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Tar River Composite Squadron Cadets Compete in CyberPatriot Competition

Cadet looks at computer
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Cadet Technical Sergeant Luke Wilfong focuses on working through a problem at the CyberPatriot training session on 20 October 2019. Cadet Wilfong landed an internship at his high school in Rocky Mount through skills he learned in the program. Photo Credit 1st Lt Liz Dunster, CAP (click image to view full size)
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Event marks nine years of competition for NC-057

12/9/2019––Cadets from the Tar River Composite Squadron recently competed in CyberPatriot XII, the twelfth edition of the Air Force Association’s annual cyber security competition.  The event is the nation’s largest cyber defense competition with nearly 7000 teams competing across the country!  According to the CyberPatriot website, "CyberPatriot is the National Youth Cyber Education Program created by the Air Force Association to inspire K-12 students toward careers in cyber security or other science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines critical to our nation's future."  While competing and training, participants learn about real world problem solving by working to accomplish team goals and developing their organizational skills.
Tar River Composite Squadron has participated in the CyberPatriot program for nine years.  Training sessions started in September this year, both before regular meetings and on Sunday afternoons on most weekends, to prepare the cadets for the three competition rounds. The training sessions were run by the coach, 1st Lt Nicholas Green, using curriculum provided by CyberPatriot to prepare for the competition. A room in the squadron building at Rocky Mount – Wilson Airport was transformed into a computer lab with cadets crowded around PCs, going through a crash course in cyber security, networking and, most importantly, teamwork. 
1st Lt Green said he believes "that cyber security is crucial to the protection of both individuals and our nation."  He added, “The knowledge and experience the cadets gain through the CyberPatriot competition will be valuable to keep themselves safe online and may even inspire some of them to pursue a career in cyber security or related fields."  
C/TSgt Luke Wilfong is already putting that knowledge to use.  He said, “This year of CyberPatriot has been great and has taught me much in the domain of cyber security thanks to our great coach, Lt Green. The skills taught to me by CyberPatriot have helped me land an internship at my high school."
The NC-057 CyberPatriot cadet team consisted of: C/Amn Gabriel Vick, C/TSgt Chris Hess and C/TSgt Luke Wilfong. The coach was 1st Lt Nicholas Green. Two cadets who have aged out of the CyberPatriot program serve as mentors to the younger cadets – C/Lt Col Richard Green and C/2d Lt Justin Newcomb.  The team was also assisted by Lt Col William Hess and 1st Lt Liz Dunster.