CYBERSECURITY. Philippine Army (PA) and US Army Pacific cyber workforce attend the opening ceremony of the PA-USARPAC Cybersecurity Subject Matter Expert Exchange (SMEE) at the Philippine Army Officers’ Clubhouse, Fort Bonifacio in Taguig City on May 30, 2022. The cybersecurity SMEE will be done via lectures, demonstration of various cybertools, as well as hands-on practical exercises. (Photo courtesy of PA) 

MANILA – The Philippine Army (PA) is beefing up its cybersecurity and defensive capabilities in a five-day Subject Matter Expert Exchange (SMEE) with its counterpart at the US Army in the Pacific (USARPAC).

Army spokesperson Col. Xerxes Trinidad said Wednesday the focus areas in the five-day SMEE cyberoperations in the coalition environment, defensive cyberoperations doctrine, cyberdefense tools, and active defense operations doctrine, among others.

"The cybersecurity SMEE will be conducted through lectures, demonstration of various cybertools, as well as hands-on practical exercises," he said.

Trinidad said the event is now ongoing at the PA Officers' Club House in Fort Bonifacio from May 31 to June 4. It is geared at developing PA’s cyber capabilities and competencies in conducting "defensive cyber operations and active defense operations."

He said this SMEE is part of the agreed-to-actions in the five-year engagement plan of both armies.

"Subject matter experts from both armies will conduct the activity through lectures, demonstration of various cybertools, and hands-on practical exercises. A total of 60 PA cyber workforce and two personnel from the Communications, Electronics and Information Systems Service, Armed Forces of the Philippines as well as five USARPAC personnel will take part in the scheduled SMEEs," he added.

Meanwhile, PA chief Lt. Gen. Romeo S. Brawner Jr. said the bilateral activity will help fortify the Army’s cyber defense capabilities through the development of competencies and skills of the Army’s cyber workforce.

He said developing a credible and responsive defense posture that could effectively fast-evolving threats now "entails the continuous enhancement of PA’s cyber-related capabilities." (PNA)