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NEWS | Dec. 19, 2023

Navy Reserve Sailors Strengthen Navy Networks

By Petty Officer 2nd Class Timothy Ruple

U.S. Navy Reserve Sailors assigned to U.S. Fleet Cyber Command (FCC) and U.S. 10th Fleet (C10F) continue to detect, identify, eliminate and prevent unclassified network issues during Operation Cyber Dragon.

Operation Cyber Dragon supports the Department of Defense Information Network in the identification and remediation of forward-facing network vulnerabilities. It uses Navy Reserve Sailors in an active, continuous mission to reduce the Navy's cyber vulnerabilities.

Operation Cyber Dragon leverages the unique skills and demonstrated abilities of the cyber warfighter to conduct hunt missions on internal networks and identify vulnerabilities and network security threats. Once observed, cyber professionals provide remediation actions to harden the network and secure the information. Some of the potential vulnerabilities remediated during the operation include network/asset misconfiguration, certificate issues, and patch management.

This ongoing operation was conducted this year at military installations in Texas, New Jersey, Tennessee, and Maryland.

In its second year and after nine completed phases, Operation Cyber Dragon has trained hundreds of Reserve Sailors, resulting in refined tactics, techniques, procedures, and analytics.

The Reserve Sailors align themselves to advertised active-training periods to support Operation Cyber Dragon phases. During this time, operations staff conduct instruction and training sessions while Sailors establish the required accounts to conduct the operation.

Technology is changing and evolving on a daily basis, with new vulnerabilities identified that require active measures to address. This makes operations such as Operation Cyber Dragon a vital part in training and maintaining the readiness of our cyber warriors. These warriors focus on building the capacity to win against a persistent adversary and the capability to meet the complicated challenge, striving to neutralize any threat at any time.

U.S. Fleet Cyber Command is responsible for Navy information network operations, offensive and defensive cyberspace operations, space operations, and signals intelligence. Comprised of more than 14,000 Sailors, Reserve Sailors, and civilians stationed across the world, U.S. 10th Fleet is the operational arm of FCC and executes its mission through a task force structure similar to other warfare commanders.