New York National Guard Cyber Experts Learn from Brazilian Counterparts

When the Brazilian Cyber Defense Command (CDCiber) showcased itself to representatives of 15 nations August 18 as part of its Cyber Guardian Exercise, two New York Army National Guard Soldiers represented the United States.

Captain Andrew Carter, the information systems officer for the 42nd Infantry Division headquarters battalion, and Chief Warrant Officer Two Nefertiti Stokes, a 173rd Cyber Protection Team (CPT)member, spent three days with Brazilian computer security experts in Brasilia, the country’s capital.

The visit was conducted as part of the State Partnership Program relationship the New York National Guard has had with the Brazilian Armed Forces since 2019.

Their role, Capt. Carter said, was to determine what types of cyber operations training the New York National Guard’s computer security experts could conduct with their Brazilian counterparts.

Brazil’s Ministry of Defense Cyber Defense Center oversees cybersecurity across all sectors.

What they learned, Capt. Carter said, is that Brazil relies on its military computer security specialists to protect both military information systems and those of Brazilian civilian industry professionals.

This is very similar to U.S. Cyber Command’s emphasis on keeping military networks as well as critical infrastructure across the nation safe from computer attacks, Capt. Carter said. The difference, he noted, is that because Brazil does not have a National Guard equivalent, the Brazilians have full-time military personnel working with civilian cyber professionals to deal with cyber threats.

Capt. Carter said the United States relies on full-time personnel and people like Chief Warrant Officer 2 Stokes, who works in cybersecurity as a civilian, to put their civilian-acquired knowledge to work.

The three-day visit gave the two New Yorkers a chance to see different facets of Brazil’s communications and signals effort.

On the first day, they visited Brazil’s equivalent of the U.S. Army Signal School at Fort Gordon, Georgia. Capt. Carter said he was impressed and amazed to find out the Brazilians were still teaching the use of Morse code to encrypt messages. The U.S. Army stopped teaching the dots and dashes of Morse…