ARABIAN GULF (NNS) -- Four Sailors became the first to qualify as enlisted information warfare specialists (EIWS) aboard the amphibious transport dock ship USS Arlington (LPD 24), March 7.
Attainment of the EIWS designation signifies that an eligible Sailor has achieved a level of excellence and proficiency in information warfare (IW) and has acquired the knowledge to enhance their understanding of the role of IW as it pertains to war fighting, mission effectiveness and command survivability.
The EIWS program on Arlington began in November 2015. More than 20 crew members have enrolled and are currently working towards the qualification. Currently, the program is organized and led by Chief Information Specialist Jason Medaris, from Dallas.
"Since the program started, many Sailors have enrolled and are eager to earn their EIWS pin," said Medaris. "This warfare qualification is probably one of the most challenging to earn. It really says something about the drive and initiative of these Sailors to have that pin on their chests."
The Sailors recently pinned and qualified were Operations Specialist 2nd Class Marquis Bailey, from Memphis, Tennessee; Information Systems Technician 2nd Class Derrick Tsai, from Oahu, Hawaii; Electrician's Mate 3rd Class Cassandra Petry, from Huntingberg, Indiana; and Electrician's Mate 3rd Class Cameron Rackner, from Minneapolis.
The information warfare rates of information systems technician (IT), cryptologic technician (CT), intelligence specialist (IS) and aerographer's mate (AG) are all required to qualify enlisted information warfare specialist, but the program is open to all Sailors who wish to learn more about the information warfare community.
"Participating in the EIWS program helped me grow as a Sailor and I'm honored to have had this experience," said Petry. "By learning additional information outside of my own surface warfare community, I now know how much more goes on aboard Arlington than the day-to-day operations in engineering."
Those among the information warfare community have the opportunity to learn more about information warfare in the Navy as it relates to Arlington.
"I've been in the community for a while, and by completing the program, it's given me a more complete view on how the vast other parts of the information warfare community work," said Tsai. "It's really expanded my view of how the Navy functions."
Arlington is part of the Kearsarge Amphibious Ready Group and, with embarked 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit, is deployed in support of maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations.
For more news from USS Arlington, visit http://www.navy.mil/local/lpd24/.