NORFOLK, Va. (March 28, 2018) – Navy Information Operations Command (NIOC) Norfolk disbanded to create the Information Warfare Training Group (IWTG) in Norfolk, Virginia, March 28.
“This completes a larger effort in the Information Warfare community to increase readiness throughout the Navy through the establishment of the Information Warfare Type Commander, Warfighting Development Center and Training Group,” said Capt. Chris Slattery, IWTG’s first commanding officer, during the ribbon-cutting ceremony. IWTG will now formalize basic and intermediate level training. Information Warfare individual level training is completed at the Center for Information Warfare Training (CIWT) and advanced level training is facilitated at Navy Information Warfare Development Command (NIWDC).
Vice Adm. Matthew J. Kohler, commander, Naval Information Forces served as the guest speaker and acknowledged IWTG’s establishment as recognition of the importance of Information Warfare to Navy warfighting. He highlighted IWTG as an essential element to all six tenets of the Navy the Nation Needs, the Navy’s support to the National Defense Strategy, “IWTG is ready to prepare our IW professionals for the challenges our operational forces are experiencing during this era of great power competition.”
Kohler explained the imperative to establish the IWTG, saying, “Our predecessors have done great work, but the bar has been raised by our adversaries, new technology and the pace of change. We can no longer rely upon the raw talent of our great IW professionals to meet today’s challenges, we can no longer rely upon OJT; we can no longer afford to spend a few weeks in advanced phase training to allow ‘ramp-up’ time. We need IWTG.”
NIOC Norfolk began in 1943 as “Beach Jumpers” — a World War II effort to incorporate military deception (MILDEC) into amphibious operations. These were small units that imitated amphibious landings to trick enemy forces. Though disbanded at the end of the war, they were reactivated during the Korean War to perform psychological operations (PSYOP) and re-designated in the 1960s as Beach Jumper Units (BJUs). In 1972, the Chief of Naval Operations re-designated the BJUs to Fleet Composite Operational Readiness Groups (FLTCORGRU) to highlight their importance during the Vietnam conflict.
In 1986, the command was re-designated once more to Fleet Tactical Deception Group Atlantic (FLTDECGRULANT), with the mission changed to MILDEC operations in support of the Cold War. In 1995, the command became Fleet Information Warfare Center (FIWC), and firmly established itself as a leader in information operations augmentation, planning, training, doctrine/tactics development and data management, providing a principal source of Information Operations expertise for fleet and Joint commands.
The standup of Naval Network Warfare Command (NNWC) in 2002, during the wake of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, solidified the establishment of information operations as a primary naval warfare area and reinforced the importance of FIWC as the Warfare Center of Excellence for Information Operations. FIWC was later merged with Naval Security Group Activity (NSGA) Norfolk in November 2005 to establish Navy Information Operations Command (NIOC) Norfolk, integrating the former NSGA cryptologic mission area with the former FIWC information operations mission.
NIOC Norfolk, as the Navy's Center of Excellence for Information Operations, provided unsurpassed Information Operations support to Naval Combatant and Joint Force Commanders and led the transformation of Information Operations in defense of our nation.
As IWTG, the command is focusing its mission for a new era of Information Warfare. IWTG will provide the fleet with the highest quality cyber, electronic warfare, cryptologic, intelligence, communications, meteorology and oceanography, and space basic training throughout the Optimized Fleet Response Plan.
This is reflected in the IWTG’s new mission statement:
Advance the Fleet’s IW warfighting readiness through operational based training, highly experienced IW deployers and IW mission data management in support of afloat and ashore commands delivering decisive advantages in the maritime domain.