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CHIPS Articles: Q&A with Capt. Susan K. Cerovsky

Q&A with Capt. Susan K. Cerovsky
Commanding Officer, Center for Information Dominance
By Center for Information Dominance Public Affairs - July-September 2012
Capt. Susan K. Cerovsky was selected for lateral transfer to the Information Warfare community in 2003 and was reassigned to Naval Network Warfare Command where she worked computer network defense initiatives. In May 2005, she reported as executive officer to the Navy Cyber Defense Operations Command (NCDOC).

She successfully led the command through unprecedented growth and mission accomplishment, culminating in NCDOC being awarded the prestigious Meritorious Unit Commendation. She transferred to Carrier Strike Group 12 in November of 2007 and immediately assumed the duties and responsibilities as the Enterprise Strike Group's Information Warfare Commander (IWC).

Next, she was the executive assistant to the Commander, Naval Network Warfare Command and most recently served as the Joint Forces Command J2 Chief of Staff from June 2010 until September 2011 prior to reporting to the Center for Information Dominance.

Cerovsky became commanding officer of CID in October 2011. The Center for Information Dominance, based at Corry Station, in Pensacola, Fla., is the Navy’s learning center that leads, manages and delivers Navy and joint force training in information operations, information warfare, information technology, cryptology and intelligence.

The CID domain comprises nearly 1,300 military, civilian and contracted personnel; CID oversees the development and administration of more than 223 courses at four commands, two detachments and 16 learning sites throughout the United States and in Japan. CID provides training for approximately 24,000 members of the U.S. Armed Services and allied forces each year.

Q: You’ve been the commanding officer of CID since October 2011 — what is your overall impression of the job?

A:Exhilarating. From my years as a General Unrestricted Line Officer with subspecialty codes in several IDC disciplines and later on as an information warfare officer, I find myself very fortunate to be in command of a great organization like CID. The well-trained, professional, and diverse workforce continues to advance the strategy of making information dominance its main battery. The entire CID domain in collaboration with OPNAV, TYCOMs (type commanders) and fleet commanders and SMEs (subject matter experts) continues to drive the development of the career-long progression from apprentice level basic knowledge and skills up to a mastery level capable of managing the IDC enterprise as a whole.

I am very proud and excited about the advances being made every day to train our total force internal to the IDC and external in associated services, communities and ratings to be highly skilled, agile, creative, adaptive information-centric professionals and warfare specialists, delivering a core warfighting capability to the joint force.

Q: The mission of the Center for Information Dominance is "to deliver full spectrum Cyber Information Warfare, and Intelligence Training to achieve decision superiority." Can you explain what this means?

A: The entire domain works in concert to create and deliver training and education to the IDC and the joint workforce ensuring they possess the knowledge, skills and abilities to operationalize cyber and make information a main battery. In doing so, the Navy advances its competitive edge and operational advantage.

Q: What sort of skills or background would a person need if they were thinking of becoming a cryptologic technician (CT), information systems technician (IT) or intelligence specialist (IS)?

A: For someone interested in joining the Navy, I believe it is less about your current skills or your background and more about what are your hobbies, interests, dreams and goals. Where do you see yourself in one, five, 10, 20, years?

Assuming an individual has done their research, used the life 'ops' tool on the Navy.com website, talked with a recruiter, and meets entrance criteria for the specific rating they are pursuing, the Navy, and specifically the IDC, will provide Sailors graduating from RTC (Recruit Training Command) entry level technical training in an 'A' school and, in some cases, intermediate and advance level 'C' schools. It all depends on the career chosen; however a CT, IT or an IS will definitely be provided specialized training in computers, electronics, math and science to gain the knowledge, skills [and] abilities required to excel in their specialty and within the IDC over an entire career.

Q: Approximately how many students (officers and enlisted) are trained at CID annually?

A: As we continue to operationalize cyber our student throughput numbers continue to grow: in 2012, we expect to train 24,000 students. The number may rise with an increase in production e.g., recruitment and rate conversion or in the development of new courses to meet fleet and national requirements.

Q: CID is headquartered at Corry Station in Pensacola, Fla., but the domain is large. Can you elaborate on what rates and curriculum fall under CID?

A: With the merger of the Center for Naval Intelligence into CID, the center is now responsible for the individual level training and education of the intelligence, information professional (IP) and information warfare (IW) officer communities and associated enlisted rates to include: intelligence specialist (IS); information systems technician (IT); information systems technician submarines (ITS); cryptologic technician networks (CTN); cryptologic technician interpretive (CTI); cryptologic technician maintenance (CTM); cryptologic technician technical (CTT); and cryptologic technician collection (CTR).

The CID domain consists of the Navy and Marine Corps Intelligence Training Center (NMITC), Fleet Intelligence Training Center (FITC), CID Unit Corry Station and CID Unit Monterey.

