18:00 PM

Colo. Springs Cadet Team Wins CyberPatriot IX

BALTIMORE – The Colorado Springs Cadet Squadron is a national CyberPatriot champion again.

The team finished first in the Air Force Association’s CyberPatriot IX National Youth Cyber Defense Competition All Service Division finals Wednesday night.

The CyberPatriot title was the second for the Colorado Springs team, which also finished first overall in 2012. The team has been in the finals for seven straight years, taking third place in 2016 and second in 2015.

The Illinois Wing’s Fox Valley Composite Squadron team also represented CAP in this year's finals, doing so for the first time.

Along with the CAP teams from Colorado and Illinois, the final round of competition in the All Service Division included three Navy Junior ROTC teams and two teams each from Army, Air Force and Marine Corps Junior ROTC and the Naval Sea Cadets. Another 12 teams from high schools across the U.S. competed in the Open Division finals, as did three teams in the Middle School Division.

This year’s Colorado Springs cadet team:

  • Cadet Capts. Taylor Coffee, team captain, and Zach Cramer
  • Cadet 1st Lt. Isaac Stone
  • Cadet 2nd Lt. Noah Bowe
  • Cadet Chief Master Sgt. Garrett Jackson

Coffee and Bowe competed on the national stage for the third straight year. Cramer and Stone were second-time finalists, while Jackson was a first-year national finals competitor.

Assisting the team members in their preparations were 1st Lt. Amy Griswold and Cadet 2nd Lt. Victor Griswold. The team’s coach was Maj. Bill Blatchley, the squadron’s aerospace education officer.

For CyberPatriot IX, CAP once more sent a record number of teams to the All Service Division – 528, six more than the previous year. That accounted for 33 percent of the All Service Division field and 12 percent of a record total field of 4,404 teams, including 2,217 in the Open Division, 1,589 in the All Services Division and 598 in the Middle School Division.

CAP teams have recorded two first-place, two second-place and two third-place finishes over the last seven CyperPatriot competitions, along with first place in the inaugural Middle School Competition in CyberPatriot VI.

Colorado Springs’ 2012 team placed first in CyberPatriot IV. The previous year, a team of cadets from three Florida Wing squadrons took the national title, giving CAP its first CyberPatriot crown. In 2014, the California Wing’s Beach Cities Cadet Squadron 107 team won the inaugural middle school competition.

The Air Force Association launched CyberPatriot, the National Youth Cyber Defense Competition, in 2009 as part of its emphasis on STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education.

The competition puts teams of high school and middle school students in the position of newly hired information technology professionals tasked with managing the network of a small company. Competing teams are given a set of virtual images that represent operating systems, then tasked with finding cybersecurity vulnerabilities within the images and hardening the system while maintaining critical services in a six-hour period.

Northrop Grumman Foundation is CyberPatriot's presenting sponsor. Other program sponsors include AT&T Federal and the AT&T Foundation, Cisco, Microsoft, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the Office of the Secretary of Defense, Facebook, Riverside Research, Splunk, Symantec, the Air Force Reserve, American Military University, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Leidos and University of Maryland University College.

Civil Air Patrol, the longtime all-volunteer U.S. Air Force auxiliary, is the newest member of the Air Force’s Total Force, which consists of regular Air Force, Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve, along with Air Force retired military and civilian employees. CAP, in its Total Force role, operates a fleet of 550 aircraft and performs about 90 percent of continental U.S. inland search and rescue missions as tasked by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center and is credited by the AFRCC with saving an average of 78 lives annually. Civil Air Patrol’s 56,000 members nationwide also perform homeland security, disaster relief and drug interdiction missions at the request of federal, state and local agencies. Its members additionally play a leading role in aerospace/STEM education and serve as mentors to more than 24,000 young people currently participating in the CAP cadet program. Performing missions for America for the past 75 years, CAP received the Congressional Gold Medal in 2014 in honor of the heroic efforts of its World War II veterans. CAP also participates in Wreaths Across America, an initiative to remember, honor and teach about the sacrifices of U.S. military veterans. Visit www.capmembers.com for more information.