Naval Information Warfare Development Command (NIWDC) held a change of command ceremony 31 July.  Rear Adm. Jeffrey S. Scheidt (left) was relieved as Commander NIWDC by Rear Adm. Michael J. Vernazza (right).  Vice Adm. Brian B. Brown, Commander, Naval Information Forces (center), was the presiding officer.  This marks the first Flag change of commander for NIWDC since its inception in 2017.  


Rear Adm. Jeffrey S. Scheidt was relieved by Rear Adm. Michael J. Vernazza as the officer leading Naval Information Warfighting Development Center (NIWDC) in a change of command ceremony at Naval Support Activity Hampton Roads, July 31.

In keeping with mandated guidelines for physical distancing to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the ceremony was limited to essential personnel, streamed live on the Naval Information Forces (NAVIFOR) Facebook page, and made available on CD for those unable to attend or view live. In his remarks, Scheidt expressed his deep appreciation for the unwavering support, mentorship, and motivation he received from family, friends, and colleagues over the past two years.

Scheidt credited the NIWDC team for their professionalism and dedication to duty. “We set new standards for modern information warfare combat power, redefined the shape of community doctrine, and established a new foundation for the innovative muscle of our officers and technicians.”

He recalled three specific accomplishments that occurred during his two year tenure as NIWDC Commander: the transformation of the Warfare Tactics Instructor training; significant doctrine and tactics development for distributed maritime operations; and a growing campaign for Information Warfare Virtual Training.

“These are only a few of the biggest accomplishments during my tenure. Many other significant efforts have helped us grow as a team. I am confident this team will continue to

grow…continue to innovate…and continue to lead our Navy in pursuit of Information Warfare excellence.”

Scheidt was awarded the Legion of Merit Medal (his third award) during the ceremony.

Vernazza said he looked forward to the challenges of taking over NIWDC. In his remarks, Vernazza said, “It is a tremendous privilege to lead and serve with you during this exciting time in Information Warfare.”

Setting the pace as the incoming Commanding Flag Officer, Vernazza said, “We have much to do. My focus will be for us to move forward with a sense of urgency, questioning assumptions, and thinking differently about the competition we are in, always guided by our core values.”

Established in early 2017 as one of five Warfighting Development Centers, NIWDC develops and champions information warfare initiatives that are advancing capabilities in Great Power Competition and Distributed Maritime Operations.

One of 88 commands under NAVIFOR, NIWDC is the Navy’s IW tactical center of excellence which develops and enhances high-end fleet warfighting capabilities and tactics. To keep up to date with the latest NIWDC news, visit https://www.navy.mil/local/navifor or NAVIFOR’s Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/navalinformationforces/.

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