MONTEREY, Calif. –Information Warfare Training Command (IWTC) Monterey hosted Vice Adm. Brian B. Brown, commander, Naval Information Forces (NAVIFOR) during an all-hands call, Feb. 7.
While this may be Brown’s first visit to the Defense Language Institute (DLI), he is no stranger to Monterey. He obtained his Master of Science in Meteorology and Physical Oceanography from the Naval Postgraduate School (NPS), located just two miles from DLI. He served in both the surface warfare and the Naval oceanography communities before assuming command of NAVIFOR in June 2018.
NAVIFOR oversees the manning, training, equipping and modernization for 88 Naval Information Forces units across the Navy. Training for the Navy’s linguist community, who begin their careers at IWTC Monterey, falls under the purview of Brown.
“The capabilities and talents of linguists are crucial to the mission of the United States Navy,” said Brown during an early morning all-hands call. “I am working closely with Vice Adm. White to bring the linguistic community into the cyber world. With your unique skillset, linguists help us better understand the capabilities, intent, tactics, techniques, and procedures of the adversary. Without this, the Navy cannot defend the United States of America and keep the fight away from our shores.”
Students of DLI are in training for up to two years before finally getting to their first operational command. As such, they had many questions for Brown relating to the world into which they will be emerging as Navy linguists.
“Each generation has had their conflict, from the civil war to Vietnam and the Global War on Terror,” said a young Sailor. “What will be our conflict?”
“I hope you won’t have one,” Brown responded. “But remember, we don’t need kinetic engagement to be at war. We need to be ready to respond to aggression in the domains of finance, energy, and cyber as well.”
Brown highlighted the importance of information warfare and the role these young students would play. “Misunderstanding an adversary is easy if you don’t understand their intent, which is why your work is so important,” added Brown.
Brown continued fielding questions on a wide range of topics, from the future of artificial intelligence in the Navy to how leadership is addressing the challenge of destructive behaviors.
“What is your strategy for addressing junior enlisted issues,” asked Seaman Jonathan George. “In recent years, the Navy has reported a surge in suicides and suicide-related behaviors.”
“The Navy is actively looking for trends in these areas,” Brown responded. “Unfortunately, there is not an easy pattern to identify. Victims come from all types of duty and from all points in their career. At the command level, there is a great push for suicide awareness and training. In the meantime, Sailors need to continue to look out for one another and be good shipmates.”
The remainder of Brown’s visit included meetings with IWTC Monterey leadership, the DLI Commandant Col. Gary Hausman, various DLI staff leaders, and finally a visit to the Chinese school to observe students and teachers in action.
This is the second visit by senior echelon leaders this year. The U.S. Fleet Cyber Command/U.S.10th Fleet commander visited IWTC Monterey earlier in January. Both were keen to emphasize the importance of language professionals in the information warfare domain.
“Vice Admiral Brown’s visit to the command, yet again demonstrates the commitment that the information warfare community puts towards a Sailor’s training and development,” said IWTC Monterey Commanding Officer Cmdr. Michael Salehi. “This visit comes on the heels of Vice Admiral T. J. White’s visit as U.S. Fleet Cyber Command/U.S. 10th Fleet, and now best provides our Sailors a comprehensive understanding of how operations and training are inextricably linked. It was clearly evident today that the information warfare type commander and his operational commander are unified in their approach and expect nothing but the best from our current and aspiring linguists to help solve some of the greatest challenges we face today and well into the future.”
IWTC Monterey, as part of the Center for Information Warfare Training, provides a continuum of foreign language training to Navy personnel, which prepares them to conduct information warfare across the full spectrum of military operations.
With four schoolhouse commands, two detachments, and training sites throughout the United States and Japan, CIWT is recognized as Naval Education and Training Command’s top learning center for the past three years. Training over 21,000 students every year, CIWT delivers trained information warfare professionals to the Navy and joint services. CIWT also offers more than 200 courses for cryptologic technicians, intelligence specialists, information systems technicians, electronics technicians, and officers in the information warfare community.
For more on Information Warfare Training Command Monterey, visit http://www.netc.navy.mil/centers/ciwt/IWTCmonterey/ and http://www.monterey.army.mil/Service_Units/IWTC_Monterey.html, or find them on Facebook.
For news from the Center for Information Warfare Training organization, visit www.navy.mil/local/cid/, www.netc.navy.mil/centers/ciwt/, www.facebook.com/NavyCIWT, or www.twitter.com/NavyCIWT.