AFA Announces CyberPatriot Commissioner

Jun 17, 2010, 11:59 ET from Air Force Association

ARLINGTON, Va., June 17 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Air Force Association (AFA) today announced that retired Air Force Brigadier General Bernard K. Skoch has been named Commissioner of the CyberPatriot National High School Cyber Defense Competition, effective 1 July 2010.  The Commissioner is the primary executive charged with the execution, health, and growth of the CyberPatriot program.

Skoch brings more than 30 years experience in leadership positions developing, managing and implementing communications and information systems for the United States Air Force, the Joint Staff, the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA), and major industrial and government clients. His 29-year active duty Air Force career took him throughout the United States and on permanent and temporary duty in Europe, Asia, the Pacific, and the Middle East, including multiple Pentagon assignments. Before joining CyberPatriot, Skoch consulted for the defense information technology industry and was a candidate for the United States House of Representatives for the 3rd District of Arkansas.

AFA's CyberPatriot, entering just its second year as a national program, is expanding rapidly because of its unique structure. The program combines online education and preliminary competition rounds delivered over the Internet, proceeding to in-person finals held in conjunction with AFA national symposia. Designed to excite, educate, and motivate the next generation of cyber defenders and other technically educated students the nation so desperately needs, the goal for the 2010-2011 school year is 1,000 teams, reaching 100,000 students, culminating in the first-ever AFA CyberFutures Conference on 1-2 April 2011 at the Gaylord National Resort in National Harbor, MD.

"I am thrilled to accept the challenge to lead CyberPatriot," said Mr. Skoch. "CyberPatriot has the undeniable potential to make huge contributions toward securing our nation's cyber infrastructure by attracting the talented young people we need to meet a national imperative that can be genuinely characterized as critical."

"We are extremely grateful to have Bernie's expertise and energy to take the CyberPatriot program to the next level," said Joseph E. Sutter, AFA Chairman of the Board. "I've known Bernie for twenty years and know he is the right person to lead us to full nationwide deployment of this critical initiative."

CyberPatriot's expansion to full nationwide deployment was made possible by a generous grant from Presenting Sponsor Northrop Grumman. The program also benefits from the support of Founding Partners: the Center for Infrastructure Assurance and Security (CIAS) at the University of Texas at San Antonio, creator of the National Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition, and Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), who provides the platform for the competition with their patent-pending commercial cyber defense trainer, CyberNEXS.  Strategic Partners General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems, Microsoft, and Raytheon have also pledged significant multiyear support for the program.

For a full biography see: For more on CyberPatriot, see:

AFA is a 501(c)(3), nonprofit organization promoting public understanding of aerospace power and the pivotal role it plays in the security of the nation. AFA has over 200 chapters nationally and internationally representing nearly 120,000 members. Visit AFA at

SOURCE Air Force Association