Story Number: NNS140625-20Release Date: 6/25/2014 7:37:00 PM
From USS Peleliu Public Affairs
USS PELELIU, At Sea (NNS) -- As 40 international ships and submarines sailed toward Hawaii to participate in exercise Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2014, the amphibious assault ship USS Peleliu (LHA 5) hosted two cyber security experiments as part of Trident Warrior 2014 (TW14).
TW14 is an annual experimentation series which is co-led this year by Commander, U.S. Third Fleet, and Commander, Navy Warfare Development Command (NWDC), as part of the Fleet Experimentation (FLEX) program.
Experimentation is vital to the Navy's future, as it guides acquisition decisions and the development of emerging tactics. It also benefits today's Navy by providing unique training opportunities for participating Sailors. TW14 experimentation is fully integrated into RIMPAC, this year, further expanding the exercise's training environment.
The TW14 team aboard Peleliu investigated the shipboard network by using a monitoring tool to detect and prevent internal and external threats from penetrating existing firewalls. One day, the new tool could identify and intercept emails containing malicious links.
"These emerging technologies will not replace the vigilance we require of our crew to counter the types of cyber security threats that target our Navy each day," said Capt. Paul C. Spedero, commanding officer of Peleliu.
Spedero explained, "However, this type of experimentation may help us identify gaps in our current training, to ensure that our crew will be ready, both afloat and ashore, to deter an adversarial attempt to gain access to our information."
One of the TW14 cyber initiative's goals is to examine a programmed cyber defense training and readiness tool which simulates attacks on a shipboard network. This technology also monitors system administrators' responses to counter virtual attacks after existing network defenses were triggered.
These experiments simulate a hostile cyber environment so that experts can evaluate the effectiveness of computer network defenses, while providing Sailors valuable training against cyber threats.
"Having this equipment on board is making us more aware of a number of security issues, and is opening our eyes to things that are happening that we were not aware of," said Information System Technician 3rd Class Lawrence Bartell, assigned to Peleliu. "It is also helping us prevent other outside threats from occurring in the future."
After nine months of planning and coordination, these emerging technologies were installed on the ship's networks in early June and will be removed upon the completion of the transit to Hawaii.
TW14 experimentation will continue through each phase of RIMPAC, investigating more than 30 other innovative government and military sponsored potential solutions to cyber challenges in the fleet.
TW14 is one of 15 fiscal year 2014 experiment efforts in the FLEX program, managed and executed by NWDC, on behalf of U.S. Pacific Fleet and U.S. Fleet Forces Command. The FLEX program plans, designs, conducts, and assesses experiments in response to the fleet's highest priorities, in order to develop new or improved Navy warfighting capabilities and deliver tangible products to the fleet.
Twenty-three nations, more than 40 ships and submarines, more than 200 aircraft and 25,000 personnel are participating in RIMPAC exercise from June 26 to Aug. 1, in and around the Hawaiian Islands. The world's largest international maritime exercise, RIMPAC provides a unique training opportunity that helps participants foster and sustain the cooperative relationships that are critical to ensuring the safety of sea lanes and security on the world's oceans. RIMPAC 2014 is the 24th exercise in the series that began in 1971.