AFCYBER teams with allied partners for XS19

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. R.J. Biermann
  • Air Forces Cyber Public Affairs
Operations recently wrapped on Exercise Crossed Swords 2019 in Tallinn, Estonia, which ran Jan. 28 to Feb. 1, 2019.

The third annual exercise was co-led by two Baltic States’ civilian cybersecurity organizations, the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence and CERT.LV Information Technology Security Incident Response Institution of the Republic of Latvia. This marked the first year Air Forces Cyber participated.

Crossed Swords 19 was a hands-on, full-scale cyber operations exercise where kinetic and cyber operations were carried out simultaneously, including challenges to industrial control systems, physical security systems, unmanned aerial vehicles and maritime surveillance systems, according to NATO CCDCOE officials.

The exercise hosted more than 100 participants from 21 countries.

24th Air Force/Air Forces Cyber delivers full-spectrum cyberspace capabilities and outcomes to the Air Force, joint force and the nation. Specifically, the unit's disciplined, lethal and ready forces establish, operate, maintain and defend Air Force networks to ensure warfighters can maintain the information advantage as U.S. forces prosecute military operations around the world.

“Our international partners and allies are critical to success in cyberspace,” said Maj. Clara Bayne, AFCYBER Partnerships and Engagements Division chief. “Exercises, like Crossed Swords 2019, provide beneficial opportunities to strengthen these partnerships and maintain global cyberspace superiority.”

The year’s exercise operations focused participants on offensive cyber capabilities.

“The exercise provided an important opportunity to practice cyber operations with [other countries’ cyber professionals],” said 1st Lt. Britton, AFCYBER operator and exercise attendee. “We acted in an offensive mindset against a defensive force; working together to bolster international alliances and relationships.”

For more information on Crossed Swords 2019, visit