ANNAPOLIS, Md. (NNS) -- The U.S. Naval Academy (USNA) held a groundbreaking ceremony for its new $106-million Center for Cyber Security Studies Oct. 21.
Three hundred people attended the event, including academy officials, Navy leaders and members of the Maryland delegation, U.S. Senator Barbara Mikulski and U.S. Representatives John Sarbanes and C.A. "Dutch" Ruppersberger.
The center was established in recognition of the critical importance that cyber operations play in our national defense and to facilitate the expansion of the Naval Academy's cyber program, which includes a cyber operations major and required cyber curriculum for all midshipmen. Cyber operations is an interdisciplinary major that includes study in computer architecture, programming, data structures, networks, internet, database systems, information assurance, cryptography and forensics, as well as policy, law, ethics and social engineering.
The USNA groundbreaking reminds us of the significant investments the Navy continues to make to reduce vulnerabilities, detect intrusions and strengthen its depth in defense, as well as the crucial role that every Sailor plays in protecting Navy systems. The academy's close relationship with U.S. Fleet Cyber Command/U.S 10th Fleet, based at Fort Meade, Maryland, provides midshipmen with a unique operational perspective through guest lectures, mentorship and summer training opportunities. During National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, recognized throughout the month of October, Sailors are encouraged to learn more about the steps they can take to support the defense of Navy systems and prevent intrusions.
The academy is the first institution of higher learning in the country to require cyber security classes for all students. The multi-story academic building will have classrooms, a lecture hall, research labs, a secure compartmented intelligence facility space--required to allow midshipmen to handle classified information--and a research and testing tank to support the engineering and weapons lab. The state-of-the-art facility will enable midshipmen at the academy to get real-world training to prepare them for handling cyber threats, as Navy personnel are the first line of defense.
"This is a significant step in the process of streamlining our cyber education capabilities here at the Naval Academy with the needs of the fleet and Department of Defense," said Vice Adm. Ted Carter, Naval Academy superintendent. "This will be a state-of-the-art facility where our very best and brightest will get cutting edge training and education in the cyber field. I believe the building serves as yet another attraction the Naval Academy has to offer to future Midshipmen."
The building will be named after Rear Adm. Grace Hopper, known as the "mother of computing." Hopper was an American computer scientist who worked on the first computer, the Harvard Mark 1, during World War II. She was responsible for making computers more accessible by converting mathematical code into language.
Construction of the five-story building is expected to begin this winter and to be finished in September 2019.
Additional information on National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, including tips and resources for the use of local commands, can be found at a dedicated DHS webpage, www.dhs.gov/national-cyber-security-awareness-month, or on a Department of Defense page ,www.defense.gov/News/Special-Reports/0415_Cyber-Strategy.
For Navy specific information on cybersecurity, visit www.navy.mil/cyberawareness. For more information about the Naval Academy, please visit www.usna.edu or its Facebook page.