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1st Cyber Defence Advisor Course at NCI Academy Oerias, Portugal


The NATO Communication and Information (NCI) Agency has taken a meaningful step towards launching a new Cyber Curriculum for Cyber Defence across the Alliance. On 11-15 February 2019, the 1st NATO Cyber Defence Advisor Course (ID # 0730) was conducted at the NATO Communications and Information Academy Interim Facility (NCI Academy IF) in Oeiras, Portugal by the NCISS Cyber Defence Section. The course brought together both experience and expertise from across NATO with more than 15 Subject Matter Experts involved in the delivery of this first iteration. Rear Admiral Dr. Thomas Daum, NCI Agency Chief of Staff, opened the course on a beautiful Monday Morning. In his opening speech, delivered via VTC from The Hague, he emphasized to the students and instructors, that this pilot course was just one of many to come from the NCI Academy. He highlighted that delivery of this course was a major milestone supporting the establishment of a state of the art Cyber Defence training knowledge hub within the new NCI Academy. During the course students were involved in a wide variety of lectures and activities provided by SMEs from CCD COE, JWC, NCIRC, MOD PRT, SHAPE and NCISS designed to provide them with the tools to clearly articulate and evaluate the risks and threats of cyberspace and to enable them to provide timely and accurate advice to decision makers. The course provided the opportunity for 35 staff officers from various NATO Headquarters, Agencies, and Commands as well as National Ministries of Defence and the European Union Military Staff to build upon their expertise and learn from each other. The development of this network of peers and experts will be integral in supporting their individual and organizational efforts in reassessing the risks and opportunities during the planning, preparation and execution of Cyber Defence Operations, and elaborating on operational risks and opportunities. During the graduation ceremony, the course director CAPT (PRT N) Carlos Simoes, Head of Training Branch at NCISS expressed his gratitude to all the participants who contributed to the success of the pilot course. The exceptional support of the Portuguese National Cyber Security Center (PRT NSA) and the Cyber Defence Center (PRT MOD), who provided valuable insights on how to set up a National CyOC, with the support of NATO and EU Agencies, were also highlighted. The next iteration of the course is planned for the 30 Sep – 04 Oct 2019 will take place in the new NCI Academy that will build upon the lessons learned in during the pilot course and continue to move NATO forward in its digital endeavor.


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