Personnel Readiness: IWTC Virginia Beach Facilitates Discussion Panel with ONI and USNA

01 February 2021

From Information Warfare Training Command (IWTC) Virginia Beach

Information Warfare Training Command (IWTC) Virginia Beach facilitated a discussion panel between Rear Adm. Kelly Aeschbach, commander, Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI) / director, National Maritime Intelligence-Integration Office and U.S. Naval Academy (USNA) class of 2021 midshipmen who service selected naval intelligence, Jan. 28.
VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – Information Warfare Training Command (IWTC) Virginia Beach facilitated a discussion panel between Rear Adm. Kelly Aeschbach, commander, Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI) / director, National Maritime Intelligence-Integration Office and U.S. Naval Academy (USNA) class of 2021 midshipmen who service selected naval intelligence, Jan. 28.

Aeschbach discussed the important contributions that naval intelligence and the information warfare community provide in supporting naval power in the maritime domain, especially in the increasingly dynamic strategic environment. She also spoke about the many challenges that COVID-19 has had and continues to pose to the intelligence community and what the Office of Naval Intelligence has been doing to overcome them.

Questions from the USNA midshipmen ranged from naval intelligence's role in Great Power Competition to the challenges brought on by COVID-19.

Lt. Cmdr. Eric Cummins, department head, Information Warfare Community Basic Officer Training, later provided the midshipmen with a brief overview of their future intelligence officer training once they graduate the USNA and report to IWTC Virginia Beach. He highlighted IWTC Virginia Beach’s diverse group of instructors who come from a wide variation of career paths and supported warfare communities.

Additionally, Cummins encouraged the midshipmen to lean on their future instructors for academic, professional, and personal guidance as each instructor works very hard to provide sound instruction that remains rooted in hard truths learned over several years of experience. He also stressed that the IWTC Virginia Beach’s instructor staff has weathered the COVID-19 pandemic with steadfast vigilance so current and future students experience the most rigorous training and education as safely as possible.

The panel, which also included members from ONI staff and the intelligence officer detailing cadre, engaged in questions and answers with the midshipmen. Topics ranged from first-tour detailing opportunities to recommended reading lists for future intelligence officers.

Overall, the event proved to be insightful and beneficial for the soon-to-be intelligence officers.

“The information warfare community is very fortunate to have opportunities such as this panel to bring together the fleet and new-accession officers,” shared Cmdr. James Brennan, commanding officer of IWTC Virginia Beach. “We had great engagement from all commands involved and can only help set these young officers on the right path upon commissioning.”

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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