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CHIPS Articles: Rear Adm. Kohler: Naval Information Forces is focused on Information Warfare

Rear Adm. Kohler: Naval Information Forces is focused on Information Warfare
By Ashley Nekoui, Naval Information Forces West - February 23, 2016
SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- During a keynote speech at the West 2016 Conference in San Diego, Naval Information Forces (NAVIFOR) Commander, Rear Adm. Matthew J. Kohler, discussed how the Navy's Information Warfare (IW) Type Command (TYCOM), is improving the generation and sustainment of IW force readiness across the Navy.

"NAVIFOR has matured significantly as a TYCOM over the last 18 months, we still have more to do but we're moving forward in several areas that will enable us to further evolve and expand information warfare (IW) readiness and capabilities across the fleet and the Navy," said Kohler.

As part of that evolution, Kohler announced last month that Navy Information Dominance Forces would be changing its name to Naval Information Forces after Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for IW and Director of Naval Intelligence Vice Adm. Ted Branch replaced the term "Information Dominance" with "Information Warfare."

Kohler's decision to change the name was in response to Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. John Richardson's Jan. 5 release of 'A Design for Maintaining Maritime Superiority,' a document that addresses how the Navy will adapt to changes in the security environment and continue to fulfill its mission.

During his speech, Kohler said NAVIFOR is moving out on several key initiatives to support the design — specifically, the task of further advancing and instilling IW into Navy warfighting and expanding the electromagnetic maneuver warfare concept to encompass all IW.

"The CNO's guidance was clear, IW 'as' and 'in' warfare will be critical to the Navy's success in all mission areas," said Kohler. "IW is integrated in all of the design's lines of effort [LOE], but is most prominent in what's known as the Warfighting LOE, which is to 'strengthen naval power at and from the sea'."

Kohler said NAVIFOR is currently developing Lines of Operation (LOO) that will focus on critical areas that support the CNO's Design.

Kohler went on to discuss other command initiatives including the establishment of a new Information Warfare Development Center (IWDC) in early 2017.

"The IWDC will develop and implement IW tactics, techniques and procedures [TTP] across all warfare and mission areas," said Kohler. "It will provide advance warfighting training to IW forces afloat and ashore, and will provide operational subject-matter expertise support to strike groups, fleet and combatant commands." Kohler went on to say that the IWDC will conduct training and warfighting assessments — particularly in the areas of Command and Control (C2), Cyber Operations, Electronic Warfare (EW), Information Operations (IO), Intelligence, Meteorology/ Oceanography (METOC) and Space.

Kohler also discussed efforts to clarify and advance the Information Warfare Commander Afloat role as part of the Composite Warfare Commander Concept.

"Throughout this effort, NAVIFOR will look to develop and standardize a CSG/ESG IW Commander structure that will address such aspects as defining IWC responsibilities, needed training and career progression," said Kohler. "We will accomplish this through harnessing lessons learned from past and current ESG efforts, as well as focused objective experimentation with current ESGs."

Kohler said NAVIFOR will continue to work closely with several key stakeholders, including the fleets and John C. Stennis and Eisenhower ESG's.

Another key area Kohler discussed was to advance TYCOM integration on the West Coast by expanding the commands footprint in San Diego. "We want to more effectively deliver IW readiness to the Pacific Fleet and other West Coast commands and organizations," Kohler said.

The expansion will improve interaction with West Coast organizations while allowing greater coordination in real time, within the same time zone.

Kohler closed his remarks by emphasizing the increasing role of IW capabilities in naval warfare.

"There is clear recognition of the vital importance of existing and emerging capabilities that the IW community brings to the table," said Kohler. "IW is a family of mutually supportive capabilities. It is a community that has never been more important and is critical to our Navy's and our nation's 21st century warfighting capability." Kohler said.

For more news from Navy Information Dominance Forces, visit

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