Minister Vulin at the "Cyber Tesla 2017" exercise
Defence Minister Aleksandar Vulin and Chief of General Staff of the Serbian Armed Forces Ljubiša Diković and his associates attended the many-days multinational command and staff exercise of the Serbian Armed Forces and Ohio National Guard "Cyber Tesla 2017" in the “Field Marshal Radomir Putnik” barracks of the Center for Communications and IT Training in Gornji Milanovac. Apart from them, the exercise was attended by the President of the Committee for Defence and Security of the National Assembly of Serbia, Marija Obradović.
Apart from members of the Ministry of Defence, the Serbian Armed Forces and the Ohio National Guard, representatives of the state authorities of the Republic of Serbia who have competences in the field of information security participate at the exercise.
Emphasizing that the world is changing to the worse, Defence Minister Aleksandar Vulin said that the world is becoming an increasingly dangerous place, which is evident in everyday life.
- We are facing more and more dangers about which we did not know almost anything yesterday. Cyber security in our country is a topic that is not sufficiently developed, it is not sufficiently represented, and all of us have responsibility for it. This is a completely new challenge for us. I particularly thank the representatives of the Ohio National Guard for their long-term cooperation and sincere desire and dedication to transfer knowledge and technology, all that we need, so that we can effectively preserve our country and everyday life. A country that is not able to control its cyber space is not sovereign, it is not free. The country whoce cyber space is controled by someone else is a country that cannot make decisions on its own and which can not secure daily life to its citizens. Serbia has never been such country. Serbia is a sovereign and free country, and it must remain such. This is a completely new field for us. A field that is not regulated by laws, a field that we do not know enough, but also a field in which we wish to work and in which we are intensively preparing ourselves. Such exercises mean a lot to us and compared to the last year, the results are 30% better. Every year it will be even better because we get trained and quality people who will apply their knowledge and transfer it further on. That is why this exercise is of great importance to us, it shows the significance of the Serbian Armed Forces in everyday life. Here are, among the others, representatives of the Ministry of Interior, the BIA, so the entire security system that must take care of how to protect us, Minister Vulin said.
Emphasizing that it is not for the first time that MPs attend exercises of the Serbian Armed Forces, Marija Obradović, chairwoman of the Parliamentary Committee on Defence and Internal Affairs, said that on this occasion she was assured that the Ministry of Defence and the Serbian Armed Forces pay special attention to cyber security.
- When it conmes to the legislation, there was not enough hearing and attention in the previous period. This is the most important message that I am going to take from this exercise. It is necessary that the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia is working more and more intensively to adopt a new legal framework and to review the existing one. It is very important that the existing legal framework is respected as much as possible, because the protection of the state information system is becoming more and more important, Marija Obradović said.
Thanking to Minister Vulin and Chief of General Staff of the Serbian Armed Forces General Diković on an excexceptional welcome, Brigadier General Tod Odet from the Ohio National Guard said that the Serbian Armed Forces achieves better and better results from year to year at the exercises where they participate together.
- This is for the eighth time that I am coming to Serbia. Relations between the two armies are all more cordial and better. We equally learn from the Serbian Armed Forces as you learn from us. It is our great pleasure to cooperate in these activities, General Odet said.
Speaking about the realization and effects of the exercise, Colonel Vlatko Kuraj, Head of the Telecommunications and IT Department of the SAF GS, said:
- This is for the second time in a row that we carry out a cyber security exercise with members of the National Guard in Ohio in which, besides members of the Ministry of Defence and the Serbian Armed Forces, representatives of civil institutions participate as they are obliged by the law on information security to improve the competencies in the cyber security and cyber defence. Last year's exercise has improved our ability to know and use information technologies, procedures and actions, and pointed out to the necessity of participation and other structures, given the complexity of attacks from cyber space. This year we have improved the planning and execution of the exercise and achieved 30% better results than in the last year. We learned from the best ones, from those who have a significantly bigger and richer experience in the field of information system security. Participation of representatives of civil institutions proved to be very useful for efficient defence of the state information system, especially after they showed great interest in procedures and actions of the Serbian Armed Forces in securing information system and cyber space, Colonel Vlatko Kuraj said.