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8/31/2017 11:00:00 AM
Abbeville Native Battles Cyber Threats for U.S. Navy

By M. Dawn Scott, Navy Office of Community Outreach

FORT MEADE, MD – A 2001 Abbeville graduate and Abbeville, South Carolina native protects America from cyber threats as a member of Navy Cyber Warfare Development Group.

“All three of my older brothers were in the National Guard and one brother is up for promotion to major," said Navy Petty Officer 1st Class James Young. "My ASVAB scores were good and I knew this was the path I would take.” 

Young is part of a small and elite community and is one out of about 3,000 cryptologic technicians (technical) in the Navy who analyzes, classifies and catagorizes radio signals to the Navy’s advantage.

Information technology advances at a staggering pace. Practically all major systems on ships, aircraft, submarines, and unmanned vehicles are networked to some degree. This includes most combat, communications, engineering, and navigation systems.  While connectivity provides the military with speed, agility, and precision, it also opens numerous attack opportunities for adept cyber adversaries.

Young plays a crucial role in defending against cyber threats in support of the command’s mission to conduct cutting edge technical research and development to create, test, and deliver advanced cyber, cryptologic, and electronic warfare capabilities to the U.S. Navy using rapid prototyping and acquisition authority.  

According to Navy officials, networks are under continuous threats of attack by a broad array of state actors, terrorist organizations, ‘hacktivist’ groups, organized crime, and individual hackers. Motivations include personal gain, information theft, discrediting the United States, sabotage, political gain, denial or degradation of the Navy’s access to cyberspace. 

“The cyberspace domain is a dynamic environment where new threats and complex problems emerge on an increasingly frequent basis.” said Capt. Brian Luke, commander, NCWDG.  “It is only through the technical expertise and professional dedication of our Sailors, civilians, and other partners, that NCWDG is able to meet these challenges.  Their unique qualifications and specialized skills serve to satisfy fleet and combatant commander needs, and enable warfighting decisions.”

As the information age presents the world with new technological challenges, the Navy relies on its own cyber experts to shape our presence in cyberspace. NCWDG military and civilian personnel work closely with tactical commanders to develop cyberspace operational capabilities for strategic objectives.

Young is proud to serve at the forefront of technology innovation and cyber operations, helping to protect America from threats around the world. 

“Serving in the Navy means I am able to protect my family and everyone I come in contact with,” said Young.

The future of U.S. maritime power depends on the Navy’s ability to achieve their vision for cyberspace operations which is based on careful consideration of the threats, trends, and challenges facing the Navy in cyberspace.

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