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CHIPS Articles: Why National Security, History, Organizations and Missions Matter to IW Sailors

Why National Security, History, Organizations and Missions Matter to IW Sailors
By Glenn Sircy, Center for Information Warfare Training - July 29, 2020
PENSACOLA, Fla. – In an effort to preserve and use hard-won historical experience, or lessons learned, to better accomplish the Navy’s mission, along with highlighting the Navy’s legacy of valor and sacrifice to inspire current and future generations of Navy information warfare combat leaders and teams, the Center for Information Warfare Training (CIWT) is in the midst of updating and modernizing the cryptologic technician (maintenance) (CTM) rate training manuals (RTM).

It’s no secret our Navy faces enormous challenges in maintaining superiority across an increasingly complex 21st century operating environment. To win in that environment, our Navy’s most critical need is an agile, well trained, and intelligent workforce, which enables it to effectively sense, collect, and understand information, leading to decisive action. Such decisive action enables the Navy to dominate the modern information-related disciplines of intelligence, cyber, networks, space, oceanography, meteorology, and electronic warfare. Creating the workforce to execute this mission is imperative as information warfare (IW) rapidly evolves into a naval warfighting pillar on par with air, surface, expeditionary, and submarine warfare.

“Sailors lacked a fundamental baseline level of knowledge, and this is why we built and continue to evolve the RTM program ourselves to help educate the cryptologic technician, intelligence specialists, information systems technician, and IW officers within the IW enterprise,” shared Sam Kelley, CIWT’s IW enterprise training requirements manager. Rate training manuals are baseline and provide this level of knowledge for the young Sailors to use and pull from as they grow into more seasoned journey/master-level information warfare warriors.”

Service members of the CTM community are part of the IW community, and all cryptologic technicians, intelligence specialists, information system technicians and aerographer’s mates are unique members of the national signals intelligence collection and communications security effort. CTMs perform a variety of duties associated with the maintenance and operations of cryptologic equipment at sea including deployed cryptologic support function’s to surface and submarine combatants either in a permanent or temporary assigned-duty status. CTMs also perform preventive and corrective maintenance on electrical and electronic cryptologic and ancillary systems used in support of C5I requirements, which directly supports national and fleet tasking requirements and is an essential piece of national security.

“When the Naval Security Group Command was disbanded, and ‘The Revolution in Training’ came to fruition, we lost a significant amount of the source history of cryptology as the RTMs were no longer required for advancement-in-rate requirements,” added Kelley. “This was a part of our testing and depicted the criticality and importance of what cryptology is and what it does in support of information warfare, as this piece is relatively new, so it’s dynamic and growing. Plus, we have to add intelligence, networks, communications, meteorology and oceanography and space to the mix.”

When RTMs were no longer required, the IW community also lost a period of time when there was nothing provided in support of educating IW Sailors about the IW enterprise and the significance it plays in support of its impact on the fleet and national mission.

“It’s critical that our community is aware of all the C5I capabilities, and platform-centric systems and how those capabilities are employed,” added Kelley. “Having this background helps the IW enterprise better understand its link to the various air, sub, surface, expeditionary and information warfare pillars and its support and employment to each. The IW enterprise is embedded in each of the warfare enterprises which make us, the IW enterprise, very unique. Each uses cryptology, intelligence, cyber, networks, communications, space, and much more from our enterprise. We directly support integrated fires, battlespace awareness, and command and control, and bring this to the warfighter at the tactical, strategic and operational levels of war.”

Although under development and updating now, Chapter 1of the CTM RTM will be a force multiplier in examining the CTM’s role in national security; presenting the structure of the overall national security organization, including civilian and military organizations which comprise the information warfare community; and the IW community’s mission and functions.

The learning objectives in Chapter 1 include:

  • Describe the purpose, locations and support responsibilities within the cryptologic technician (maintenance) rating and community.
  • Explain the history of cryptology, naval cryptology and national security.
  • Identify national systems, and their locations and purposes.
  • Describe the elements of the national security organization.
  • Explain the legacy of cryptologic organizations and their purposes.
  • Explain the history of the Naval Security Group.
  • Identify cryptologic technician ratings and their purpose.

The updated RTMs will also help assist Navy leadership meet operational, readiness, policy, acquisition, and professional development requirements, while also assisting Sailors in learning at higher velocity.

Sailors will be able to download the materials for offline study, or for review at home or while at-sea, but must have online connectivity in order to complete electronic assessments of the RTMs.

With four schoolhouse commands, a detachment, and training sites throughout the United States and Japan, CIWT trains over 20,000 students every year, delivering 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,, or

PENSACOLA, Fla. (July 28, 2020) A computer screenshot of the history of the information warfare community and Naval Security Group site History depicted in the cryptologic technician (maintenance) (CTM) rate training manual. (U.S. Navy photo/Released)
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