Scott Air Force Base News

CYSS continues to strive in training Cyber Airmen

The Cyberspace Support Squadron, commanded by Lt. Col. Eric Trias, provides strategic planning, requirements development, program management, and cyberspace expertise to the warfighter services and various DOD agencies. Lisa McCoy, CYSS Training Management Section Chief, is responsible for Air Force e-Learning, Air Force Information Assurance Workforce Improvement Program, and Communications and Information Mission Readiness Training initiatives.
The Cyberspace Support Squadron, commanded by Lt. Col. Eric Trias, provides strategic planning, requirements development, program management, and cyberspace expertise to the warfighter services and various DOD agencies. Lisa McCoy, CYSS Training Management Section Chief, is responsible for Air Force e-Learning, Air Force Information Assurance Workforce Improvement Program, and Communications and Information Mission Readiness Training initiatives.

The Cyberspace Support Squadron is one of the many Mission Partners at Scott Air Force Base. What sets them apart is their influence on the cyber community through their global reach in supporting a breadth of cyber programs and operations on behalf of Air Force Space Command.

“We are a unique and diverse squadron that provides strategic planning, requirements development, program management, and cyberspace expertise to the warfighter, Services and various agencies,” said Lt. Col. Eric Trias, CYSS commander. “Not just AFSPC or AF, but several DOD agencies, as well.”

Under the Air Force Space Command, CYSS is comprised of five diverse flights: Information and Training Management, Cyberspace Maintenance, Cyberspace Operations, Cyberspace Security, and Plans and Requirements.

“We are global, our programs support every MAJCOM and every Airman in the cyber business,” said Trias. “We are Subject Matter Experts, so we get calls from all over the Air Force for help, like in the areas of records management or COMSEC programs. These are just some of the programs we are looked to for advice and consultancy.”

We are global, our programs support every MAJCOM and every Airman in the cyber business. We are Subject Matter Experts, so we get calls from all over the Air Force for help, like in the areas of records management or COMSEC programs.

Lt. Col. Eric Trias, CYSS Commander

As one of its five flights, Information and Training Management’s responsibilities are to train Cyber Airmen and maintain the Air Force’s cyber training resources. The flight manages three initiatives directly related to training our cyber workforce: Air Force e-Learning, Air Force Information Assurance Workforce Improvement Program, and Communications and Information Mission Readiness Training.

The first, an online training website called AF e-Learning, is a program that delivers 24/7 access to all Air Force personnel, from military to civilian and some availability for contractors. It focuses on supporting the Cyber Operations and Support Air Force Specialty Codes by offering training that is embedded in their Career Field Education and Training Plans. However, there are many more resources that thousands of users across Air Force functional communities access for a variety of desktop applications.

“When Airmen have to do core training for their five or seven level, they come to AF e-Learning to get a part of that training,” said Lisa McCoy, CYSS Training Management Section Chief. “It’s a very valuable training resource for those career fields, as well as others within the Air Force who are looking for desktop training for how to use your computer or Microsoft Excel, Word, and other Microsoft Office programs.”

Other training resources available include books, videos, or job aides (quick cheat sheets that offer reference information), practice tests and online mentoring.

“In FY16 145,600 unique Air Force users logged into the AF e-Learning system 666,700 times,” said McCoy. “We also just awarded our follow-on contract with the same company so the continuity will stay the same and there won’t be a disruption to the service.”

The second initiative, the Air Force Information Assurance Workforce Improvement Program, was stood up in 2005 and implemented across the Air Force to comply with a DOD mandate that says that anyone who has elevated permissions to work on the network must have a commercial certification.

“With AFSPC funding, we support all Air Force Information Assurance personnel who need commercial certifications. That allows them privileged access to do their job to maintain the networks or create policy and manage people under them that are influencing the network,” said McCoy. “We do not pay for classroom training, but we pay for their commercial certification test and annual renewal fees.”

Under the Air Force Space Command, CYSS is comprised of five diverse flights: Information and Training Management, Cyberspace Maintenance, Cyberspace Operations, Cyberspace Security, and Plans and Requirements.

As of October, the program has issued over 3,800 test vouchers for members to become certified and 16,000 tokens for users to maintain certifications just this calendar year.

“We’ve also funded 2,170 test vouchers this year for the Keesler Air Force Base school house for cyber Airmen going through technical training,” said McCoy. “Every month Keesler produces 150-170 new cyber airmen, and they can’t graduate until they pass their certification test.”

There are more than 34,000 members across the Air Force that require this cyber security certification, and these certifications are not just for those with a cyber AFSC. All the resources required for getting certified and satisfying continuing education requirements are made available on the AF e-Learning site.

“It could be personnel in the intelligence field or even a system administrator that would load software on your computer,” said McCoy. “We have our hands in a lot of different functional communities that participate in maintaining and sustaining the network.”

The third initiative, Communications and Information Mission Readiness Training, identifies and matches advanced training requirements with available formal training courses, as well as scopes the mission readiness training required to sustain the AFSC.

“This is not upgrade training, but advanced training to enhance your five or seven level and expands what you can do within your AFSC,” said McCoy. “In the Comm and Info area we support military and civilians aligned under the 3DXXX, 3A1X1 and the 17D (cyber officers) AFSCs.”

McCoy’s team manages the training quotas primarily for Air Education and Training Command courses. If a member needs to attend a certain mission readiness training class, then her team will try to find an open training slot and schedule the member for the class.

“This mission used to be at the MAJCOMs, but several years ago, it was centralized into CYSS, and there have been great benefits in leveraging AF wide course openings for members to take advantage of,” said McCoy.

McCoy, a retired major with 34 years of combined government service, leads a team of 13 people and takes pride in their reputation as the forefront of cyber training in the Air Force.

“I’ve been doing this for a long time, but whenever I get talking about it I get excited because I’m constantly amazed at the impact we have on the Air Force,” said McCoy. “We work with HQ Air Force, school houses, AFSPC, and Functional Managers to make sure they have the resources they need, and the demand keeps growing.”

It could be personnel in the intelligence field or even a system administrator that would load software on your computer. We have our hands in a lot of different functional communities that participate in maintaining and sustaining the network.

Lisa McCoy, CYSS Training Management Section Chief

The culmination of each flight’s efforts have created a strong impression. For CYSS’s commander, this is just the start.

“We have a very good reputation with people who already know about us, but many more can benefit from what we can provide,” Trias added. “We want to spread the word about all that we do and invite people to look to us for help or referrals with respect to their cyber challenges.”

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