Former Director of Naval Intelligence Inspires Students and Staff of IWTC Virginia Beach

19 November 2020

From Information Warfare Training Command Virginia Beach

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – Retired U.S. Navy Rear Adm. Tony Cothron, former director of naval intelligence, recently visited with students from both the Naval Intelligence Officer Basic Course (NIOBC) and the Maritime Operational Intelligence Analyst Course (MOIAC) offered by Information Warfare Training Command (IWTC) Virginia Beach.
VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – Retired U.S. Navy Rear Adm. Tony Cothron, former director of naval intelligence, recently visited with students from both the Naval Intelligence Officer Basic Course (NIOBC) and the Maritime Operational Intelligence Analyst Course (MOIAC) offered by Information Warfare Training Command (IWTC) Virginia Beach.

As part of the NIOBC curriculum, guest speakers are invited to talk about his or her own professional experiences as well impart words of wisdom for the students.

“Guest speakers, such as Rear Adm. Cothron, provide real-life, historical, and training relatable experience while discussing the intelligence officer’s role in responding to real world events,” said Lt. Sam Morris,” a NIOBC instructor. ITWC Virginia Beach is fortunate to have the opportunity to bring these guest speakers into the classroom and interact with these developing officers before they report to their first assignments in the fleet.”

NIOBC provides new-accession and lateral transfer naval officers with the knowledge and skills to perform as first-tour intelligence officers in operational fleet assignments in support of peacetime operations and the tactical, operational, and strategic levels of war. Throughout the 20-week course, the students receive training on intelligence fundamentals, geography, research and analysis theory, Navy and Marine Corps operations, naval doctrine, and joint operations and organizations leading to a culminating block of coursework that is dedicated to operational intelligence (OPINTEL), where the students hone his or her research and analysis skills, and learn to draw on the entire spectrum of intelligence disciplines at their disposal.

MOIAC, formerly known as Advanced Maritime OPINTEL Course (AMOC), is a six-week course that provides training to mid-level intelligence professionals, both senior enlisted and junior officers, that focuses on analytical excellence at the operational level of war and the “art” of advanced analytical tools to create depth of knowledge and to generate timely, relevant, and predictive intelligence.

During Cothron’s time as the Navy’s 62nd director of naval intelligence, he recognized the need to refocus training on the data, systems and analytical methods needed to manage the OPINTEL mission, and ordered the creation of then AMOC. Though renamed in 2019 to MOIAC, the rigorous curriculum is organized around the core competencies of each warfare specialty that naval intelligence must support and focuses on sharing knowledge and experience in order to better equip each student to handle OPINTEL issues in his or her area of operation.

While discussing his time as the United States 6th Fleet director of intelligence (N2) during the Kosovo conflict in the late 1990s, Cothron discussed creation and use of a targeting model. He also stressed several mentorship points vital to being successful in their coming years of service to the rising intelligence officers and experienced senior enlisted outlined below:

- “It is not about the size of the organization in which you are a part of, but rather, what you are doing and how you are contributing to the mission.

- Keep charging at all times. Do not sit and do not wait for someone else to tell you what to do.

- When presented with a problem, figure it out, work the problem, and most importantly, make the mission better.

- Develop a deep understanding using all of the resources and assets available to build your recommendation for the best course of action that you will present to your superiors for decision.

And most importantly:

- Always make an effort to spend time with your families. As Intelligence professionals, you will work around the clock which will be stressful for your loved ones, however, you need them in order to do well and succeed in our line of work.”

“I’d like to thank Rear Adm. Cothron for taking the time to come and talk with our students and staff, “said IWTC Virginia Beach Commanding Officer Cmdr. James Brennan. “We’re lucky to have someone with his level of experience share some of the lessons he has learned over his long career.”

IWTC Virginia Beach currently offers 59 courses of instruction in information technology, cryptology, and intelligence with an instructor and support staff of 230 military, civilian, and contract members who train over 6,600 students every year at 5 training sites in the Hampton Roads area. It is one of four school houses for Center for Information Warfare Training (CIWT) and also oversees learning sites at Jacksonville and Mayport, Florida; Kings Bay, Georgia; and Groton, Connecticut to continue aligning Information Warfare community training.

With four schoolhouse commands, a detachment, and training sites throughout the United States and Japan, CIWT trains over 22,000 students every year, delivering 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 news from the Center for Information Warfare Training domain, visit https://www.netc.navy.mil/CIWT, www.facebook.com/NavyCIWT, or www.twitter.com/NavyCIWT.
 
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