Last week I served as the host and emcee of the 2015 Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association (AFCEA) Mid-America Cyberspace Symposium in O’fallon, IL.
AFCEA’s mission is to provide a forum for the ethical exchange of information through the exploration of issues relevant to their members in information technology, communications, and electronics for the defense, homeland security, and intelligence communities. This year’s symposium was designed to foster engagement around the primary theme of the event — Securing the Enterprise. The event was attended by approximately 400 military, civilian, and industry participants.
The event included:
- Opening keynote remarks by General Darren McDew, Commander, Air Mobility Command
- Second-day keynote address by Colonel Amy Arwood, Commander, Air Force Network Integration Center
- A Heritage panel moderated by Brig Gen (ret) Touhill, with participants Maj Generals (ret) Capasso, Lampe, and Matthews
- A Rising Leaders panel moderated by Col Michael Cote, Commander, 375th Communications Group, with participants including military, defense contractors, cyber-security SMEs, and a representative from St. Louis’ LaunchCode, which was recognized in March by President Obama as a “national model” when he launched the recent federal initiative to train workers for high-technology service jobs
- Nineteen breakout sessions in the tracks of Cyber Security, Technology, and Governance, with speakers ranging from the USTRANSCOM Deputy J6 to FireEye’s DoD Director to the Principal Security Engineer for Symantec
Government leaders challenged industry to respond to their most pressing cyber challenges and listened as industry presented innovative solutions and constructive feedback on how the government can be better customers. This was the first AFCEA symposium in three years, and was described by local leaders as a “home run.” Attendees received Continuing Education Units for the maintenance of their professional certifications as a result of their participation.