Ten surface warfare officers joined a growing base of top tacticians in the Surface Fleet by earning the qualification as Integrated Air and Missile Defense (IAMD) Warfare Tactics Instructors (WTI) from Naval Surface and Mine Warfighting Development Center (SMWDC) during a ceremony at the Aegis Training and Readiness Center.
“In the maritime profession of arms, WTIs are key strategic enablers operating at the tactical level,” said Deputy Director for Resources and Acquisition on the Joint Staff Rear Adm. James Aiken, who was the guest speaker at the event. “You should be proud of what you have accomplished; know that we are placing special trust and confidence in each of you to be warriors, thinkers, teachers, and learners who are not only developing your own knowledge and expertise, but more importantly, developing battle-minded, well-prepared warfighters alongside you on ships going into harm’s way. You have an important mission through SMWDC’s lines of operation and in your follow on assignments.”
The Navy established SMWDC in 2015 - along with four other Warfighting Development Centers (WDC) in other warfighting communities - to increase the lethality and proficiency of the Surface Force across all domains. The WTI program is a central element of SMWDC's efforts, and it is developing a new generation of highly trained surface warfare tacticians who are returning to the fleet as force-multipliers for their watch teams. After earning qualification in either Integrated Air and Missile Defense (IAMD), Amphibious Warfare (AMW), Anti-Submarine/Surface Warfare (ASW/SUW), and Mine Warfare (MIW), Warfare Tactics Instructors complete a production tour, where they bring their skills to bear by providing advanced tactical training, developing tactics and doctrine, providing operational support and crafting capability assessments.
SMWDC's Integrated Air and Missile Defense (IAMD) Division in Dahlgren, Virginia is focused on training top junior officer talent within the surface force, specific to the field of Integrated Air and Missile Defense (IAMD). The IAMD Division executes the rigorous 15-week program that includes classroom instruction with the Aegis Training and Readiness Center (ATRC), and tactical training, mission planning, and on-site visits with the Naval Aviation Warfighting Development Center (NAWDC) and various Army and Air Force commands. The program focuses on the Navy's most innovative tactics and technologies. Further, WTI candidates each have a specific research focus area to start them on the path to becoming a subject matter expert on that particular topic.
Additionally, select IAMD WTIs play an important role in the development of Live Fire With a Purpose (LFWAP) events – an enhanced missile exercise program designed to increase Fleet lethality and tactical proficiency. SMWDC is Commander, U.S. Fleet Force’s and U.S. Pacific Fleet’s executive agent (EA) for the LFWAP program, and plays a supporting role in the execution of the Strike Group-led events. Since program inception, more than 100 surface combatants - including aircraft carriers – have completed a LFWAP event.
Warfare commanders, commanding officers and leaders throughout the Fleet are highly encouraged to identify top talent to enter the WTI program. Commanding officers who wish to leverage WTI training for their top talent and keep them aboard their ship for a follow-on tour, should review the Accelerated Warfare or Division Officer Sequencing Plan programs available through SMWDC.
Leaders interested in further development of the tactical proficiency of their units should contact SMWDC’s WTI Program Managers directly at SWO_WTI@Navy.mil for more information.
SMWDC is a subordinate command of Commander, U.S. Naval Surface Forces, and is headquartered at Naval Base San Diego, with four divisions in Virginia and California focused on IAMD, ASW/SUW, MIW and AMW.
For more news from Naval Surface and Mine Warfighting Development Center , visit www.navy.mil/local/SMWDC/.