California Cadets Place 2nd in CyberPatriot XV Cisco Challenge
The California Wing’s Fullerton Composite Squadron 56 added a second-place finish in the Cisco Network Academy Challenge to its record of success – including three straight national finals and five in six years – in the CyberPatriot National Youth Cyber Defense Competition when results were announced March 20.
Each Fullerton team member will receive a $1,500 education grant from Cisco. The 2021 Fullerton team won the Cisco challenge in 2021 and also finished third overall in CyberPatriot’s All-Service Division.
Results of the 2022-2023 competition, administered by the Air & Space Forces Association, were announced in Rockville, Maryland.
This year’s Fullerton Composite team consisted of:
- Cadet Col. Jesse James II
- Cadet 2nd Lt. Ryan Kim
- Cadet Airman 1st Class David Song
- Cadet Airman Minseo Kim
- Cadet Airman Basics Peter Feng and Isaac Kim
Their coach was Capt. Brian Vu. All but Feng and Isaac Kim also competed on last year’s team.
Three Civil Air Patrol cadet teams reached the national finals, with first-time finalists from the Idaho Wing’s Boise Composite Squadron and the New Jersey Wing’s Raritan Valley Composite Squadron joining the Fullerton cadets.
CyberPatriot is intended to spur high school and middle school students’ interest in cybersecurity or other science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines.
The nation's largest cyber defense competition, CyberPatriot puts high school and middle school students in charge of securing virtual networks, challenging them to harden simulated computer systems and resolve real-life cybersecurity situations faced by industry professionals.
Participants from Civil Air Patrol compete in the All Service Division, which also includes Junior ROTC teams from each of the military services as well as the Naval Sea Cadet Corps. This year a total of 1,519 teams competed.
CAP teams have finished first nationally three times – in 2011, 2012, and 2015 – and second or third eight times.
The Boise Composite team consisted of:
- Cadet Capt. Owen Klein
- Cadet 2nd Lts. Sihu Hwang and Natalie Salyer
- Cadet Chief Master Sgt. Finnegan Cretser
- Cadet Senior Master Sgt. Nathan Pearl
Adult mentors were Micron employees Randy Deshazer and Matt Howell.
The Raritan Valley Composite team consisted of:
- Cadet Capt. Aditya Patwal
- Cadet 1st Lt Pranav Jithesh
- Cadet 2nd Lts. Carl Furtado, Clarissa Furtado, and Amit Sail
- Cadet Chief Master Sgt. Tiffany Tian
Capt. Carol Faaland-Kronmaier and 2nd Lt. Giri Sonty served as coaches and mentors.