PENSACOLA, Fla. – The Center for Information Warfare Training (CIWT) hosted a conference on Corry Station, for Naval Information Forces (NAVIFOR) to standardize the Job Duty Task Analysis (JDTA) for all non-mobile Distributed SIGINT (Signals Intelligence) Operations (DSO) work roles.
During the conference, held from Feb. 22 to Mar. 2, 2023, Information Warfare (IW) Sailors, the majority of which either currently or previously have been assigned to watchfloors at the four Fleet Information Operations Centers (FIOCs) in Georgia, Hawaii, Maryland, and Texas, as well as representatives from NAVIFOR; Commander, 10th Fleet; and Commander, 7th Fleet flew in to participate in discussions to standardize what is expected of each the 15 work roles on the non-mobile DSO watch team.
Non-mobile DSO watch teams provide information warfare support from the FIOCs to ships in various Areas of Responsibility (AORs) globally. They operate out of Fleet Support Centers around the United States, and constantly have watchstanders monitoring the safety of the ships in their assigned AORs. Non-mobile DSOs have a common make-up of personnel, but their duties, tasks, and qualifications have been set locally at the FIOCs based on fleet requirements from their assigned region. The goal of the JDTA was to standardize the work roles and requirements of each position to get a better idea of what is needed at each of these centers.
At the opening of the conference, Cmdr. Michael Tiefel, executive officer, CIWT, reminded the attendees that, as they look at the Navy’s pacing threats, having capable SIGINT operators that can conduct timely processing, exploitation and dissemination (PED) of products becomes essential for battlefield awareness in a contested maritime environment.
“Building a viable training backbone for these direct support teams is critical to this success,” said Tiefel.
Cryptologic Technician Interpretive Master Chief Gloriana Jensen, CTI Rating Training Manager, CIWT, explained that the JDTA for non-mobile DSOs is a large task because it hasn't really been defined before. We had to standardize what the members of the non-mobile DSO’s actual responsibilities are, what they're supposed to know, and what they're supposed to do. There are 15 positions, so the JDTA encompasses defining their jobs, duties, and tasks, as well as the required knowledge skills, abilities, tools, and resources, for each position.
“Having attendees from each of the current FIOC watchfloors allows us to standardize the work roles for the non-mobile DSOs,” said Jensen. “Currently, they function in a different ways as to who is responsible, and who is interchangeable; who can do the job and who is supposed to do the job and it is all, currently, based on your location.”
Cryptologic Technician Interpretive 2nd Class Jakob Hall, who works as a Battle Force SIGINT Analyst (BFCA) on the non-mobile DSO watchfloor in Texas, said it was good that people currently in the roles were serving as subject matter experts (SME) to define the work roles within the JDTA construct to create the standard for future Distributed SIGINT Operations worldwide.
“We need a baseline across non-mobile DSO watch floors so that when operators move between locations they will know what is expected of them,” said Hall. “It will also help to cross-level the set of requirements personnel need to meet across watch floors.”
Another participant, Cryptologic Technician Interpretive 1st Class Brittany Edwards, who currently functions as an analyst and operator on the non-mobile DSO watchfloor in Hawaii, said, “Establishing a baseline for all non-mobile DSO sites on what is expected to be provided by them will help eliminate redundancy and review the capabilities of personnel manning these operations. From this JDTA, we will be able to determine if our personnel are being sufficiently trained to complete the tasks required.”
Hall said the experience of working on the JDTA has been very eye-opening.
“Each site brings new knowledge, based on the tools and tradecraft they use,” said Hall. “Hearing the different techniques they use to obtain the desired information between locations has challenged me to think of new ways to apply those techniques at my location.”
Edwards said the biggest challenge has been the need for each participant to take a step back from what they may be dealing with in their area of responsibility, and breakdown the jobs to the basic duties and tasks that are accomplished and standardize those lists to encompass the needs of all non-mobile DSO locations so the needs of the fleet are accomplished.
Cryptologic Technician Technical 1st Class Morgan Kountouris, who served as the SME for the Battle Force ELINT (electronic intelligence) Analyst (BFEA) work role said, “Working on this JDTA has been a long, tedious process, but it is rewarding and will be beneficial for future Sailors who will fill these positions. With so many points of view and levels of experience, it was difficult at times to get everyone to see the same vision. As the days passed the objective became clearer, and conversations became more cohesive and unified, which really helped us achieve our end goal.”