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Program helps protect against cyber attacks

BY MARK TARPLEY Published: January 26, 2013

The military command charged with protecting defense networks requires a skilled technical workforce to meet this threat. But skilled cyber defenders are in short supply. The training for this must start early. To meet this need, the Air Force Association organized a high school-level national cyber security competition named Cyber Patriot.

Last year, more than 1,600 high school teams, including 17 from Oklahoma, took part in this competition, which inspires students toward careers in cyber security and other technical disciplines. This year, 23 Oklahoma schools are again competing in the event.

Oklahoma needs defenders of its vital systems and computer networks. Cyber Patriot can assist in developing them.

Tarpley is a retired U.S. Air Force colonel and a former inspector general for Air Combat Command at Tinker AFB. He is a defense marketing consultant and vice president of the Air Force Association, Gerrity Chapter. Information about Cyber Patriot can be found at


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