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Maj. Gen. Burke Wilson, commander of 24th Air Force, extolled the value of AFA’s CyberPatriot program during testimony before the House Armed Services emerging threats and capabilities panel on March 4, saying the program is helping students develop the skills needed to become part of the future cyber security force. Wilson said the Air Force supports “a host of missions” focused on encouraging the younger generation to take science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) courses. He highlighted the CyberPatriot VII National Finals competition, which will be held March 11-15 in National Harbor, Md., as an example. The event is sponsored by the Air Force Association and supported by several industry partners, “as well as cyber professionals from the Air Force,” and seeks “to encourage students to pursue cyber​security and other STEM careers,” said Burke. This year’s competition involved over 2,100 teams with more than 10,000 students from the US, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Defense Department schools overseas, Wilson said.