On June 20, 2016, representatives from the University of South Florida (USF) and the Naval Air Warfare Center Training Systems Division (NAWCTSD) formally signed and entered into an Educational Partnership Agreement. The agreement focuses on leveraging the combined resources of both organizations for the mutual pursuit of advancing Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education—especially in the areas of cybersecurity and cyber warfare modeling, simulation, training and human performance (MST&HP).
“Cybersecurity is one of the top five areas we focus on as it affects much of what we do,” said Capt. Erik Etz, NAWCTSD Commanding Officer. “Integrated warfighting capability, networked operations, distributed training, linking trainers together across platforms…all of that requires cybersecurity and cyber awareness, as it has the potential to be the battlefield of the future.”
Through the Florida Center for Cybersecurity (FC2), USF will provide the strategic vision and guidance facilitating education and information sharing on cybersecurity. As an executive member of Team Orlando, NAWCTSD with the assistance of other members of Team Orlando will provide MST&HP expertise and resources to help enact USF/FC2’s strategic vision.
The FC2, housed under the leadership of USF, was created by the 2013 Florida Legislature and it is “charged with securing Florida’s place as the national leader in cybersecurity through education; innovative, interdisciplinary research; and community outreach.” Through its cybersecurity working group, Team Orlando will collaborate with FC2. This working group, which includes representatives from the different Team Orlando Commands, was created by the Team Orlando executive Board of Directors to facilitate the sharing of cyber training and technologies, lessons learned and initiatives; and to facilitate cyber collaboration among Team Orlando members and other organizations outside of Team Orlando.
Access to Team Orlando via NAWCTSD will provide USF students and faculty a unique opportunity to become aware of and collaborate in the many disciplines associated with modeling, simulation, training and human performance (MST&HP), which would not otherwise be available. To assist in executing their mission, NAWCTSD engineers and other employees will be able to leverage the educational knowledge and capabilities of USF students and faculty.
“We are excited to bring the best attributes of our research and begin working with Team Orlando,” said Sri Sridharan, managing director and chief operating officer for the Florida Center for Cybersecurity at USF. He explained that working together allows academia and government to more effectively solve common cybersecurity challenges. "We look forward to a very fruitful relationship."
The leaders from both USF and NAWCTSD said they are excited about increasing the opportunities for scientific growth, exploration and experience through collaborative efforts in various technology areas as they relate to various scientific disciplines.