VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – Rear Adm. Jeffrey Scheidt, commander, Naval Information Warfighting Development Center (NIWDC) recently visited Information Warfare Training Command (IWTC) Virginia Beach to speak with 24 students from the Information Warfare Officer Intermediate Course (IWOIC).
IWOIC provides the concepts, knowledge, and skills necessary for information warfare (IW) officers to succeed in their 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 the 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.
While discussing the future roles and responsibilities of IWOIC students, Scheidt shared, "We need you to be great integrators and translators of mission orders. Use that technical experience you have obtained to be the connector between the technicians and the broader mission.”
He also discussed the evolution of the Warfare Tactics Instructor (WTI) Program and what WTIs should bring to their respective communities within the fleet.
“Our goal is to create and sustain a warrior culture through the WTI program,” said Scheidt. “In the future we have to be able to solve unique problems effectively, sometimes in real time.”
The discussion led to requirements for operations against near peer competitors, in a potentially resource constrained environment.
“We need to get people to change the way we think about and accomplish our missions,” added Scheidt. “We need to reexamine the fundamentals of our work, and improve our alignment to Great Power Competition. Nearly two decades of success against violent extremists has pulled us away from maritime essentials. Charting our future course will require deliberate candor, prioritization of resources to greatest need, and tenacious emphasis on building proficiency that confidently delivers repeatable success. We can expect our transformation to hurt a little. After all, 'if something doesn’t challenge you, it won't change you'.”
Throughout the discussion, Scheidt also answered multiple questions on topics from students ranging from:
- The potential advantages of attaining the WTI title.
- The pros and cons for an IW officer who want to specialize in one aspect of their community or to obtain broad experiences.
- The greatest challenges facing the future of the information warfare community (IWC).
- How to obtain a competitive advantage for O5 and O6 promotion boards?
- Are other services aligning to the Navy’s IWC WTI program?
“Rear Adm. Scheidt’s vision for the future of the IW community, including the WTI process, is exciting and refreshing,” said Lt. Cmdr. Ralph Laffey, an IWOIC student.
“Flag officer speakers like Rear Adm. Scheidt are integral to the success of our mid-career IWOIC course, and gives our community direct exposure to our senior leaders,” said Capt. Richard Bosworth, commanding officer, IWTC Virginia Beach.
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 the 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 domain, visit www.navy.mil/local/cid/, www.netc.navy.mil/centers/ciwt/, www.facebook.com/NavyCIWT, or www.twitter.com/NavyCIWT.