”