“In traditional military operations we need to be able to shoot, move, and communicate. We need to identify key positions, know the terrain and know enemy capabilities. Cybersecurity is the same concept,” said Chief Warrant Officer Three Luis D. Nieves, a U.S. Army cyber defender assigned to the U.S. Army 915th Cyber Warfare Battalion.
Chief Warrant Officer 3 Nieves was chosen as an Army expert during a recent cyber defense subject matter expertise exchange between the U.S. and Argentine armies.
Personnel from U.S. Army South coordinated this three-day exchange with the Argentine Army Cyber Defense Directorate to share how U.S. Army cyber defense plays a role in military operations and defense of the nation.
“We had U.S. soldiers engaging with the Argentine Army Cyber Defense Division personnel at all echelons from strategic leadership, action officer to the analyst level,” said Sergeant Major Albert Dernberger, U.S. Army South Fires and Effects Directorate senior enlisted advisor. “It is a very collaborative environment when we talk about cyber and trying to figure out how the adversary maneuvers in that space, so we learn a lot from each other.”
Sgt. Maj. Dernberger explained that we look at cyber partnerships as key players in developing a holistic defensive posture.
“Other countries see similar threats, together we can identify TTPs [Tactics, Techniques and Procedures] of the adversary, and use those things to bolster our security, and in return we are providing that information back through various mechanisms so our partners can bolster their security as well,” he said.
Colonel Luis P. Guimpel, director of the Argentine Army Cyber Defense Division led the Argentine Army during the exchange and will also serve as the cyber operations cell lead during the annual PANAMAX exercise taking place at Fort Sam Houston, Texas, in August 2022. PANAMAX is a multinational exercise that provides training opportunities for nations to work together and build the capability to plan and conduct complex multinational operations.
“We have always been partners, and these events continue to build that partnership,” said Col. Guimpel.
U.S. Army South has a long-lasting relationship with partner nation armies’ cyber communities of interest and work with cyber professionals in the region to build cybersecurity capacities and capabilities through exchanges, offering opportunities to participate in international cyber conferences and participation in cyber cells during multinational and bilateral exercises.
“We learned a lot about the Argentine Army’s challenges with defending their military networks from cyberattacks, and we were able to discuss some of the shared challenges such as talent retention and organizational development,” said Sgt. Maj. Dernberger.
As the exchange came to a close, Col. Guimpel shared knowledge from one of his military professors during his time as a young Army Lieutenant.
“No one person or organization can know everything,” he said. “That piece of information holds true today, over 30 years later. It is imperative that we continue to come together and share information so we can continue strengthening our defenses.”