PENSACOLA, Fla. – A senior chief cryptologic technician (collection) assigned to the Center for Information Warfare Training (CIWT) was commissioned as a chief warrant officer (CWO) during a ceremony on CIWT’s quarterdeck onboard Naval Air Station Pensacola Corry Station, Pensacola, Florida, Feb. 1.
Chief Warrant Officer 2 Ernesto Gomez, a native of Groton, Connecticut, and raised in Fajardo, Puerto Rico, was selected for cryptologic warfare CWO.
Navy CWOs are recognized experts who accomplish and lead Sailors in many of the fleet's toughest jobs. Navy cryptologic warfare CWOs are the Navy's information warfare technician/supervisors with expertise in all facets of information operations (IO), including traditional cryptology, command and control, computer network operations and space systems. They create warfighting options for fleet commanders to fight and win in the information age. They also deliver and operate reliable, secure and battle-ready global networks, and lead in development and integration of IO capabilities in the fleet.
“I knew I wanted to be a warrant officer after leaving my last ship the USS Roosevelt (DDG 80),” said Gomez. “Throughout my career, I have had three great warrant mentors, and I want to have the same impact on both the mission and Sailors that they displayed daily.”
Naval Air Station Pensacola Corry Station holds special meaning for Gomez. In 2000, Gomez, just out of boot camp, arrived at his first “A” school here. Today, he commissioned as a CWO on the same base.
“Being commissioned as a chief warrant officer is an awesome, yet humbling feeling,” said Gomez. “I started my Navy career in Pensacola at Naval Technical Training Center Corry Station back in 2000. Now, almost 19 years later I am being promoted to chief warrant officer in Pensacola, where it all began. That is a truly awesome feeling and memory that I will never forget.”
Since May 2017, Gomez served as CIWT’s training manager for the cryptologic technician (collections) rating courses, greatly enhancing cryptologic readiness throughout the fleet. He led five training managers and 177 instructors in the execution of 15 course, delivering more than 3,100 hours of technical training at nine training sites to 3,200 Sailors.
To mark this significant milestone in his career, Gomez invited shipmates to participate and witness the event.
Cmdr. Misty Hodgkins, a Navy information warfare officer assigned to CIWT, administered the oath of office and pinned on his new rank. Master Chief Cryptologic Technician (Collection) Thaddeus Morris, also assigned to CIWT, shared humorous and touching words, and then presented Gomez with his personal master chief insignia.
“Congratulations and welcome to the wardroom,” shared Hodgkins. “CIWT is losing an outstanding senior chief petty officer today, but the Navy is gaining a rock-star chief warrant officer.”
Gomez’s next and initial assignment as a CWO will be onboard Navy Information Operations Command Georgia as a direct support officer.
Gomez’s previous assignments include various ships and high-tempo operational units. His military decorations include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Joint Service Achievement Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (four awards), as well as numerous campaign and unit awards.
With four school house commands, two detachments, and training sites throughout the United States and Japan, CIWT is recognized as Naval Education and Training Command’s top learning center for the past two years. Training over 21,000 students every year, CIWT delivers trained information warfare professionals to the Navy and joint services. CIWT also offers more than 200 courses for cryptologic technicians, intelligence specialists, information systems technicians, electronics technicians, and officers in the information warfare community.
For news from the Center for Information Warfare Training organization, visit www.navy.mil/local/cid/, www.netc.navy.mil/centers/ciwt/, www.facebook.com/NavyCIWT, or www.twitter.com/NavyCIWT.