Fleet Readiness: NIWDC and CIWT Reinforce IW Training and Collaboration

03 June 2021

From Glenn Sircy, Center for Information Warfare Training

Rear Adm. Mike Vernazza, commander of Naval Information Warfighting Development Center (NIWDC) along with Master Chief Cryptologic Technician (Technical) Kristalina Greene, NIWDC’s senior enlisted leader, visited the Center for Information Warfare Training (CIWT) and Information Warfare Training Command (IWTC) Corry Station to review information warfare (IW) training initiatives and discuss current and future training for the Navy’s rapidly changing IW missions, capabilities and roles, June 3.
PENSACOLA, Fla. -- Rear Adm. Mike Vernazza, commander of Naval Information Warfighting Development Center (NIWDC) along with Master Chief Cryptologic Technician (Technical) Kristalina Greene, NIWDC’s senior enlisted leader, visited the Center for Information Warfare Training (CIWT) and Information Warfare Training Command (IWTC) Corry Station to review information warfare (IW) training initiatives and discuss current and future training for the Navy’s rapidly changing IW missions, capabilities and roles, June 3.

This was Vernazza’s and Greene’s first visit to CIWT since Vernazza took the helm of NIWDC in July 2020. Their visit offered an opportunity to update them on the latest force development approaches for building a talented IW fleet through initiatives, such as Ready, Relevant Learning, that take recruits from "street to fleet" and transform civilians into highly skilled, operational, and combat-ready warfighters.

“We want the best of the best out there – highly trained and skilled IW professionals – who provide their commanders a robust IW advantage to fight and win during Great Power Competition,” said Vernazza. “My focus continues to be for us to move forward with a sense of urgency, questioning assumptions about how to best train and prepare our IW community, and thinking differently about how to successfully develop and employ our tactics, techniques, and procedures.”

Established in early 2017 as one of five warfighting development centers and now one of 88 commands under Naval Information Forces, NIWDC develops and champions IW initiatives that are advancing capabilities in Great Power Competition and Distributed Maritime Operations. More specifically, NIWDC is the Navy’s IW tactical center of excellence which optimizes IW by delivering IW planning expertise to warfare commanders, centers, and cells and through advanced tactics, techniques, and procedures in assigned mission areas at the individual unit, integrated or advanced, and joint levels, ensuring alignment with the information training continuum.

Vernazza and Greene began their visit with CIWT Commanding Officer Capt. Marc Ratkus and CIWT Command Master Chief Francisco Vargas, where Vernazza and Greene were given a “bird’s eye” overview of Corry Station from atop building 501, along with an overview of the entire CIWT domain.

"Hosting Rear Adm. Vernazza and Master Chief Greene was a great opportunity to accelerate top-level discussions on how we continue to transform the development and delivery of the right IW training at the right time in the right way for our information warriors," shared Ratkus. "The CIWT domain team has a long-standing reputation for delivering game-changing IW training and effects, and it was my distinct pleasure to highlight how our initiatives help better prepare IW professionals to successfully impact decision makers from the foxhole to the White House.”

Vernazza and Ratkus then led an IW training roundtable discussion with various CIWT and IWTC Corry Station leaders. CIWT successes, initiatives and challenges topics ranged from Persistent Cyber Training Environment to revolutionizing IW training to the Multipurpose Reconfigurable Training System 3D®, or MRTS 3D®.

Other events included an AN/SLQ-32(V)6 electronic warfare systems and Surface Ships Radio Room MRTS 3D® demonstration and discussion.

“To maximize Navy lethality, it is imperative we arm our IW warfighters with the knowledge and skills necessary to create winning warfighting options for our commanders,” added Vernazza. “The persistent and creative collaboration between CIWT, Naval Information Forces and NIWDC, ensures a clear IW training continuum that is paramount to our nation’s safety and security.”

Vernazza and Greene completed the visit with wrap-up discussions with Ratkus and Vargas, and then departed for Navy Information Operations Command Pensacola.

“The CIWT domain is leaning forward in forming a solid technical and cerebral foundation for our new IW warriors,” shared Greene. “The collaborative innovation underway at CIWT is exciting, and the entire team of professionals there are focused and dedicated on training and preparing IW warfighters at all paygrades.”

With four schoolhouse commands, a detachment, and training sites throughout the United States and Japan, CIWT trains approximately 26,000 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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