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CHIPS Articles: CIWT Domain’s Cyber Threat Intelligence Analyst Course Ready for Prime Time

CIWT Domain’s Cyber Threat Intelligence Analyst Course Ready for Prime Time
By Glenn Sircy, Center for Information Warfare Training - November 23, 2020
PENSACOLA, Fla. – Information Warfare Training Command (IWTC) Virginia Beach, as part of the Center for Information Warfare Training (CIWT), completed its new Cyber Threat Intelligence Analyst Course (CTIAC) pilot onboard Naval Air Station Oceana Dam Neck Annex, Nov. 18.

After 12 months of design and development with collaboration from joint-service subject matter experts (SME), the CTIAC pilot got underway Oct. 5 with the cohort of 15 joint-service trainees graduating, Nov. 18.

“Today, cyberspace operations are a warfighting platform and force multiplier for commanders,” said Capt. Marc Ratkus, commanding officer of CIWT. “Our new Cyber Threat Intelligence Analyst Course postures our military and civilian intelligence analysts to fully support their commanders, ensuring they can maintain the freedom to operate in the cyber domain and accomplish their missions in support of our national security strategy, bore-sighted on Great Power Competition.”

The course replaces the All Source Intelligence Analyst – Introduction to Cyber (ASIA-ITC) course, and is designed to teach intelligence specialist (IS) the knowledge and skills necessary to perform on cyber mission and cyber protection teams. The cyber threat intelligence analyst builds upon the knowledge and skills learned in entry-level IS training and on-the-job.

Previously, the ASIA-ITC course included Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard trainees, and this was the first class that also included Army and Air Force trainees in attendance.

CTIAC prepares intelligence analysts to support cyberspace operations. Trainees learn to implement defensive and offensive cyberspace mission tasking, collect and process intelligence for the generation of intelligence products to satisfy cyberspace intelligence requirements and essential elements of information, develop target packages to support cyberspace operations, and disseminate cyber intelligence information via briefings, written reports, and messages.

The new CTIAC course came about when CIWT assumed ASIA-ITC, Oct. 1, 2018. The ASIA-ITC training originally fulfilled commercial training solutions but was not developed to satisfy U.S. Cyber Command (USCYBERCOM) and cyber mission force requirements. It also lacked government instructional systems design and control. Student and instructor feedback identified critical training gaps, prompting U.S. Fleet Cyber Command / U.S. 10th Fleet to direct an out-of-cycle training requirement review (TRR), or high-performance team in the USCYBERCOM nomenclature.

CIWT led the TRR attended by 44 military and civilian SMEs from multiple commands and five services. At the end of the working group, the executive steering committee validated course discrepancies and endorsed actions required to mold the ASIA-ITC course into the new CTIAC course to meet mission requirements. Upon USCYBERCOM validation, the CTIAC will serve as the joint training standard for all cyber mission force intelligence analyst.

“Overall, the pilot was a success, and the entire team did a remarkable job of developing and facilitating the curriculum,” said Cmdr. James Brennan, commanding officer of IWTC Virginia Beach. “Our entire IWTC Virginia Beach team is fully dedicated to training and preparing information warfare professionals to help direct and synchronize full-spectrum cyberspace operations to deter, disrupt and if necessary, defeat adversary cyber actors to defend our nation.”

The first regular CTIAC is scheduled to convene Nov. 30.

IWTC Virginia Beach currently offers 59 courses of instruction in information technology, cryptology, and intelligence with an instructor and support staff of 230 military, civilian, and contract members who train over 6,600 students every year at 5 training sites in the Hampton Roads area. It is one of four school houses for Center for Information Warfare Training (CIWT) and also oversees learning sites at Jacksonville and Mayport, Florida; Kings Bay, Georgia; and Groton, Connecticut to continue aligning information warfare community training.

With four schoolhouse commands, a detachment, and training sites throughout the United States and Japan, CIWT trains over 22,000 students every year, delivering trained information warfare professionals to the Navy and joint services. CIWT also offers more than 200 courses for cryptologic technicians, intelligence specialists, information systems technicians, electronics technicians, and officers in the information warfare community.

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Marines with Marine Corps Forces Cyberspace Command pose for photos in cyber operations room at Lasswell Hall aboard Fort Meade, Maryland, Feb. 5, 2020. MARFORCYBER Marines conduct offensive and defensive cyber operations in support of United States Cyber Command and operate, secure and defend the Marine Corps Enterprise Network. This image is a photo illustration.
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