Manchin chairs first cybersecurity subcommittee hearing at 118th Congress

Senator Manchin questioned DoD leadership on the upcoming Locked Shields exercise, artificial intelligence and ensuring cybersecurity coordination Senate Armed Services Cybersecurity Subcommittee, chaired the first hearing of the Cybersecurity Subcommittee at the 118th Congress. Senator Manchin questioned Department of Defense (DoD) chief information officer Mr. John B. Sherman and Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) director Lt. General Robert J. Skinner about the upcoming Locked Shields cybersecurity exercise, which will use artificial weapons to provide information for DoD priorities and ensure cybersecurity coordination across the Department.

On the upcoming Locked Shields exercise to protect cybersecurity and critical infrastructure:

“I want our witnesses to address the importance of the Locked Shields cyber defense exercise, which sees teams from international allies square off against NATO experts at the Cooperative Cyber ​​Defense Center of Excellence in Estonia to counter these attacks on critical infrastructure for a full week simulate . I will also proudly point out that this exercise is coordinated annually by our expert staff at the West Virginia National Guard Inter-Army and Inter-Agency Training and Education Center in Morgantown, West Virginia,” Senator Manchin said in part. “We committed $2 million in funding to this exercise last year to ensure we have the infrastructure and manpower to not only participate in these scenarios, but to win them. Did the exercise meet your expectations? … How can we better coordinate participation at all levels of government?”

On March 21, 2023, Senator Manchin invited leading national security organizations to participate in this year’s Locked Shields Cybersecurity and Critical Infrastructure Protection Exercise, the world’s largest international cyber defense exercise. The virtual exercise will be coordinated by the West Virginia National Guard from April 17-21, 2023 from Morgantown.

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To evaluate and make best use of artificial intelligence (AI) for DoD priorities:

“The practical implementation of artificial intelligence is a top priority for Ranking Member Rounds and myself… Which specific AI application was the most successful?” Senator Manchin partially questioned. “How can we better work on this committee and on Appropriations, which I am also part of, to organize and leverage the DoD’s wealth of data with AI?”

To ensure cybersecurity coordination across the Department of Defense:

“The first CYBERCOM commander, General Alexander, famously asserted that DoD is not one network, but more than 15,000 separate networks loosely connected to each other. Do you agree that DoD networks are not currently rationally standardized given the many different cybersecurity service providers in the department’s segments?” Senator Manchin continued.

A video of Senator Manchin’s opening address can be found here. A video of Senator Manchin questioning the witnesses can be found here.