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Governor Snyder Cuts Ribbon on Newest Installation of the Michigan Cyber Range

BATTLE CREEK, Mich. – The Michigan Cyber Range unveiled the first unclassified cyber training installation located at a military facility during a ribbon-cutting ceremony on March 25 in Battle Creek, Michigan. The new location for the Michigan Cyber Range is located at the 110th Airlift Wing National Guard Base and is the first of its kind in the United States.

Governor Rick Snyder attended the event and spoke on the critical importance of being prepared for a cyber attack before it happens. “Most people won’t recognize the value of what’s being done today. It is not a crisis yet,” said Snyder. “Let’s not be on the defensive. Let’s make sure we have that defense in place when it’s needed.”

Michigan National Guard photos

The ribbon-cutting event featured a live cyber exercise conducted by three military teams located across the country. In addition to soldiers from the Air National Guard Base in Battle Creek, MI, teams from the California National Guard and the West Point Military Academy in New York participated in the exercise.

The cyber exercise took place within a virtual town know as Alphaville, located on the Michigan Cyber Range. Alphaville is made up of four sectors created by virtual machines: a library, a school, city hall and a power company. Each location is set to a specific security level. Through Alphaville, the teams practiced real-world cyber defense and offense on an isolated network.

The Michigan Cyber Range was inaugurated in 2012, at Merit’s headquarters in Ann Arbor, MI, as part of Governor Snyder’s Cyber Initiative, launched to improve cybersecurity efforts in Michigan. The Michigan Cyber Initiative pairs cybersecurity resources with hands-on training opportunities to protect Michigan’s critical infrastructure and sensitive data.

Michigan National Guard photos

Cybersecurity training is not just needed by the military, but students, business owners and IT professionals. “We are trying to train across industry, so more people can be aware,” says Joe Adams, Director of the Michigan Cyber Range. “Companies can come and take advantage of us,” Adams said. “the Guard, state government, just about anybody.”

The Michigan Cyber Range offers numerous cybersecurity certification courses online and in Michigan throughout the year. Students can easily register for courses at the Michigan Cyber Range web site.

The Michigan Cyber Range, hosted by Merit Network, was developed through an innovative public-private partnership. The Range leverages Merit’s extensive research and education network, which includes over 4,000 miles of fiber-optic networking throughout Michigan and connections to Internet2 and regional networks in Wisconsin, Illinois, and Ohio.

Michigan National Guard photos

About Michigan Cyber Range

The Michigan Cyber Range was developed in partnership with the State of Michigan to provide organizations with an unclassified, secure cybersecurity environment that can be used for training exercises, security applications, software testing, and educational purposes. It is hosted and facilitated by Merit Network and is sponsored by DTE Energy. The Range prepares cybersecurity professionals to detect, prevent and mitigate cyberattacks in a real-world setting, providing simulations that test the detection and reaction skills of participants in a variety of situations. The Michigan Cyber Range also offers certification courses for a number of cybersecurity disciplines, with instruction available on-site and live online. A full training schedule may be found at the Merit Michigan Cyber Range web site:

About Merit Network

Merit Network Inc., is a nonprofit corporation owned and governed by Michigan’s public universities. Merit owns and operates America’s longest-running regional research and education network. In 1966, Michigan’s public universities created Merit as a shared resource to help meet their common need for networking assistance. Since its formation, Merit Network has remained on the forefront of research and education networking expertise and services. Merit provides high-performance networking and IT solutions to Michigan’s public universities, colleges, K-12 organizations, libraries, state government, healthcare, and other non-profit organizations.

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