SAN DIEGO — Vice Adm. Brian B. Brown, Commander, Naval Information Forces (NAVIFOR), attended WEST 2019 at the San Diego Convention Center and openly discussed the importance and formation of the Information Warfare Enterprise (IWE), February 13.
West 2019 is the premier naval conference and exposition on the west coast, held February 13-15. The conference brings together leaders in military, industry and academia to discuss information warfare, integrated warfare, near-peer challenges, and associated creative and agile solutions. WEST 2019 is co-sponsored by the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association (AFCEA) International and the U.S. Naval Institute (USNI).
Brown’s participation in WEST 2019 began with “What Are the Major Naval Warfare Communities Doing Differently to Restore Readiness and Build a More Lethal Force,” a panel session in which all the Naval Type Commands (TYCOMs) were represented and fielded questions from both the moderator and audience.
“Information Warfare is a warfighting discipline, a set of warfighting capabilities, and an enabler for all Navy mission areas,” said Brown during the panel discussions. “It’s the backbone of what we all do in the Navy in every warfighting domain from sea to land to air to undersea to cyber to space and how our Navy will fight in an ever changing, asymmetrical muti-domain battlespace. We have 57,000 people in IW worldwide and 19,000 just within NAVIFOR. The IW Commander, responsible for all Information Warfare functions on the carrier strike groups, has been a great success, so we’re moving IW readiness even further with the standup of the Information Warfare Enterprise.”
Later in the afternoon, Brown delivered remarks from the IW Pavilion to further define the Information Warfare Enterprise as it relates to the “Great Power Competition,” described in the National Defense Strategy where both China and Russia have directly and indirectly challenged national boundaries as well as the economic, diplomatic and security sovereignty of their respective neighbors.
“Our mission is clear. The National Security Strategy directs us to protect America, to promote American prosperity, and to preserve peace through strength, and advance American influence throughout the world,” said Brown during his opening remarks at the IW Pavilion. “Our Navy is uniquely positioned to support all elements of national power outlined in this strategic plan and in the National Defense Strategy. One of the major initiatives Naval Information Forces, as the IW TYCOM, has undertaken since last year’s WEST conference to achieve the goals for the Navy the Nation Needs is the establishment of the Information Warfare Enterprise.
The IWE will advance, align, deliver, support and sustain IW capabilities that enable combat-credible forces today and into the future.”
The construct for IWE is built upon three strategic pillars: to ensure IW readiness, advance IW capabilities, and align and integrate IW. IW readiness enables the warfighter to manage combat risk and win against current and future threats by including Sailors as part of IW systems; ensuring Main, Train and Equip (MTE) provisioning, system resiliency and security while optimizing support, sustainment and modernization. Advancing IW capabilities delivers agile and effective IW capabilities that outpace the threat at the speed of relevance. Delivery is about integrating relevant capabilities across Sailors, platforms and domains — wholeness and enabling both adaptability and agility. Align and integrate IW ensures alignment internally across IW capability areas, stakeholders, platforms and prioritized requirements, and externally, integrates IW capability across multiple warfare domains with other Naval Enterprises.
“The Naval Information Warfighting Development Center [NIWDC], Information Warfare’s advanced training organization led by Rear Adm. Jeff Scheidt, is making tremendous strides in improving warfighting by centralizing IW advanced training across the community, bringing together efforts to update and develop new IW tactics, techniques and procedures, serving as a catalyst for maturing the IW training continuum and developing IW Warfare Tactics Instructors,” continued Brown in the IW Pavilion.
Warfare Tactics Instructors are focused on revolutionizing IW training, reinforcing accountability and professionalism and measuring competence in a more direct way. NIWDC is well on its way in developing new Warfare Tactics Instructors and NAVIFOR’s goal in 2019 is to get a Warfare Tactics Instructor expert on each deploying carrier strike group this year. So far, NIWDC has put 26 officers, enlisted and civilian students through the IW baseline course in 2018.
“This year, we will pilot an IW officer/director on the newly formed 2nd Fleet staff in addition to an O-5 officer to serve as the IW Commander on the Bataan Amphibious Ready Group,” said Brown. “I am certain both will be resounding successes, and the demand to fully implement across all MOCs and ARGs will be rapidly forthcoming.”
In March 2018, the Information Warfare Training Group (IWTG) was established and has been led by Capt. Christopher Slattery. In its first year, IWTG quickly aligned IW community training functions that previously fell under Naval Information Operations Command (NIOC) Norfolk, NIOC San Diego, the Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command and NAVIFOR HQ. IWTG led the rewrite portions of the Surface Forces Training and Readiness Manual that will enhance the importance of IW training to the fleet. Brown stated IWTG will continue to build its unit level training scope in Electronic Warfare, Cryptology and Cyber and also expand its training to incorporate Intel, communications and space mission areas.
“We are fortunate to have talent in our ranks to deliver what the nation and our Navy needs in this warfare area,” Brown concluded. “I’m excited to be a part of the IW team and the IWE. I believe our governance structure, strategic objectives and supporting initiatives will help us realize a more agile, a more capable and more lethal Navy.”
The IW Pavilion showcases some of the most recent efforts to improve cybersecurity and technology in the fleet. The venue creates a platform for conversations on the IW role in strengthening naval power from the sea and in developing a more agile naval surface force as the Navy navigates this new era of competition in the maritime domain and works to build the Navy the Nation Needs.
Naval Information Forces Force Master Chief David B. Carter joined Brown to interact and engage with Sailors within the IW Pavilion.
“This is a great opportunity to see Sailors from the deck plates interacting with industry members and Navy leadership to talk about and showcasing their IW areas of expertise,” said Carter while walking through the IW Pavilion.
Brown and Carter also took the time to visit and tour the USS Gabrielle Giffords (LCS 10) to meet with the ship’s Sailors and leadership while in the San Diego area.
NAVIFOR’s mission is to provide naval and joint operational commanders with combat-ready Information Warfare forces to execute missions in support of U.S. interests worldwide.
For more information about NAVIFOR, visit the command's website at http://www.public.navy.mil/fltfor/navifor/Pages/Default2.aspx, our Navy News Web page at http://www.navy.mil/local/navifor , our DVIDS web page at https://www.dvidshub.net/unit/NAVIFOR#.V1lrXP72Z7g or Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/USNavyInformationDominanceForces.