The California Wing’s Fullerton Composite Squadron 56 has reached the CyberPatriot National Youth Cyber Defense Competition finals for the third straight year and the fifth time in six years, joined by a pair of first-time finalists from the Idaho Wing’s Boise Composite Squadron and the New Jersey Wing’s Raritan Valley Composite Squadron.
This is the 15th CyberPatriot competition, created and administered by the Air & Space Forces Association to spur high school and middle school students’ interest in cybersecurity or other science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines.
The nation’s largest cyber defense competition, it puts high school and middle school students in charge of securing virtual networks, challenging them to harden simulated computer systems and resolve real-life cybersecurity situations faced by industry professionals.
The finals are set for March 18-20 at the North Bethesda Marriott in Rockville, Maryland.
Participants from Civil Air Patrol compete in the All Service Division, which also includes Junior ROTC teams from each of the military services as well as the Naval Sea Cadet Corps.
CAP teams have finished first nationally three times – in 2011, 2012, and 2015 – and second or third eight times, including the Fullerton entry’s third-place finish in 2021. `
This year’s Fullerton Composite team consists of:
- Cadet Col. Jesse James II
- Cadet 2nd Lt. Ryan Kim
- Cadet Airman 1st Class David Song
- Cadet Airman Minseo Kim
- Cadet Airman Basics Peter Feng and Isaac Kim
Their coach is Capt. Brian Vu. All but Feng and Isaac Kim competed on last year’s team.
The Boise Composite team consists of:
- Cadet Capt. Owen Klein
- Cadet 2nd Lts. Sihu Hwang and Natalie Salyer
- Cadet Chief Master Sgt. Finnegan Cretser
- Cadet Senior Master Sgt. Nathan Pearl
Adult mentors are Micron employees Randy Deshazer and Matt Howell.
The Raritan Valley Composite team consists of:
- Cadet Capt. Aditya Patwal
- Cadet 1st Lt Pranav Jithesh
- Cadet 2nd Lts. Carl Furtado, Clarissa Furtado, and Amit Sail
- Cadet Chief Master Sgt. Tiffany Tian
Capt. Carol Faaland-Kronmaier`and 2nd Lt. Giri Sonty serve as coaches and mentors.