SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- Adm. Christopher W. Grady, commander, U.S. Fleet Forces Command, met with Sailors and staff at the Combined Integrated Air and Missile Defense (IAMD) Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) Trainer (CIAT), and Naval Surface and Mine Warfighting Development Center (SMWDC) onboard Naval Base San Diego, August 14.
The Center for Surface Combat Systems (CSCS) opened their newest CIAT facilities in San Diego and Norfolk, Virginia, in December 2018 and June 2019, respectively. CIAT is a state-of-the-art facility where instructors train shipboard operators and tacticians in a controlled environment without being underway or even on the ship. Additionally, CIAT offers the opportunity for watch teams and watch standers to complete a multitude of scenarios and repeat some of them where needed in order to increase their proficiency and increase overall team effectiveness.
During Grady’s visit to CIAT spaces, he observed Sailors from USS Shoup (DDG 86) completing ASW training with CSCS uniformed and civilian instructors providing training. It was a stark contrast from his prior visit to the facility when it was undergoing construction.
“It’s all about PBED - P5 now - where the real learning happens,” said Grady. “My guidance is to stress the systems, complete the feedback loop, and find the untapped potential. I am really pleased with where we are going, and how we continue to press the training envelope.”
While at the CIAT, Grady received briefings on advanced warfare training (AWT), CIAT application in the development of tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTP), customizable scenarios, and virtualization. Another area that he was briefed on was the mutually beneficial relationship between the CSCS CIAT team and the leadership and Warfare Tactics Instructors (WTI) co-located with them aboard the base.
“One of the great benefits of being here next to the SMWDC Headquarters is the relationship that I have with my peers in the WTI cadre,” said IAMD WTI Aaron Van Driessche who is completing his post-production WTI tour at CSCS Detachment San Diego. “We are able to work closely together to get time on the trainer, and to be creative with the way we develop training in the Fleet that exceeds our competitors’.”
SMWDC’s mission is to increase the lethality and tactical proficiency of the surface force across all domains through four lines of operations – advanced tactical training, doctrine and TTP development, operational support, capability assessments, experimentation and future requirements. SMWDC receives surface forces units after completion of their basic phase training and provides advanced tactical training, preparing ships for the integrated phase with the goal of developing a seamless track for readiness generation. Additionally, SMWDC-trained WTIs leverage training systems and tools throughout the fleet to enhance training opportunities for fleet watch standers – including use of CIAT.
Rear Adm. Scott Robertson, commander of SMWDC, said the team of WTIs are the driving force behind SMWDC’s success.
“As SMWDC enters our fifth year since inception, fleet familiarity with SMWDC and WTIs continues nearly as fast as the fleet demand signal for advanced tactical training,” he said. “This month we launched our inaugural mine warfare (MIW) WTI program and those WTIs will join the anti-submarine / surface warfare (ASW/SUW), amphibious warfare (AMW) and IAMD WTIs throughout the fleet.”
CSCS headquarters' staff oversees 14 learning sites and detachments located throughout the continental United States, Hawaii, and Japan and manages and operates a Naval Education and Training Command (NETC) training division in Rota, Spain. CSCS delivers specialized training for officer and enlisted Sailors to tactically operate, maintain, and employ shipboard and shore-based weapons, sensors, and command and control systems utilized in today's Navy.
SMWDC is a subordinate command of Commander, Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet and exists to increase the lethality and tactical proficiency of the Surface Force across all domains. SMWDC headquarters is at Naval Base San Diego with four divisions in Virginia and California focused on ASW/SUW, MIW, AMW, and IAMD.
For more news from Naval Surface and Mine Warfighting Development Center, visit www.navy.mil/local/SMWDC/.