SUFFOLK, Va. (NNS) -- Navy Information Dominance Forces (NAVIDFOR) celebrated its first birthday this October.
On Oct. 1, 2014, NAVIDFOR stood up as the Navy's global readiness-focused type command (TYCOM) responsible for organizing manning, training equipping (MT&E) and readiness for Navy Information Dominance (ID) capabilities.
NAVIDFOR is the Navy's newest TYCOM. The last TYCOM to stand up was in January 2006, when Navy Expeditionary Combat Command (NECC) was established as a force provider for integrated maritime expeditionary missions. NAVIDFOR's goal is to drive readiness for ID commands around the globe both afloat and ashore.
The evolution of ID as a Navy warfighting discipline created the demand to integrate MT&E and readiness under a single TYCOM. In March 2014, Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. Jonathan Greenert approved the establishment of NAVIDFOR as an echelon III command under U.S. Fleet Forces Command.
The stand-up consolidated and aligned missions, functions and tasks (MFT) previously managed by separate ID commands from Navy Cyber Forces Command (NCF); Fleet Cyber Command/Commander, 10th Fleet (FCC/C10F); Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command (NMOC) and the Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI), to improve the generation and sustainment of ID force-readiness across the Navy. The consolidation meant that administrative control (ADCON) of all of the Navy's information-related disciplines for intelligence, cyber, signals intelligence (SIGINT), networks, space, oceanography, meteorology and electronic warfare would reside under the purview of a single command.
"We are responsible for ID readiness across the entire Navy," said Rear Adm. Matthew J. Kohler, NAVIDFOR commander. "We're more than just cyber readiness, we're also [responsible for] the readiness of the intelligence, SIGINT, space and METOC (meteorology and oceanography) communities."
In its first year, NAVIDFOR aligned nearly 500 military and civilian employees serving in four locations (Suffolk, Virginia; San Diego, Ft. Meade, Maryland and Stennis Space Center, Mississippi) and nearly 21,000 billets at 63 subordinate commands across the Navy.
"That's a big shift. There seemed to be a pent-up demand for consolidated and focused ID readiness, so the new level of support was particularly welcomed across the fleet," said Kohler. "I'm very pleased with the progress NAVIDFOR has made as an organization over the past year and with what we're doing for information dominance and the Navy. But the real measure of our success should come from the operational commanders we support. There's still much work to do, particularly with regard to building relationships with our fellow TYCOM's, SYSCOM' and Echelon 1 program sponsors."
NAVIDFOR's primary focus has been on tracking and reporting ID readiness. The command focused on measuring readiness by developing the first ever Navy Mission Essential Task List (NMETL) for all ashore and afloat ID commands. NMETLs are comprehensive lists of essential tasks required to achieve mission objectives.
"Completing the NMETLs means for the first time, we are able to measure information dominance readiness across all commands, both afloat and ashore," said Kohler.
When NAVIDFOR stood up, it also assumed readiness responsibilities for all Navy Nuclear Command and Control and Communications (NC3) systems. A key component of NAVIDFOR's success in the first year was the creation of an authoritative source document for Navy NC3 readiness reporting, one of the CNO's top priorities. The authoritative document facilitated the development and establishment of metrics that measure Navy NC3 communication paths, systems capabilities and associated mission readiness risks, and provides a means to drive increased operational readiness.
The Navy's networks are an essential part of naval operations. The CNO has made it clear that "cybersecurity is commander's business" and requires an all-hands approach to keep the Navy and the nation safe. As one of the driving forces in the Navy for improving cybersecurity posture, NAVIDFOR held seven cyber security training symposiums in its first year at fleet concentration areas around the world, including Yokosuka, Japan; Pearl Harbor, Hawaii; Bangor, Washington; San Diego; and Norfolk.
The symposiums created a venue for candid discussions between organizations that provide and receive cybersecurity resourcing, doctrine, manpower, manning, training and hardware/software solutions to the fleet. The symposiums included briefs to afloat/shore leadership and workforce about significant cybersecurity threats that could affect operational effectiveness.
Cybersecurity initiatives such as Task Force Cyber Awakening transitioning to a permanent organization at OPNAV N2/N6, now known as the Cybersecurity Division, CYBERSAFE, Fleet Cybersecurity Program of Actions and Milestones (POA&M) and fleet modernization that are underway to support fleet operations were discussed. Most importantly, the symposiums helped drive solutions to known problems and fostered discussions amongst commands and various echelons on the challenging work needed to improve cybersecurity.
As the TYCOM responsible for supporting the information dominance community, NAVIDFOR assumed responsibilities for managing the officer and enlisted Information Dominance Warfare Qualification programs.
In May, NAVIDFOR released the updated Enlisted Information Dominance Warfare Specialist (EIDWS) Qualification Program Instruction, COMNAVIDFORINST 1414. The instruction revised what commands could administer the program and improved the ability to maintain consistent standards for qualifying. In July, NAVIDFOR also released Information Dominance Warfare Officer (IDWO) Qualification Instruction COMNAVIDFORINST 1412. 1. The instruction expanded the eligibility to receive the designation and outlined new requirements and procedures for facilitating the program.
The release was the first update of the instruction since its initial release by OPNAV in September 2010. The new IDWO instruction makes members of the limited duty officer (LDO) communications, chief warrant officer (CWO) electronics, and cyber warfare engineer LDO communities eligible for the qualification. It gives the ID reserve community the same rules and opportunities as the active component, and it gives the qualification opportunity to non-IDC officers with significant ID experience while they are performing in an ID function at an ID command.
