PENSACOLA, Fla. – U.S. Coast Guard Rear Adm. Joseph Buzzella, director of exercises and training, U.S. Cyber Command (USCYBERCOM), visited the Center for Information Warfare Training (CIWT) on Nov. 9, to learn more about the Navy’s cyber training program.
While receiving a base orientation of the learning facilities in the CIWT crow’s nest, Buzzella discussed the option of bringing the Future Operator Readiness, Growth and Enrichment (FORGE) courses to be taught at Corry Station. Capt. Chris Bryant, commanding officer of CIWT, responded that the cyber students would definitely benefit from having the curriculum taught locally as it would allow them to maintain the learning momentum built during the courses leading up to FORGE.
After the tour, Buzzella met with CIWT leadership, Cmdr. Peter Manzoli, commanding officer of Information Warfare Training Command (IWTC), Corry Station, U.S. Coast Guard Capt. Michael Medica, the incoming director for Persistent Cyber Training Environment (PCTE), USCYBERCOM, and Capt. Timothy Hammond, chief of training for U.S. Coast Guard Force Readiness Command, to discuss the joint cyber training pipeline at IWTC Corry Station.
One of the issues Manzoli identified that was hampering the cyber training process was the skill atrophy that occurs with the extended delays students sometimes face between initial cyber training courses and advanced training, like the FORGE courses.
Chuck Sauter, director of training for CIWT, applauded the positive results that were gained by providing enlisted cyber senior mentors who could oversee and motivate students to better grasp some of the difficult lessons they were struggling with, thus preventing the Navy from losing time and money invested into students in the effort ensure fleet cyber readiness.
Cmdr. Gil Baughn, cyber program manager for CIWT, provided an overview of the cyber courses currently taught, and the courses currently being developed with their associated timeline. He also discussed the schoolhouse’s use of PCTE which included an update of the recently completed installation of a PCTE node onboard Corry Station.
Buzzella was very supportive of building out the PCTE framework as well as assisting in advocating for further CIWT infrastructure to improve both the capacity of cyber training as well as its sophistication.
Baughn also highlighted the new Maritime Cyber Warfare Officer (MCWO) designation training process, for which three MCWO new accessions officers are attending one of the two new Computer Network Operations Qualification Courses (CNOQC) currently taking place at IWTC Corry Station.
At the end of his tour of Information Warfare Training Command (IWTC) Corry Station, Buzzella got the opportunity to speak with students in the Marine Corps Cyber Operations Readiness Curriculum (MCCORC) course. The MCCORC course has been a highlight of the CIWT domain’s ability to produce cyber warfare personnel capable of performing highly sensitive cyber warfare workroles.
With four schoolhouse commands, two detachments, and training sites throughout the United States and Japan, CIWT trains more than 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, cyber warfare technicians, intelligence specialists, information systems technicians, electronics technicians, and officers in the information warfare community.