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​U.S. Army Chief Warrant Officer 2 Johnston (first name removed for security), of the Colorado National Guard's Defensive Cyber Operations Element, provides a briefing to the Joint Task Force - Centennial, about what the Vital Connection cyber exercise tests for and the overall process, at the Regis University training center in Greenwood Village, Colo., Feb. 12, 2017. (U.S. Air National Guard Photo by Maj. Darin Overstreet)

Click to download a high-resolution image.

Monday, Aug. 21, 2017 

Colorado National Guard Public Affairs,, 720-250-1053

CENTENNIAL, Colorado – The Colorado National Guard is participating in a cyber defense exercise with state and local agencies to test interoperability between military and emergency response assets at Highlands Ranch Law Enforcement Training Facility Aug. 20-24.

Vital Connection exercises give emergency response officials, military personnel, and other players the information necessary to exercise respective participants' emergency response plans while maintaining communications capabilities if standard communications systems are degraded. 

"With rapidly advancing technology, the average person might take for granted that when a crisis strikes, we're able to talk, text or email each other," said Colorado Army National Guard Lt. Col. Isaac Martinez, chief information officer for the Colorado National Guard. "So, when an incident occurs, incident site communications capability and voice interoperability between the National Guard and other emergency responders is a necessity." 

"The Colorado National Guard possesses great cyber defense talent and our members are uniquely positioned to respond to cyber threats," the Adjutant General of Colorado, Air Force Maj. Gen. Michael Loh said. "As full-time civilian employees in the technology and science industries and part-time Guardsmen in Colorado, exercises such as these further harness their skills, whether in defense of our state and nation, or in response to a local disaster."  

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