Recently, ten USNA Cyber Science Majors had the opportunity to travel to various countries throughout Europe as part of a sweeping Faculty-Led Language, Regional Expertise, and Culture (LREC) trip that is funded through generous donations to the USNA Cyber Center. During their time in Europe, the Midshipmen were joined at various points along the way by a group of Cadets from USMA that are also focusing on cyber security law and policy.
The trip centered on the Midshipmen attending the 11th annual NATO International Conference on Cyber Conflict (CyCon) in Tallinn, Estonia. Organized by the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence (CCDCOE), the conference focuses on the current and critical issues in cyber by bringing together the key decision-makers and cyber experts representing government, military, academia and the private sector. The Midshipmen were able to hear from some of the world’s foremost leaders and experts on cyber policy and law.
Wrapping up their time in Poland, the group transitioned to Munich, Germany in order to visit the Bundeswehr University, one of two military academies in Germany, in order to learn more about their programs and research in cyber. During the visit, the Midshipmen were briefed on the school’s academics, and provided a live demonstration of a researcher compromising a computer system. In their free time, the group had the opportunity to explore the Parnach Gorge in Garmisch, and even spend a day glacier skiing in Austria.
The final component of the trip was a visit to the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies (GCMC) in Garmisch in the Bavarian Alps, where the group attended several talks on current European security issues, most notably the tenuous and ongoing situation between Russia and Ukraine. These sessions included insightful back-and-forth discussions between the speakers and members of the audience, often senior leaders from the respective countries being discussed.