NORFOLK, Va. (NNS) -- Capt. John A. Watkins was relieved by Rear Adm. Jeffrey S. Scheidt as the officer leading Naval Information Warfighting Development Center (NIWDC) in a change of command ceremony at Naval Support Activity Hampton Roads, Aug. 17.
The guest speaker for the change of command, Commander, Naval Information Forces, Vice Adm. Brian B. Brown spoke of what Watkins and NIWDC meant to the Navy.
"I want to thank John for all he accomplished as the first commanding officer of NIWDC. You and your team are all punching well above your weight class," said Brown. “When reflecting on all that’s happened in such a short time, it’s truly inspirational and amazing to see what NIWDC has achieved. You are truly the leading edge in the fleet.”
Watkins credited his staff of Sailors and civilians for overcoming the many challenges finding new solutions to increase their support to the fleet.
"It has been an incredible honor and privilege to be a part of establishing our Warfighting Development Center and the chance to serve with the truly amazing crew of NIWDC has been the highlight of my career,” said Watkins. “I want to extend my deepest appreciation and thanks to the Sailors, civilians and families who have supported us throughout this new journey.”
Watkins was awarded the Legion of Merit Medal (his fourth award) during the ceremony.
Scheidt said he looked forward to the challenges of taking over NIWDC.
"Your success at building the framework and fabric of the command will continue to bear fruit for years to come. Together we will accelerate toward our goals, and we will refine how the Navy appreciates and employs Information Warfare. I look forward to serving with the impressive NIWDC team," said Scheidt.
Establishing initial operational capability in early 2017, NIWDC supports and coordinates information warfare initiatives that are advancing capabilities in the other warfighting development centers - Naval Aviation Warfighting Development Center, Naval Surface and Mine Warfighting Development Center, Navy Warfare Development Command, Undersea Warfighting Development Center and Navy Expeditionary Warfighting Development Center.
NIWDC is one of 80 commands under NAVIFOR.
For more information about NAVIFOR, visit the command's website at http://www.public.navy.mil/fltfor/navifor/Pages/Default2.aspx, Navy News webpage at http://www.navy.mil/local/navifor or Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/USNavyInformationDominanceForces.