In the past year, NAVIDFOR has been a key contributor in the planning of the Navy's Electromagnetic Maneuver Warfare (EMW) Program. The Navy relies on the electromagnetic spectrum (EMS) to operate systems for communication, navigation, threat detection, and weapons employment. EMW is a Navy-wide approach to ensuring all domain access through freedom of maneuver in the EMS. This approach includes NAVIDFOR's role to organize, man, train, equip and educate the EMW force. NAVIDFOR made significant contributions to the Navy's EMW readiness under its independent directorate known as the Fleet Electronic Warfare Center (FEWC).
The FEWC's major lines of operation focus on spectrum operations and development of electronic warfare (EW) requirements, tactics and training. The ID TYCOM alignment allowed the FEWC to focus on EW Readiness from a holistic viewpoint. A good example was the FEWC's impact on supporting the Navy's EMW program development. Working closely to support the Navy Warfare Development Center (NWDC), the FEWC played an integral role in the planning and development of the CNO's EMW concept and campaign plan. The plan was developed by NWDC to change the Navy's EMW warfighting culture and the way it approaches EMW warfighting as a service. Additionally, the FEWC led the development of the FY15 Fleet EW Integrated Prioritized Capabilities List (IPCL), which Kohler signed out along with the ID IPCL.
NAVIDFOR also advocates for facilities upgrades for its commands and helps prioritize efforts regionally/globally to ensure that critical military construction projects are funded. One such effort was the command's recent completion of the Navy Information Dominance Enterprise Global Shore Infrastructure Plan (NIDE GSIP). An NIDE GSIP is used to identify the long-range vision, guiding principles, operational concepts, and strategic actions driving shore facility infrastructure needs for Navy enterprises. NAVIDFOR's plan ensures that Navy shore facility infrastructures are sustainable and capable of supporting operational missions and readiness across the NIDE.
The ID reserve community has been actively working with NAVIDFOR to ensure the 130 IDC Navy Reserve units are properly integrated and ready to support their respective active commands. NAVIDFOR and IDC reserve command (IDCRC) staffs have collaborated to achieve total force solutions in all aspects of MT&E. To date, this full integration has included all departments and special assistants involving more than 100 NAVIDFOR members - about one-seventh of the command. This is fully enabled by the establishment of Rear Adm. Daniel MacDonnell, IDCRC commander, as the reserve deputy to NAVIDFOR.
"Active-reserve integration is a primary way that we will maintain the necessary ID talent pool critical to Navy operations," Kohler said about the importance of the ID reserve force. "ID reserve is part and parcel of every solution we are working."
The active-reserve integration has been critical in meeting the current personnel needs of the IDC. Effective integration of active and reserve personnel allows both communities to benefit from the increasingly strong overlap between evolving, highly sought-after civilian skills and the technical and analytical skill sets that are prized in the IDC.
ID as a warfare platform started with the establishment of the Information Dominance Corps (IDC) in 2006. Other TYCOMs have Warfare Development Centers, concentrated around their own warfare platforms, that organize how to fight, enhance warfighting effectiveness and focus on community-centric training that is specific and unique to their own platforms.
As the TYCOM responsible for ID warfare training, NAVIDFOR will establish its own Information Dominance Warfare Development Center (IDWDC). Its mission will be to increase warfighting effectiveness across all platforms, afloat and ashore, and throughout all warfighting domains. Although it's still in the planning phase, the IDWDC will focus on providing advanced ID tactics, techniques and procedures (TTPs) across the individual, unit and integrated levels of all ID warfare mission areas.
"The IDWDC will be a professional center that trains teams and units rather than individual Sailors," said Capt. James Bock, IDWDC chief of staff. "The IDWDC will develop advanced tactics and techniques in ID mission areas such as command and control communications, electronic warfare, information operations, and intelligence operations, and ensure those teams, whether afloat or ashore, succeed in achieving the commander's objectives."
Efforts are also underway to establish a larger presence on the west coast. Currently, there is a NAVIDFOR footprint providing vital services in San Diego. A larger west coast presence will allow NAVIDFOR to work more closely with other west coast based TYCOMs, SYSCOMs, and Pacific Fleet Headquarters, and numbered fleets to more effectively ensure ID readiness in the Pacific area of responsibility (AOR).
Going into his second year as Commander, NAVIDFOR, Kohler's current priorities are focused on the completion of the NAVIDFOR NMETL list, the establishment of the IDWDC and the stand-up of an enhanced NAVIDFOR presence in San Diego. But establishing a type command is a huge undertaking, and NAVIDFOR remains a work in progress.
"Accomplishing these three priorities in the next year will have a significant impact on measuring and providing global readiness across all ID commands afloat and ashore, and enhance Navy warfighting capability" said Kohler.
NAVIDFOR's mission is to provide commanders ashore and afloat, forward-deployable, combat-ready information dominance forces capable of conducting prompt and sustained naval, joint and combined operations in support of U.S. national interests.
Kohler said that NAVIDFOR's core business will continue to focus on that mission and making sure that operational forces are ready to fight and win in the information domain.
For more news from Navy Information Dominance Forces, visit www.navy.mil/local/navidfor/.