17th TES’s Cyber Team Nominated for DoD CIO Annual Award

  • Published
  • By 1st Lt. Charles Rivezzo
  • Space Training and Readiness Command Public Affairs
The Department of the Air Force recently announced the 17th Test and Evaluation Squadron’s (TES) Cyber Team from Space Delta 12 as the department’s Cyber Team nominee for the Department of Defense (DoD) Chief Information Office (CIO) Annual Awards.
The annual awards program recognizes individuals or teams for exceptional achievements in delivering capabilities and management practices that advance the strategic mission and objectives of the DoD CIO’s digital modernization strategy and support the National Defense Strategy priorities.
The 17th TES's focus is on the independent test and evaluation of missile warning, missile defense, and space domain awareness technologies. Their findings provide timely, accurate, and expert information to support weapon system acquisition, operational acceptance, and readiness decisions.
The specific role of the Cyber Team is centered on test integration, resource management, and test execution. The team works to assess cybersecurity operational effectiveness, survivability, recoverability, and adaptability for U.S. Space Force systems.
“Their role is vital in ensuring that our systems remain resilient against potential cyber threats,” said U.S. Space Force Lt. Col. Nicholas Schmidt, 17th TES commander.
According to Schmidt, the Cyber Team stood out due to its significant contributions in testing, evaluating, and analyzing the cyber defense and survivability of 20 space domain awareness, missile warning, and missile defense programs.
“The 17th TES Cyber Team embodied the touchstone traits of the U.S. Space Force: Agility, Innovation, and Boldness,” he said. “Faced with the increased demand of cyber tests, a multi-disciplinary team from across the squadron came together to innovate, adapt, and overcome the technical and process challenges.”
To facilitate and complement mission execution, the team developed comprehensive training plans that paved the way for Delta 12’s organic cyber test capabilities, structured test plans and security documentation templates to streamline operations and modernized their digital footprint to increase efficiency in communication.
Ultimately, their boldness and willingness to think differently enabled them to achieve the U.S. Space Force’s Test Enterprise Vision of driving data-informed decisions at speed and ensuring the fielding of resilient systems, said Schmidt.
Schmidt also emphasized the inherent digital nature of the U.S. Space Force, noting that digital processing and connectivity enables Guardians to deliver tremendous effect to the joint force.
“Information Assurance is key to protecting our capabilities, and the cybersecurity tests and evaluations conducted by the 17th TES Cyber Team are at the forefront of that effort,” Schmidt said. “Being recognized at the DAF-level for their work shows that the Cyber Team is accelerating the change we need to compete and win against our adversaries in all domains.”
The 17th TES Cyber Team will now compete at the DoD-level against nominees from each of the DoD’s service branches. The DoD CIO Awards ceremony will be held in December at the Pentagon.