Two PHC teams advance to semi-finals in second Cyber 9/12 Strategy Challenge

Posted by Annalise van der Wel on 4/13/23 4:35 PM

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Congratulations to our Patrick Henry College students who advanced to the semi-final round in the Cyber 9/12 Strategy Challenge on March 17-18! Thirty-two teams competed this year, including some international teams and professional teams from the U.S. military.

PHC put forth two teams of Strategic Intelligence students. PHC Team "Never Cry" briefers were Simon Moss, Lily Young, Garren Rose, and Noah Johnson. PHC Team "ZeroDaze" briefers were James Fleenor, Elijah Mendoza, Catherine Pannell, and Lauren Hiles. The teams were assisted by student research assistants Gabriel Lysne, Chris Libby, Marcos Dalton, and David Stokarski.

The competition centered around a hypothetical scenario in which a major system for validating international travelers' identification was compromised, leading to major air travel delays, kidnapping of international travelers, disappearance of U.S. intelligence officers living under cover in overseas assignments, and significant diplomatic finger-pointing. Participating teams were given limited information about these hypotheticals in each round and were judged on their recommendations to a mock U.S. National Security Council comprised of very experienced professionals in cyber security and national security policy.

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Both of PHC's teams advanced to the semi-finals held Saturday morning after a very competitive Qualifying Round on Friday. Prep for Saturday's round involved a very long Friday night of work, as the information for the semi-final round was not released until after 8:00pm Friday night—and our two rounds started at 9:50am and 11:15am Saturday morning!

Patrick Henry was one of only five teams to have two separate teams place in the semi-finals, alongside host American University, Duke University and military teams from the USAF Air Command and Staff College and the U.S. Military Academy. The final round of competition featured Stanford, USAF Air Command and Staff College, and U.S. Military Academy teams.

This is just the second year of PHC participating in this international competition. Col. Gordon Middleton, Director of the Strategic Intelligence program, said that he and Coach Sam Watkins (alongside Assistant Coach Thomas Doan) were “very proud of the progress our teams made from last year and look forward to further accomplishments in the future.”


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