Tech expo showcases careers to BAFB airmen

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By Stacey Tinsley, stinsley@bossierpress.com

Barksdale defenders got a peak into the future with a special technology expo last week.

The ArkLaTex Chapter of the Armed Forces Communication and Electronics Association (AFCEA) partnered with Federal Direct Access Expositions to hold its 7th Annual Technology Expo on Wednesday, Feb. 27 at Barksdale Air Force Base. 

Joshua Copeland, AFCEA vice president, said the expo gives defenders a chance to see and interact with careers and educational opportunities in the field of cyber defense.

“We saw a unique opportunity to leverage the ArkLaTex Chapter’s industry connections to bring in these amazing briefings for our cyber defenders,” he said. “These briefings were specifically selected to expose our local cyber teams to have a peek inside areas that are not routinely addressed in other venues.”

This year’s Expo showcased 30 vendors with diverse offerings like physical security, cyber education programs, cloud services, and more. 

Susan Stakes, program coordinator at Bossier Parish Community College’s (BPCC) Veterans Resource Center and vendor at the expo, said, “At BPCC we have programs and national certification classes that are a great fit for people right here in the community. We offer several different options including cyber degrees, network defense and cyber administrator.” 

This year, the ArkLaTex Chapter added three, one-hour continuing education courses, covering topics like electromagnetic pulse, identity and access control management, and industrial control systems.  

In all, Copeland said this year’s event was one of the most successful yet.

“Reaching out to over 300 military, Department of Defense (DoD) civilians, DoD contractors, and affiliated personnel, this year’s program was one of the most successful events to date. Events like this Expo truly are the hallmark of AFCEA’s mission of bringing military, industry, and academia together to work towards our common goals of advancing the field of cyber and intelligence as well as keeping the DoD on the forefront of each field internationally,” Copeland said.