Westover Represents AFRC in its First SANS NetWars Services Cup Championship

  • Published
  • By Lt. Col. Juan Doan
  • 439th Airlift Wing

In December 2022 Westover ARB sent five Citizen Airmen from the 439th Communications Squadron to represent the Air Force Reserve Command in the 2022 SANS NetWars Services Cup Championship.

The tournament – now in its seventh year – is a cyber ‘capture-the-flag’ style competition between teams represented by each of the services and their respective reserve components. The event was held in Washington, DC with ten DoD teams represented, to include Air Force, Air Force Reserve, Army, Army Reserve, National Guard, Navy, Marine Corps, Marine Corps Reserve, Coast Guard, and Space Force.

This year marked the first time a Westover team competed in the tournament, and the Patriot Wing placed eighth in the competition, with the National Guard taking its third consecutive title.

Past champions have included the Air Force, a three-time champion in 2016, 2018, and 2019, and the Army as the 2017 champion.

Below are the final standings of the 2022 SANS NetWars Services Cup Championship:

1) National Guard
2) Navy
3) Marine Corps Reserve
4) Marine Corps
5) Air Force
6) Coast Guard
7) Army Reserve
8) Air Force Reserve
9) Army
10) Space Force

Each team gained invaluable experience and lessons in defensive cyber operations through the SANS NetWars competition.

“Capture the Flag exercises like NetWars are the perfect opportunity for our Cyber Citizen Airmen to hone their skills in programming, networking, Linux, Windows administration, cryptography, exploitation techniques, and digital forensics in a competitive environment -- all the skills necessary to defend our net-centric operations in future conflicts,” said Capt. Phillip Wittmaack, 439th CS senior defensive cyber operations officer. “Our Westover Airmen look forward to future opportunities to represent AFRC and are eager to begin a new training regimen based on its recent lessons learned.”