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U.S. Coast Guard Academy Offering Academic Program in Cyber Systems

Coast Guard Academy cadets test their network connection April 19, 2012, during the 2012 Cyber Defense Exercise (CDX) at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in New London, Conn.

The U.S. Coast Guard Academy is now offering an academic put in cyber systems, its first new major in the quarter century.

The program beginning this fall reflects the maritime service’s evolution toward conducting operations in cyberspace since it does at sea by air, said Capt. Lee Petty, chief in the Coast Guard’s Office of Cyberspace Forces in Washington.

“This is really a new domain and we’re approaching it in a very similar vein as we do of these physical domains,” Petty said.

The academy in New London is opening a cyber lab with hosting, a new laboratory as well as a engineered classroom to compliment the program. Kurt Colella, the academy’s dean of academics, said this software will incorporate aspects of fields including policy, law, ethics, os’s, software design and intelligence.

Cadets attend the academy tuition-free and graduate as Coast Guard officers with a bachelor of science degree and a requirement to spend five-years inside service. Nearly 300 students enroll annually.

The new academic program could be the first because the addition of mechanical engineering being a major in 1993.

Last year was initially that new graduates from the academy were assigned to the Coast Guard’s cyber command. Some graduates who major in cyber systems will report to the same command, while some will report to the fleet, Petty said.

The academy also has a cyber team that participates in competitions among service academies organized from the National Security Agency. It operates as a club sports team.

A Coast Guard cyber strategy issued in 20015 identified strategic priorities of defending cyberspace by protecting the service’s information technology networks, enabling operations by applying cyber knowledge to its traditional missions and protecting infrastructure that’s essential to maritime transportation systems.

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