The Army has selected four companies to deliver the first round of capabilities for its new Persistent Cyber Training Environment program, officials said Tuesday.

ManTech [MANT], Circadence, Metova CyberCENTS and Simspace each received deals under an Other Transaction Authority on June 7 to deliver prototype training tools for the Persistent Cyber Training Environment Program, following successful demonstrations at the first of five Cyber Innovation Challenges (CIC).PEO-STRI-Feature-Size-Team-Orlando

The Army’s Program Executive Office for Simulation, Training & Instrumentation (PEO STRI) is leading the PCTE effort, which aims to construct virtualized environments to train the Department of Defense’s Cyber Mission Forces on network defense operations.

PEO STRI officials are running CIC’s with industry every 90 days, with the first capability drop from the four companies expected in July, according to PEO STRI product manager Liz Bledsoe.

“The PCTE CIC #1 award is an important milestone for Metova CyberCENTS and the DoD approach to cyber training. The government did their due diligence in putting together a highly specialized team that will collaborate to bring PEO-STRI’s vision for PCTE to life,” Bill Dunn, president of Metova CyberCENTS, said in a statement. 

ManTech is providing planned network, schedule training and deploy environment capabilities for PCTE, according to Brett Barraclough, the company’s executive director for Army & Joint cyber and information solutions.

“We’re coming to the table offering learning management for the prototype effort. And we’re supporting infrastructure design wherever the team feels they need assistance,” Barraclough told Defense Daily. “Our goal is to be a part of PEO STRI’s effort with building PCTE as they move forward with this important project.”

Metova CyberCENTS is set to deliver programming interfaces to connect PCTE environments with warfighting platforms.

Circadence is providing a capability based on two proprietary cyber training platforms to deliver threat intelligence and real-world attack scenarios.

“Circadence’s flagship cybersecurity training and assessment platform Project Ares® and custom mission-builder application Orion provide professionals with immersive, persistent training exercises, and the ability to create new Battle Room environments and Missions defined within a cyber range. The utilization of real-time threat intelligence, machine learning and gamification to create real-world attack scenarios within these virtual cyber ranges is a winning combination, enabling cyber warriors to more effectively prepare for any emerging threat,” company officials said in a statement.

The next round of contracts from CIC #2 is expected to be awarded before the end of June, with capabilities to be delivered in January 2019, Bledsoe told Defense Daily.

PEO-STRI plans to roll out capability drops for PCTE prototype tools every six months as it completes the remaining three CIC’s.

“The result of the effort will be an engaging user experience based on commercial cyber environments and gaming technologies capable of delivering individualized and team training for the DoD CMFs,” Metova CyberCENTS officials said in a statement.