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CHIPS Articles: IWTC Virginia Beach Changes Command

IWTC Virginia Beach Changes Command
By Center for Information Warfare Training Public Affairs - December 5, 2016
VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — Cmdr. Andrew Boyden relieved Capt. Mark Kester as commanding officer of Information Warfare Training Command (IWTC) Virginia Beach, during a change of command ceremony at Naval Air Station (NAS) Oceana Dam Neck Annex, Dec. 1.

Kester assumed command of IWTC Virginia Beach, formerly known as Center for Information Dominance Unit Hampton Roads, in December 2015. He was responsible for all Navy new accession intelligence training and more than 80 Information Warfare (IW) community courses.

The guest speaker, Capt. Bill Lintz, commanding officer of Center for Information Warfare Training (CIWT), welcomed Boyden and praised Kester for his leadership.

"Skipper Kester has accomplished many tactical changes over the last year," said Lintz. "He refers to them as 'small wins,' but his small-wins list has grown very large. Skipper Kester understands how to integrate the IW community and has pushed hard to accomplish this goal through his constant communication, fine decision making and effective solutions."

Of particular note, Kester worked across the IW community to drive the development and successful establishment of two new courses, a major reimaging of a community wide mid-career benchmark course, and implementation of two critical officer career continuum courses.

He also integrated afloat intelligence, cryptology, and meteorology team training into a fused learning event, significantly improving their effectiveness for deploying carrier strike groups and amphibious ready groups.

"The Navy does not have a warfare area that is unaffected by this command," said Lintz. "The staff here teach, mentor and drive the success of the students, which then drives the success of the Navy."

Kester credited the achievements of the command to the IWTC Virginia Beach staff.

"What you will find here are instructors who have pride and passion for the training mission," said Kester. "Whether it is updating curriculum, staying late or coming in on weekends to help struggling students - they answer the bell when called upon. Constantly receiving critical critiques by their customers, they press on providing the training needed to meet fleet and joint force requirements."

He acknowledged the support staff, his "critical enablers," who perform all the behind-the-scenes duties that allow the training to take place, from updating information technology infrastructure to fulfilling every day logistics and administrative requirements to carrying out security and facilities management.

Kester's next assignment is with the IW type commander, Naval Information Forces (NAVIFOR), as chief of staff.

Boyden, a native of Galesburg, Illinois, is coming to IWTC Virginia Beach from his most recent assignment at NAVIFOR, where he served as the intelligence mission manager.

"I hope to be a good steward of the legacy of those who have walked these halls before me," said Boyden, after assuming command. "I am honored and humbled to be your commanding officer."

IWTC Virginia Beach currently offers 68 courses of instruction in information technology (IT), cryptology, and intelligence with an instructor and support staff of 239 military, civilian, and contract members, who train over 5,200 students every year at five training sites in the Hampton Roads area. It is one of four schoolhouses for CIWT, a learning center for Naval Education and Training Command.

For more 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.

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (Dec. 1, 2016) Cmdr. Andrew Boyden, commanding officer, Information Warfare Training Command Virginia Beach (right), and Capt. Mark Kester salute the national ensign during a change of command ceremony. Boyden relieved Kester as commanding officer. U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Christina Wilson.
VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (Dec. 1, 2016) Cmdr. Andrew Boyden, commanding officer, Information Warfare Training Command Virginia Beach (right), and Capt. Mark Kester salute the national ensign during a change of command ceremony. Boyden relieved Kester as commanding officer. U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Christina Wilson.

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (Dec. 1, 2016) Cmdr. Andrew Boyden, commanding officer, Information Warfare Training Command Virginia Beach, speaks during a change of command ceremony. Boyden relieved Capt. Mark Kester as commanding officer. U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Christina Wilson.
VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (Dec. 1, 2016) Cmdr. Andrew Boyden, commanding officer, Information Warfare Training Command Virginia Beach, speaks during a change of command ceremony. Boyden relieved Capt. Mark Kester as commanding officer. U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Christina Wilson.

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (Dec. 1, 2016) Capt. Mark Kester, commanding officer, Information Warfare Training Command Virginia Beach (left), returns a salute to Cmdr. Andrew Boyden during a change of command ceremony. Boyden relieved Kester as commanding officer. U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Christina Wilson.
VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (Dec. 1, 2016) Capt. Mark Kester, commanding officer, Information Warfare Training Command Virginia Beach (left), returns a salute to Cmdr. Andrew Boyden during a change of command ceremony. Boyden relieved Kester as commanding officer. U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Christina Wilson.

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (Dec. 1, 2016) Capt. Bill Lintz, commanding officer, Center for Information Warfare Training, speaks during a change of command ceremony at Information Warfare Training Command (IWTC) Virginia Beach. Cmdr. Andrew Boyden relieved Capt. Mark Kester as commanding officer of IWTC Virginia Beach. U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Christina Wilson.
VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (Dec. 1, 2016) Capt. Bill Lintz, commanding officer, Center for Information Warfare Training, speaks during a change of command ceremony at Information Warfare Training Command (IWTC) Virginia Beach. Cmdr. Andrew Boyden relieved Capt. Mark Kester as commanding officer of IWTC Virginia Beach. U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Christina Wilson.
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