Members of industry who sat on a panel Thursday at AFA’s CyberFutures Conference seemed to embrace the potential for the association’s CyberPatriot high school cyber defense competition to spread—even beyond US borders. Duke Ayers, program manager for SAIC’s Cyber Network Exercise System, said while the competition is still growing domestically, it would be counterproductive to limit its growth. Getting international participants would increase the breadth of experience and real-world exposure, both of which would only improve the skills of participants, he said. Some cross-border relationships are already forming, he said, noting that he worked with Canadians in March to perform a “penetration exercise” to help with network defense. Other traditional allies, such as Britain, also are interested in these activities, he noted.
The Air Force overall reduced its size by 120 aircraft in fiscal year 2021, but kept about the same number of fighter, bomber and attack aircraft, according to data supplied by the service. The F-35 fleet saw the biggest increase while the B-1B bomber fleet saw the largest decline.