The United States and Australia signed a first-of-its-kind agreement in November to develop a virtual cyber training range to practice real-world defensive missions across boundaries and networks.

The Cyber Training Capabilities Project Arrangement comes as part of Defense Department (DoD) efforts to “sharpen lethality, reform business practices, and strengthen partnerships in cyberspace.” U.S. Cyber Command will incorporate Australian Defence Force feedback into its simulated Persistent Cyber Training Environment (PCTE).

“This project arrangement is a milestone for U.S.-Australian cooperation. It is the first cyber-only arrangement established between the U.S. Army and an allied nation, which highlights the value of Australia’s partnership in the simulated training domain,” U.S. signatory and Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army for Defense Exports and Cooperation Elizabeth Wilson said in a statement. “To counter known and potential adversarial threats, the Army has recalibrated our strategic thinking; we’ve made smart decisions to refocus our efforts to invest in the new, emerging and smart technologies that will strengthen our ability to fight and win our nation’s wars.”

PTCE allows for a collaborative training environment, the enabling of cyber forces globally to develop and re-use already-existing content, and training of individuals and groups at any time. In addition, is a part of DoD’s Joint Cyber Warfighting Architecture.

U.S. Cyber Command said that cyberspace partnerships are essential to sharing insights on the activities of threat actors, enabling mutual defense against cyberattacks, and conducting training to hold adversaries accountable.

“Agreements like this one are crucial to the efficiency of our joint modernization,” Wilson said. “They lay the framework for our mutual growth, allowing us to become stronger and more interoperable as allies.”

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Jordan Smith
Jordan Smith
Jordan Smith is a MeriTalk Senior Technology Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.