TACET VENARI ... Silent Hunt
by U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Renae Pittman
June 20, 2019
U.S. Air Force Airmen from across the Europe region participated in TACET VENARI 19-1, a two-week cyber exercise
on defensive cyber operations at the U.S. Air Forces in Europe
Regional Training Center on Ramstein Air Base, Germany during March 2019.
This now quarterly exercise is
designed to train operationally focused Airmen to provide mission
assurance to the warfighters by learning the skills needed to
deliver defensive cyber operations.
Exercise support staff launch scenario injects for a training scenario as part of exercise TACET VENARI, held at the U.S. Air Forces in Europe Regional Training Center, Ramstein Air Base, Germany, Mar. 8, 2019. The support staff simulated real-world conditions to drive mission defense teams to reach training objectives and further their defensive cyber operations capabilities. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Renae Pittman)
“TACET VENARI is Latin for silent hunt, and accurately describes
the mission defense team’s purpose to silently hunt for, identify
and prevent potential adversary activity that could harm our
networks,” said Capt. Kevin Taylor, lead DCO integration manager
assigned to the communications directorate at U.S. Air Forces in
Europe Air Forces Africa.
Mission defense teams, comprised of
five or six Airmen, are being established throughout the command to
provide a first line of defense for USAFE-AFAFRICA’s operational
assets against cyber threats and to protect the command’s mission
relevant terrain and weapon systems.
The TACET VENARI
exercise series is designed to provide a realistic cyber threat
scenario for the MDTs to think through and learn how to counter
threats at the tactical level, using the same skills needed for
real-world defense operations.
“The MDTs are being trained
to actively monitor, identify and neutralize threats in order to
protect networks from anyone degrading critical capabilities. This
helps our Airmen at the wings provide another level of mission
assurance to their commanders,” added Taylor.
is the first major command to fill a critical gap by providing DCO
training in a realistic, hands-on cyber range. The training allows
MDTs to increase their capability and readiness to provide cyber
defense during real-world operations.
“Our goal is to provide
self-sustaining training and continuous information sharing on
tactics, techniques and procedures so Airmen are better equipped to
provide their commanders what they need to execute their missions,”
said Master Sgt. Joshua Albarran, a DCO integration manager with the
USAFE-AFAFRICA communications directorate.
Staff Sgt. Tyler Ellingson (left), 100th Communications Squadron mission defense team supervisor, and Staff Sgt. Stephen Spor, 31st CS noncommissioned officer in charge, mission defense team, analyze information systems for potential malicious activity as part of a training scenario during exercise TACET VENARI, held at the U.S. Air Forces in Europe Regional Training Center, Ramstein Air Base, Germany, Mar. 8, 2019. U.S. Air Forces in Europe Air Forces Africa is the first major command to designate a specific facility to train communication Airmen on defensive cyber operations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Renae Pittman)
This iteration of
TACET VENARI is the first time the newly designated facility and
cyber range have been used to exercise defensive cyber operations.
“It took our team approximately six months to procure, design
and equip the repurposed rooms to meet the needs of the exercise,”
added Taylor. “The facility is the first of its kind, and can offer
training for up to 25 people at a time.”
There are four
iterations of the exercise planned for this year in order to
maximize use of the new facility and help expand capabilities.
“We take cyber defense seriously and one of our focus areas is
training. These TACET VENARI cyber exercises allow our newly formed
mission defense teams to practice defensive cyber operations
tactics, techniques, and procedures in a virtualized environment
emulating the real-world cyber terrain they defend at their home
stations,” said Col. Jonathan Sutherland, director, communication
and chief information officer.