VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – Vice Adm. Robert Sharp, director of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) visited and spoke with staff and students at Information Warfare Training Command (IWTC) Virginia Beach, Oct. 18.
During his time at IWTC Virginia Beach, Sharp met with the Geospatial Intelligence (GEOINT) “C” school staff and discussed the successful kickoff of the new Intelligence Specialist (IS) 2025 course.
The GEOINT “C” school provides Navy enlisted intelligence specialists with the knowledge and skills to perform at the apprentice level as geospatial interpreters and basic strike support fundamentals afloat and ashore under all conditions with limited supervision.
Intelligence Specialist 1st Class Kalil Negronrodriguez, the lead for GEOINT “C” school, provided Sharp with a breakdown of the IS 2025 curriculum, which began Oct. 7. Negronrodriguez also shared how the instructors are training the students to develop more critical thinking skills with a deeper understanding of the end product.
“Vice Adm. Sharp was extremely personable, he listened to what the junior enlisted at IWTC Virginia Beach had to say and even knew some of his junior enlisted Sailors by name,” shared said Intelligence Specialist 1st Class Garrett Speer, a GEOINT instructor IWTC Virginia Beach. “He spoke about his vision for the future of GEOINT, was very supportive of working with IWTC Virginia Beach GEOINT team to get our curriculum up to NGA standards, and to give new GEOINT analysts a solid foundation.”
Sharp was also able to meet with students from the Naval Intelligence Officer Basic Course (NIOBC). He discussed being one of the first officers to attend the Intelligence Officer Basic Course at Layton Hall on Dam Neck Annex, Virginia Beach, and provided insight into the decisions that drove his career choices.
“One out of three times in my career people said ‘do not choose that job or you will ruin your career,’” Sharp said. “I tell you this; if there is something you are passionate about, go do it and do it well! What is needed in our community changes often.”
Sharp also took questions from the students on a range of topics that included where artificial intelligence will take us, 3D printing capabilities, and new capabilities such as Global Command and Control System (GCCS) 1.
He also provided advice.
“In our profession, we get into senior situations quickly and you are growing the skill sets for those situations. Our warfighting skill set is making complex situations simple with intelligence support to operations and providing the right level of information,” shared Sharp.
“It was exiting to hear how our community anticipates the evolution of the intelligence officer in a time where our relationship with technology is increasingly symbiotic,” said Lt. Lydia Miller, a NIOBC student.
Sharp closed by saying, “I wish you luck in dealing with the challenges ahead. When I retire from NGA in 12 years [jokingly], I will be happy to know you are standing the watch. I wish you continued happiness and success.”
“My personal thanks to Vice Adm. Sharp for taking time out of his busy schedule to share his perspective with our staff and students,” said Capt. Richard Bosworth, commanding officer, IWTC Virginia Beach. “We genuinely appreciate his interest in directly observing and discussing our training of the next generation.”
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 20,000 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.