JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-KELLY, Texas — Five 16th Air Force Cyber Airmen spoke to middle and high school students from local schools about the basics of cybersecurity during CyberPatriot Summer Camp, July 17-28, at Tech Port Arena.
CyberPatriot, a program of the Air Force Association, aims to inspire K-12 students toward careers in cybersecurity or other science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields important to the future of country.
Hosted by the San Antonio Museum of Science and Technology, the camp offered courses focused on cybersecurity careers, cyberethics, IT functions and online safety.
Instructors emphasized the importance of cybersecurity regardless of the student’s future interests.
“Even if you’re not going into a career field where you code, use software or perform computer engineering, you should still get some cybersecurity training,” said Capt. Brandon Webster, volunteer instructor for the 16th Air Force, A5. Cyber operations.
Webster said everyone should have a significant amount of cybersecurity knowledge because most jobs today use computers.
“Let’s say you have the best firewalls in the world,” Webster said. “You set up this perimeter and believe that no bad guys are getting into these systems. You still need emails to keep these businesses running; These emails sometimes contain links, files and images that can pass directly through the security system once they click on that link, and they can gain access to the computer.
Webster and the other instructors also discussed cybersecurity principles, Windows security and monitoring tools, and related them to students’ professional interests.
“I see their eyes widen and the light shine whenever you talk to them about certain things that are familiar to them,” Webster said.
Airman 1st Class Reynaldy Reynoso-Peralta, 616th Air Communications Squadron cyber security trainee, told students, “Your experience with video games can be useful in the cybersecurity field because it is very similar . »
Reynoso-Peralta said that as a cyber apprentice, he sits in front of a monitor, learns different acronyms and communicates through digital technology across the world, the same way people interact with games video.
Students can use this cybersecurity knowledge for their future careers.
“Listening to their experiences interested me and I learned a lot about computer security,” said Isairua Dehoyos of Central Catholic High School. “This information will be useful to me because I want to become a mechanical engineer.”
“He (Webster) gave us some important advice to protect ourselves, and with all the networks connected to the Internet internationally, you’re never really safe,” said Daniel Trang of Medina Valley High School.
The Airmen enjoyed engaging the students and understand that the young people they taught are critical to the future of information warfare and modernization of conduct, two priorities of the 16th Air Force.
“It is critical that the military supports programs like this because it is the next generation that will serve this country; we want to invest in the future,” Reynoso-Peralta said.
The 16thth The Air Force, headquartered at Joint Base San Antonio, Texas, is focused on information warfare in the modern era. Information warfare requires integrating: intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance; Cyber war; Electromagnetic warfare; Weather report; Public affairs; and information operations capabilities. The 16th Air Force ensures that our Air Force and nation are fast, resilient and fully integrated in competition, crisis and conflict by integrating information warfare at operational and tactical levels, capitalizing on the value of information by leading the charge for a unique 21st century. challenges in the highly dynamic, transparent and global information domain.
To learn more about the CyberPatriot program, visit https://www.uscyberpatriot.org/.