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Advanced Course in Engineering (ACE) Interns Ended Intense 10-Week Program with Capstone Events and Graduation Ceremony in August

Applications for the 2023 ACE program are now being accepted

Binh Tran, Corey Jones, Lt. Brad Agee and Philip Argauer

VERONA, NY — On Friday, August 12, 2022, after a grueling 56-hour Capstone event earlier in the same the week, the 2022 Advanced Course in Engineering (ACE) interns were honored during their graduation ceremony held at the Turning Stone Resort & Casino, in Verona NY.

ACE CyberApproximately 100 friends and family members gathered in the Oneida Ballroom that evening to honor and wish well the 43 ACE interns that completed the 10-week long program.

The ceremony began with the Presentation of Colors and National Anthems of the United States, the United Kingdom and Switzerland, representing the three countries of the 2022 ACE Interns.

During the graduation ceremony, the interns were presented with graduation certificates and ACE coins. Keynote speaker, Col William Young, Graduated Commander of the 350th Spectrum Warfare Wing, spoke to the graduates about courage, accountability, and preparation. “You must know the technology and the preparation, but you must have the courage to make the call, even when you fall short…It’s hard to be mad at someone who owns up to their mistakes…ACE 2022 graduates, the accountability is one you have to own up to, “said Col. Young.

Dr. Michael Hayduk, Deputy Director of Air Force Research Laboratory Information Directorate and Ms. Heather Hage, President and CEO of the Griffiss Institute, were also in attendance.

Matthew Fisher, from Purdue University, was named 2022 ACE valedictorian.

Earlier in the week, the interns endured a 56-hours Capstone event where they applied their previously learned knowledge to achieve mission objectives in a simulated cyber warfare exercise.

“Over this summer, our graduates have displayed exceptional technical and leadership skills. They have been dedicated to the program and each other, showcasing their willingness to become future cyber leaders,” said Tiffany DeLuca, Griffiss Institute Intern Program Lead. “Every year we look forward to this day, as the culmination of their hard work and the beginning of their future, where they will utilize the skills that they have learned to better their organizations and nations.” 

The 2022 ACE Capstone played out as a regional rivalry between three powers. Participants had to create a plan to translate operational objectives into tactical actions achieved through kinetic and cyber effects. A rich cyber battlespace provided the fabric to couple the cyber and kinetic domains with the opportunity to attack traditional network enclaves, aircraft, integrated air defense systems, and supply/logistics systems among others. The ACE Team assessed success in the exercise based on the participants ability to achieve their operational objectives while denying the adversary their own. Winners of the Capstone won well-earned bragging rights and the cyber war-training experience of a lifetime.

In 2003, Dr. Kamal Jabbour, ST, Senior Scientist for Information Assurance at the Information Directorate, Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL/RI), in Rome, New York, started the Advanced Course in Engineering (ACE) Cyber Security Boot Camp. The 10-week program educates interns on the science of information assurance and trains them in the art of cyber warfare. The leadership development component of the ACE focuses on problem solving through technical excellence, communication skills, and on-time performance.

The ACE experience is designed with four mission imperatives.

  • First, to develop highly competent and credible problem solvers and change agents who can bring order to technical chaos by appropriately framing wicked problems and decisively applying sound technical judgment under complex and uncertain conditions to provide solutions on time.
  • Second, to inculcate a warrior ethos by developing “a hardiness of spirit and moral and physical courage” to challenge erroneous paradigms with creative transformational approaches.
  • Third, to shape cyber leaders who can exercise competence, commitment, courage, and compassion in leading change through cohesive teams based on mutual trust.
  • Fourth, to hone clear, concise, and compelling communication skills enabling cyber leaders to provide purpose, direction, and motivation in fostering a shared sense of purpose and enabling empowered execution.

Applications for the 2023 Advanced Course in Engineering (ACE) program are now being accepted at www.ace-cyber.com/ace/apply. Deadline to apply is December 4, 2022.

(Photo l-r: Binh Tran, Corey Jones, Lt. Brad Agee and Philip Argauer. Photo by Griffiss Institute)

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