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81st TRG, MSU partner for cyber development

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Elizabeth Davis
  • 81st Training Wing Public Affairs

Keesler and Mississippi State University are connected through the Mississippi Cyber Initiative, developed to address growing cybersecurity and workforce needs in the state and maintain a crossflow of information to aid cyber training.

81st Training Group instructors led 16 cyber academic-focused students and faculty through briefings and in-depth training exercises on March 16 to help them understand the scope of cyber training at Keesler. The visit included a tour of the escape room, tunneling lab and a signals briefing room, aspects of technical training that promote strategic critical and creative thinking.

“The level of hands-on, immediately relevant training Keesler students receive in a short period of time was impressive,” said Shelly Hollis, MSU Center for Cyber Education director. “Students in a cyber program at a four-year institution could definitely benefit from many of the courses and exercises Keesler students experience.”

Keesler, under Air Education and Training Command and Second Air Force, has been moving toward creating Sixth Generation learning environments that puts student-centered learning at the focus.

“We're integrating a lot of labs and hands-on scenarios so our students can learn about different operating systems,” said Capt. Anthony Particini, 333rd Training Squadron instructor. “Training has shifted from just giving them a piece of the puzzle to now asking them to put the puzzle together themselves, with great results. The students are challenged, and they often surprise themselves.”

Keesler remains a leader in cyber development and training, producing about 6,000 cyber professionals per year between the 333rd TRS, 336th Training Squadron and 338th Training Squadron.

“We are all interconnected when it comes to cyber development,” said Col. Laura King, 81st Training Group commander. “Keesler is invested in partnerships and community and this fits in line with our long-term vision of developing the next generation of cyber professionals.”