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U.S. Navy Cyber Competition Team Wins SANS International Services Cup

26 March 2021
SUITLAND, Md. -- The Navy Cyber Competition Team (NCCT), also known as the Blackjackets, placed 1st in the first ever SANS NetWars International Services Cup competition, March 18.

The NCCT organized a 5-person team to represent the Navy, first competing domestically against U.S. military services and then advancing to the international competition.

“Our Navy and our nation were brilliantly represented in this international cyber competition,” said Vice Admiral Ross Myers, Commander Fleet Cyber Command. “This victory underscores the importance of keeping our best and brightest, as our talented personnel provide our greatest asymmetric advantage over our adversaries in Great Power Competition, today and tomorrow. Bravo Zulu to the entire Blackjackets team for this outstanding win!”

This inaugural international event consisted of various cyber security challenges that pitted 25 teams from across the biggest global intelligence alliance known as The Five Eyes (FVEY). Teams from each branch of service within the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and New Zealand competed in a cyber competition that covered areas such as Defensive Cyberspace Operations - Internal Defensive Measures (DCO-IDM), forensics, penetration testing, and Internet of Things (IoT) exploitation.

“The 2021 SANS International Services Cup was a highly competitive event between not only teams from the US military branches but also teams from the FVEYs countries,” said Sam Dlinn, web specialist, team lead, and a Navy civilian assigned to Naval Information Warfare Center Atlantic (NIWCLANT). “This team was selected due to their cyber excellence and varied skill sets allowing the US Navy to take home the inaugural trophy. We are looking forward to next year’s competition so that we can continue to demonstrate the Navy’s excellence in the Cyber Space.”

The members of the NCCT who accompanied Dlinn as part of this winning team were Lt. j.g. John King, exploitation specialist, assigned to Navy Cyber Warfare Develpoment Group (NCWDG), Lt. j.g. Luke Foppe, exploitation specialist, assigned to NCWDG, Chief Cryptologic Technician (Networks) Joshua Thibodeaux, forensics specialist, assigned to Cyber Strike activity SIXTY THREE (CSA-63), and Chief Cryptologic Technician (Networks) Mike Turano, network specialist, assigned to CSA-63.

The SANS NetWars International Services Cup allows various governments and intelligence agencies to build their skills through rigorous cyber challenges while facilitating the exchange of knowledge and collaboration between FVEY partners.

The NCCT is comprised of 15 members from across 10th Fleet and is a dedicated effort to display cyber talent and to highlight the spirit of competition, warfighting prowess, and professionalism that the Information Warfare Community brings to the Navy. It aims to enhance cyber skillsets, serve as a recruitment tool, capture industry best practices, manifest new capabilities, and highlight areas for improvement across our cyber force.


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