TALLINN – The Cyber Command of the Estonian defense forces played an important role in the preparation and organization of Cyber Coalition 2019, this year's edition of NATO's biggest cyber training exercise, which concluded in the building of the imitation group of the Estonian Military Academy in Tartu on Friday.
"Mainly this meant ensuring necessary work environment for the almost 120-strong headquarters of the training exercise and preparation of the exercise's virtual computer network and one technical scenario on the basis of our cyber training range," Maj. Andres Kuusk, head of the support team of the exercise from the Cyber Command, said. In addition to supporting the exercise, Estonian cyber warriors took part in Cyber Coalition 2019 itself together with a cyber defense unit of Kaitseliit (Defense League).
"We have gained a lot of experience that we can analyze in the coming weeks to update our existing procedures and cooperation on the base of that exercise," Kuusk said according to military spokespeople in Tallinn.
Almost a thousand people from 28 NATO member states, seven partner nations and the European Union took part in the 12th edition Cyber Coalition that kicked off on Monday, together testing and rehearsing cooperation and deployment of cyber defense capabilities against constantly changing threats from the cyberspace.
"This year, we focused on capability development and upgrading the alliance's cooperation procedures with the NATO Cyberspace Operations Center," said the commanding officer of the exercise, US Navy Lt. Cmdr. Robert Buckles. He said Estonia has proven itself as a leader in cyber field and technology and organizers were glad to stage the exercise here once again.
The aim of the five-day training exercise was to provide the participants with a challenge that is fictitious yet based on a scenario as realistic as possible, enabling to rehearse technical and command level procedures in cyber defense, cooperation between different nations and organizations, strengthen the cyber operations capability and test the effectiveness of information exchanges and decision making procedures. Georgia, Japan and Ukraine took part in the exercise as partner nations for the first time this year.