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CHIPS Articles: IWTC Corry Station Instructor Trains Deploying Sailors, Enhances Navy Readiness

IWTC Corry Station Instructor Trains Deploying Sailors, Enhances Navy Readiness
By Cryptologic Technician (Maintenance) 1st Class Seth T. Vickery, Information Warfare Training Command Corry Station - January 4, 2021
PENSACOLA, Fla. — A Denton, Texas native is stationed at a command responsible for teaching future information warriors the skills required to defend America around the world.

Navy Petty Officer First Class Alec Darson is a cryptologic technician (maintenance), or CTM Sailor, and serves as an instructor at the Information Warfare Training Command (IWTC) Corry Station in Pensacola, Florida.

A CTM is responsible to perform preventive and corrective maintenance on electronic cryptologic, cryptographic, and ancillary systems used for communications, analysis, monitoring, tracking, recognition and identification, electronic attack, and physical security around the fleet.

Darson has served in the Navy for 10 years, and stationed at IWTC Corry Station for the past two years. He currently instructs Antenna Maintenance, a CTM “C” School. He also instructs the maintenance portions of Afloat Cryptologic Manager and Cryptologic Resource Coordinator courses. Those courses are attended by junior officers and chiefs before they deploy onboard surface ships, submarines, or aircraft squadrons.

“My primary responsibility is to train students the knowledge of proper inspection, care, and weatherization of antennas to apply in the fleet,” Darson said. “Training improves mission readiness and capabilities to accomplish the mission.”

His actions directly increased opportunities to attend course with increased frequency and class size to accommodate training demand. Antenna Maintenance was originally designed for deploying Sailors, however, two information systems technicians recently attended the course and will bring the newly attained knowledge to the fleet.

As a member of one of the U.S. Navy’s most relied-upon assets, Darson and other Sailors and staff serve as a key part of the information warfare community in its mission to gain a deep understanding of the inner workings of adversaries and developing unmatched knowledge of the battlespace during wartime.

"The Sailors and instructional staff at Information Warfare Training Command Corry Station are fully invested in our students and shipmates,” said Cmdr. Zach McKeehan, commanding officer of IWTC Corry Station. “This team demonstrates that investment every day through exceptional competence, character, and connection. These virtues propel our command in providing highly trained information warfare professionals that our Navy and nation needs. I’m fortunate to witness firsthand just how dedicated the professionals like Petty Officer Darson are to maintaining the highest of standards for themselves and the students. I am extremely proud of our warriors, and it is through the focus and dedication of our patriots that we will continue to be the greatest military force in the world."

These Sailors and staff also have a tremendous responsibility in creating warfighting options for fleet commanders and advising decision makers at all levels as they serve worldwide aboard ships, submarines, and aircraft and from the National Security Agency to the Pentagon.

“Every day I wake up motivated to make a positive impact teaching others to maintain mission readiness of the fleet,” said Darson. “It has been an absolute privilege!”

IWTC Corry Station is just one component that makes up the Center for Information Warfare Training (CIWT) domain, headquartered at Naval Air Station Pensacola Corry Station, Florida.

CIWT is responsible for training enlisted cryptologic technicians, information systems technicians, intelligence specialists, and electronics technicians. CIWT also provides training to cryptologic warfare, information professional, intelligence, and foreign area officers that prepares them to be prepared to wage battle, and assure the nation’s success in this burgeoning warfare arena.

Charged with developing the future technical cadre of the information warfare community, the CIWT domain leads, manages, and delivers Navy and joint force training to 22,000 students annually. With 1,200 military, civilian and contracted staff members, CIWT oversees about 200 courses at four information warfare training commands, detachments, and additional learning sites located throughout the United States and Japan.

For news from the Center for Information Warfare Training domain, visit www.netc.navy.mil/centers/ciwt/, www.facebook.com/NavyCIWT, or www.twitter.com/NavyCIWT.

PENSACOLA, Fla. (December 29, 2020) Cryptologic Technician (Maintenance) 1st Class Alec Darson (center), an instructor at Information Warfare Training Command Corry Station, instructs Sailors in the Cryptologic Antenna Maintenance course. (U.S. Navy photo by Senior Chief Cryptologic Technician (Collection) Raymond M. Donato/Released)
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