Air Force Academy cadets take Shell trophy, defeat Army at cyber competition

  • Published
  • By Ray Bowden
  • U.S. Air Force Academy Public Affairs

Air Force beat Army in a Capture the Flag Cyber Competition Nov. 2 at the U.S. Military Academy.


The competition pitted teams of cadets against each other in cyberspace where they wrestled with software flaws and vulnerable servers allowing teams to exploit the system weaknesses of the opposing team and “capture” each other’s flags. 

The goal of the competition is to control and compromise the opposing team’s computer system.


“This was a live, six-hour attack and defend-style event where cadets from the Academy’s Cyber Competition Team and the U.S. Military Academy’s Cadet Competition Cyber Team developed and demonstrated cyber operations skills in a competitive exercise environment,” said Capt. Justin Raynor, an instructor in the Academy’s Computer and Cyber Sciences Department.


In all, 12 Army cadets and 12 Air Force cadets went to battle in cyberspace. When the smoke cleared from the IT battlefield, the Air Force had earned the Shell trophy and Star for winning the competition.


“As the first head-to-head cyber competition between the two academies, the Academy Cyber Competition Team is proud of earning this win and looks forward to future inter-service academy competition,” Raynor said.


According to a U.S. Army news report, the competition develops and demonstrates skills in a competitive exercise environment that challenges cadets to conduct all aspects of cyberspace operations.