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NEWS | Aug. 17, 2022

Security Cooperation Conference supports cyber operators and U.S. Combatant Commands

By U.S. Cyber Command Public Affairs U.S. Cyber Command

U.S. Cyber Command held its inaugural Partnership Strategy and Security Cooperation Conference at the Mindscape facility, an extension of DreamPort, in Lithicum, Maryland last week.

The strategic event provided a forum for leaders to talk directly with key stakeholders across the Department of Defense, interagency and to the cyber operators assigned to the command’s Cyber Operations-Integrated Planning Elements COIP-E. COIP-Es are positioned globally and provide direct cyber support to U.S. Combatant Commands, the joint force and allies and partners.

The topics discussed provided updated guidance, explored best practices, shared lessons learned related to building effective partnerships, and developing solutions to common security cooperation challenges.

“Our security cooperation efforts have expanded from key leader engagements and information sharing to more mutually beneficial opportunities like subject matter expert exchanges, training, exercises, and enhanced multilateral partnerships,” said Army Gen. Paul M. Nakasone, commander of CYBERCOM and director of the NSA.

The three day event included panels and breakout sessions that incorporated representatives from the U.S. State Department, Department of Defense Plans and Policy, Defense Security Cooperation Agency, six of the DoD’s geographic U.S. Combatant Commands (U.S. Northern Command, U.S. Southern Command, U.S. Africa Command, U.S. Central Command, U.S. Indo-Pacific Command and U.S. European Command) and contingents from the National Guard and Reserve components. 

“Cyber is the ultimate team sport, and our international, interagency, and industry partners are critical to our success in executing our critical mission to support national security objectives,” said Navy Rear Adm. Heidi K. Berg, director of Plans and Policy for CYBERCOM.

Day one of the conference included a keynote from Gen. Nakasone, as well as multiple guest speakers including Madeline Mortelmans, principle deputy for Strategy, Plans, and Capabilities; Alan Gorowitz, assistant director for Strategy, Plans, and Policy, Defense Cooperation Agency; JeeYoung Oh with the Bureau of Cyberspace and Digital Policy, Department of State and U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen Randolph J. Staudenraus, director, Strategic Plans and Policy, and International Affairs J5 & State Partnership Program, National Guard Bureau. 

“Partnerships enhance talent,” said Nakasone. “Talent enables agility. Agility adds to our readiness and our collective defense against common threats and adversaries.”

Day two focused on partnering initiatives, challenges, and best practices. The discussions and working groups centered on a round table with selected geographic combatant commands and service cyber components.

The final day of the conference started with presentations on partnership strategy and the request for support process. Breakout working groups focused on information sharing, networking, education, operational scoping, assessments, training and exercises. The conference closed out with the small groups briefing the products and plans to all the attendees.

 “This conference brought together stakeholders across the globe to construct a collaborative approach to building cyber capability and capacity,” said Berg. “Our strategic approach will enable us to deepen the relationships in meaningful ways with a broad range of allies and partners.”

Security Cooperation efforts will allow the command to further leverage cyber capabilities, people and partnerships to enhance our enduring advantage and supporting mission success.