In addition to these four commands, CID includes 16 learning sites and two detachments worldwide. We conduct both Navy and joint (CID is the executive agent for National Security Agency courses) entry-level, intermediate and advanced individual level training in major fleet concentration areas, and advanced individual level training in major fleet concentration areas and National Security Agency sites; including learning sites in Yokosuka, Japan; Kunia, Hawaii; Pearl Harbor, Hawaii; Bangor, Wash.; Everett, Wash.; San Diego; Goodfellow (San Angelo), Texas; Medina, Texas; Fort Gordon, Ga.; Mayport, Fla.; Jacksonville, Fla.; Kings Bay, Ga.; Norfolk, Va.; Dam Neck, Va.; Fort Meade, Md.; and Groton, Conn.

Community and rating — specific, specialized trained coupled with completion of a PQS (personnel qualification standards) compromised of both core modules common across the IDC and community-specific modules provide the foundation for the follow-on training and education.

Q: What does the merger of Center for Naval Intelligence (CNI) and CID mean for CID; for the Navy?

A: The merger of CNI and CID is a natural evolution to the profound changes that then-Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Gary Roughhead made in October 2009 and the continued changes that CNO Adm. Jonathan W. Greenert is making today.

As CID reaches full operational capability, from realignment initiatives of the merger, more advances in providing end-to-end training and professional development of personnel in information-centric disciplines will occur. Each member of the warfighting team will better understand how their position interrelates with the other information-intensive disciplines and when brought together creates a cohesive corps for information analysis, dissemination and warfighting capability.

No one can argue the value of the interdependency of the operational intelligence cycle and accurate weather prediction on the electromagnetic spectrum in exponentially increasing the value of our counterintelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) operations, electronic warfare and other effects. Additionally, cyber defense is truly only achievable if these threats and vulnerabilities are known and eliminated.

Q: What is the significance of the IDC and do you think it will change the way CID operates?

A: In October 2009, Adm. Roughead announced 'The office of the Chief of Naval Operations must be organized to achieve the integration and innovation necessary for warfighting dominance across the full spectrum of operations at sea, under sea, in the air, in the littorals, and in the cyberspace and information domains.' To accomplish this, we began evolving information capabilities from 20th century supporting functions to a main battery of 21st century American seapower.

The OPNAV staff reorganized and created the Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Information Dominance (N2/N6), and Fleet Cyber Command/10th Fleet stood up; both of these actions better positioned the Navy to revolutionize the Navy’s warfighting capability. During the same time, Adm. Roughead created the Information Dominance Corps compromised of intelligence, information ttechnology, information warfare, oceanography and space cadre personnel. I recall thinking this exemplifies a total force construct and as IWC for CCSG 12 (Carrier Strike Group 12), I was working the same path for our strike group to bring together each unique position, serving a special purpose into one cohesive team to enhance each position, and unite our efforts to make a stronger team working toward a common mission of providing superior information and a unique warfighting capability.

Information dominance begets decision superiority for our commanders and our operating forces. At CID, we believe in the strength of the IDC and recognize how the IDC exemplifies two fundamental principles of war — 'Economy of Force' and 'Unity of Command' — in dominating information both offensively and defensively. We are exploring alternatives like battle labs and holistic team trainers to create capstone events and environments to support the adage: train as we fight. The IDC Mid-Career Course and the Information Dominance Senior Leadership Seminar are also two examples of intercommunity professional development initiatives.

Q: Technology is changing so quickly, how does the Navy update its training to keep pace?

A: We conduct what is called a Human Performance Requirements Review. A HPRR is a process designed to revalidate individual training requirements and or identify new training requirements as they apply to a rate, grade, community, course, systems configuration, or fleet operating procedure. The HPRR process provides stakeholders an opportunity to review and address existing training, identify redundant or unnecessary training, and ensure proper alignment of training based on new or revised requirements.

Q: How often do you perform HPRRs and what happens to all the data created during the HPRR?

A: HPRRs can be performed on either an individual course of instruction, training pipeline, or a group of courses to support a rating, Navy Enlisted Classification Code (NEC) or platform. A HPRR will be conducted on all Learning Center (LC) Courses of Instruction (COI) within a 36-month cycle, unless a triggered event occurs that requires one be conducted moreestablished a centralized forum and data repository in support of scheduled HPRRs, which is located on Navy Knowledge Online (NKO: https://wwwa.nko.navy.mil. From this location, all interested parties can access the information required to begin updating their training.

Q: What role do you think CID will play in the future for the Navy?

A: The demand signal for a well-trained certified and professionally developed IDC workforce will remain steady. Joint and fleet requirements will increase as we continue to accomplish the CNO’s 'Sailing Directions' and vision to operationalize cyberspace with capabilities that span the electromagnetic spectrum. As the Navy evolves doctrine, technology, systems and organizations to remain the preeminent maritime force so will CID as our diverse workforce throughout the domain develop new and innovative ways to train the total force on the skills required to provide superior awareness and control when and where we need it.

Capt. Cerovsky was interviewed in late June by Gary Nichols, public affairs officer for the Center for Information Dominance.

For more information about CID, go to: https://www.netc.navy.mil/centers/ceninfodom/.

Commanding Officer, Center for Information Dominance Capt. Susan K. Cerovsky
Commanding Officer, Center for Information Dominance Capt. Susan K. Cerovsky
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