VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – Vice Adm. Matthew Kohler, deputy chief of naval operations for information warfare (OPNAV N2N6) and director of naval intelligence, visited Information Warfare Training Command (IWTC) Virginia Beach to speak with 24 Information Warfare Officer Intermediate Course (IWOIC) students, Aug. 5.
The IWOIC provides the concepts, knowledge, and skills necessary for information warfare (IW) officers to succeed in O4 milestone tours. Training focuses on the integrated application of IW at the operational and tactical levels of war. Senior officers provide mentorship on leadership and ethics.
During this two week course, students are also provided senior-level instruction of the IW strategy and way ahead, followed by a detailed view of programmatics, state of threat, global force management, manpower and budget programs, video teleconferences with several IW flag officers and in-depth exposure to priorities and challenges affecting each of the individual communities.
"The purpose of this course is for you to see where you are going,” shared Kohler. “Have a mentor, reach out to leaders, and ask questions. Every tour is an opportunity.”
Kohler discussed the evolution of the IW community, from when it began in 2009 to how it will be celebrating its 10-year anniversary in October. He also discussed the IW community’s footprint, and how it has grown to be over 12,000 personnel afloat.
The discussion then led to where the IW community was going.
“The information warfare community is taking advantage of aligning ourselves with the expeditionary strike groups, like we did with the carrier strike groups,” added Kohler.
He also recommended reading the following strategies: Maritime Superiority 1.0 and 2.0, and the IW community s implementation plan, “Information Warfare in the Era of Great Power Competition.”
During the class discussion, he also emphasized the importance of cyber warfare as an operational arm of IW, and how the IW pin identifies IW personnel in a professional way.
“Vice Adm. Kohler’s discussion was an excellent ‘God’s eye view’ into the highest reaches of the information warfare mission and its key role in the greater strategic environment,” said Lt. Cmdr. Michael Nataro, an IWOIC student. "It’s an environment that is constantly changing, and thereby forces us to constantly adapt in order for us to maintain the necessary advantage.”
Throughout the discussion, Kohler also answered multiple questions from students such as:
- Reserve enlisted IW pin requirements.
- The proposed change from unrestricted line officer to line officer, and how it could affect promotion.
- Is there a plan to develop a path for the IW community in the Reserve Officer Training Corps?
- Are other services aligning to the Navy’s IW community?
- What are the greatest challenges for the IW community?
“My personal thanks to Vice Adm. Kohler for taking the time out of his busy schedule to speak with our IWOIC students,” said Lt. Cmdr. Brielle Adamovich, executive officer of IWTC Virginia Beach. "Exposure to his leadership and mentorship is a great opportunity for the next generation of information warfare leaders.”
IWTC Virginia Beach, located in Dam Neck Annex, currently offers 65 courses of instruction in information technology, cryptology, and intelligence with an instructor and support staff of 280 military, civilian, and contractors who train over 6,500 students every year. It is one of four schoolhouses for Center for Information Warfare Training (CIWT) and oversees learning sites at Jacksonville and Mayport, Florida; Kings Bay, Georgia; and Groton, Connecticut to continue aligning IW community training.
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.