PENSACOLA, Fla. -- Cmdr. Zach McKeehan relieved Cmdr. Chad Smith as commanding officer of Information Warfare Training Command (IWTC) Corry Station during a change of command ceremony at the National Naval Aviation Museum onboard Naval Air Station Pensacola, July 10.
Smith, a native of Indianapolis, Indiana, assumed command of IWTC Corry Station in September 2017, and was responsible for leading the largest schoolhouse in the Center for Information Warfare Training (CIWT) domain.
The presiding officer was Capt. Nick Andrews, commanding officer of Center for Information Warfare Training (CIWT), and guest speaker was Capt. Rachel Velasco-Lind, assistant deputy chief for the Central Security Service at the National Security Agency.
Andrews welcomed McKeehan and praised Smith for his leadership.
“Adopting a philosophy of trust, teamwork, growth and grit, Cmdr. Smith empowered his staff while creating a cutting-edge training environment for the professional development of 7,000 students in 540 classes annually,” said Andrews. “He is truly an inspiring cryptologist and leader, and his legacy within the information warfare community will continue to endure through the thousands of graduates shaped during his tenure here.”
Smith is credited with brilliantly leading 15 officers, 255 enlisted and 50 civilians in the delivery of 31 courses of instruction to 2,000 joint service students daily. Under his leadership, IWTC Corry Station significantly updated training systems and curriculum while introducing new courses to ensure graduates keep pace with the complexities of an increasingly complex electromagnetic environment.
“It has been an honor and privilege to work alongside the men and women of IWTC Corry Station these last two years,” shared Smith. “While we have achieved great success together as a team, we also overcame tremendous adversity. Our ability to stay connected with one another made us stronger and allowed us to invest fully in the personal and professional development of the young Sailors at Corry Station. I am confident they head to the fleet ready for the challenges that lie ahead.”
Immediately following the change of command, Smith’s retirement ceremony honored and recognized his 20 years of faithful and dedicated active duty service to this nation. Smith also thanked all his family, friends and shipmates for their unwavering support and dedication throughout his 20-year career.
Smith and his family will return to Indiana.
McKeehan, a native of Central Point, Oregon, is coming to IWTC Corry Station from his most recent assignment at Navy Information Operations Command Hawaii, where he served as executive officer.
“It is truly an honor and a privilege to join the highly renowned IWTC Corry Station team developing preeminent warfighters with the highest order of technical expertise,” said McKeehan. “Information warfare is critical to ensuring the security of our nation and I am exceedingly proud to have the opportunity to be a part of this exceptional team.”
With four schoolhouse 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 three 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.