DAHLGREN (NNS) -- Eight surface warfare officers joined a growing base of top tacticians in the Surface Fleet by earning qualification as Integrated Air and Missile Defense (IAMD) Warfare Tactics Instructors (WTIs) from Naval Surface and Mine Warfighting Development Center (SMWDC) during a ceremony here at the Aegis Training and Readiness Center in Dahlgren, Va.
Rear Adm. John Mustin, Deputy Commander, U.S. Second Fleet and Deputy Commander, Naval Surface Force Atlantic was the guest speaker at the event that saw the WTI program top 300 graduates since its inception.
“The tactical expertise you are developing has direct implications in today’s strategic operating environment,” said Mustin. “You should be proud of what you have accomplished, but your work isn’t done. This is the start of a career in developing yourselves individually, but more importantly, the teams you train and lead as we forge ahead in an era of great power competition.”
SMWDC was formally established in 2015, along with four other Navy Warfighting Development Centers (WDC) in other warfighting areas, to increase the lethality and proficiency of the Surface Force. The WTI program is a central element of SMWDC's efforts, and it is developing a new generation of expert 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 through 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 a rigorous 15-week program that includes classroom instruction with the Aegis Training and Readiness Center (ATRC), tactical training and mission planning, and on-site visits with the Naval Aviation Warfighting Development Center (NAWDC) and various Army and Air Force commands. The program is focused on the Navy's most cutting edge tactics and technologies.
Upon earning their WTI qualification, WTIs complete production tours at key billets throughout the Fleet including SMWDC’s Headquarters and Divisions and other training commands where they directly support the effort to increase Fleet lethality and tactical proficiency.
As part of that effort, some IAMD WTIs play a critical role in the development of enhanced missile exercises 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 a robust missile exercise program, and plays a supporting role in the execution of the Strike Group-led events.
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, Naval Surface Forces, and is headquartered at Naval Base San Diego, with four divisions in Virginia and California focused on IAMD, ASW/SUW, AMW, and MIW.
For more news from Naval Surface and Mine Warfighting Development Center, visit www.navy.mil/local/SMWDC/.