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Burlington Composite Squadron's WiFi Warriors Finish Second Place In CyberPatriot II Competition

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Double Deuces Make It Big In Orlando

2/28/2010–After months of study, preparation and anticipation, February 17,2010 saw 8 CyberPatriot II teams on their way to Orlando Florida for the final round of the largest high school cyber defense competition ever.  Some of the teams had bad winter weather to contend with in recent weeks, but on Wednesday the 17th all skies were "clear and a million."

The 4 Civil Air Patrol teams and 4 Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Corps teams all arrived in good spirits at the Rosen Shingle Creek Hotel.  The late afternoon and evening were spent getting unpacked, unwound and fed.  Each cadets and coaches were given a generous $15 voucher, by the Air Force Association, for food, with which many dined at the Morgan Street Deli there at the hotel.  All cadets and coaches made the effort to meet each other during dinner. A very hospitable exchange for teams that would be doing battle within 36 hours.  After getting the word that teams would be reporting at 11:30 hours to attend the opening of the AFA's Air Warfare Symposium in the main exhibition hall, some cadets and coaches decided to finish off the evening with a dip in of the hotel's Jacuzzis.

Thursday at noon, the cadets were off to the opening of the Warfare Symposium exhibition, where they enjoyed viewing and learning about various aircraft, fighter jets, engines, weaponry, operations, enjoy their hand at various flight and operations simulators and brushing shoulders with various General Officers and high ranking officials such as General Norton Schwartz, Air Force Chief of Staff.  Wearing the AFA prescribed red CyberPatriot II t-shirts turned out to be good marketing for the competition and the Civil Air Patrol due to the number of exhibition attendees inquiring about both.

After attending the symposium, teams went to the competition venue where representatives from the lead sponsor company, SAIC, gave a familiarization briefing on the opposing Red Team, in charge of the live attacks and the White Team, in charge of monitoring, scoring and trouble tickets.  Lastly, the Coaches were instructed to not even make eye contact with their teams and to remain in their designated area or suffer disqualification.  Teams and coaches were then allowed some hands-on, demo time with the computers to familiarize themselves.  After the briefing the teams were treated to dinner and then retired to their rooms for final study, preparation for competition and an early sack time.

The competition began Friday morning with the Cadets dressed in the blue dress uniforms, anxiously waiting behind closed doors in the lobby of the venue.  When the doors opened the Burlington Composite Squadron cadets entered the room in a calm orderly fashion setting the tone for their next 6 hour competition.  Coaches, spectators and anxious team alternates took their seats in the gallery to be able to witness the calm intensity that immediately ensued.  

By the lunch break, cadets were showing wear from the intensity of the competition.  Outside the venue, the coaches were invited to attend a special session hosted by the AFA.  Then, after a one hour lunch and a quick briefing with coaches, the teams began the competition's high intensity pace again. The remainder of the competition consisted of trouble tickets flying invisibly between the cadet teams and the white team, occasional visits by referees, Air Force VIPs and the SAIC team.  Nearing the end of the competition, each team, coaches and spectators showed the wear of the competition.  Cadets began to alternate between talking and laughing and periods of concentrated work.  The only exception to this was with the 2 man team from the CAP New Hampshire Wing’s Seacoast Composite Squadron  consisting of Cadet Airman 1st Class James C. Mackaman and Cadet Airman Basic Trevor BergeronThe two had to constantly, physically get up and move from work station to work station, even though they had tightened up the distance between computers. 

At 16:00 hours the competition ended and SAIC surprised everyone with information that there would be a $25,000 scholarship donation to the top 3 teams:  $3000 each 1st  place, $ 1500 each 2nd place and $500 each 3rd place.  C/CMSgt. Jordan Andrews of the Burlington Composite Squadron posted on Facebook, "this contest has changed my mind about going to college.  Having a starter amount of money solidified the decision even more."  Teams were then dismissed to relax, change into service coats and then report again for the competition results and awards.

Team Dolittle, the winning JR-ROTC team from Utah, narrowly defeated Team Curry, the CAP Burlington Composite Squadron from North Carolina, while Team Cochran, the CAP team from Torrance, California, took Third Place.

Saturday, the final full day of travel, the Burlington Team visited the Kennedy Space Center on Florida's space coast.  The cadets got to see,  up close and personal, so many things that they have learned about in the CAP Aerospace Education Classes.  A fitting way to end the event, to see, learn and enjoy what CAP is all about. The cadets got to experience the history that they need to know for Leadership and AE testing.