SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- Rear Adm. Scott Robertson, commander of Naval Surface and Mine Warfighting Development Center (SMWDC), congratulated the Navy’s 15 newest Anti-Submarine Warfare/Surface Warfare (ASW/SUW) Warfare Tactics Instructors (WTIs) on Tuesday, November 26 at a ceremony onboard Naval Station San Diego.
SMWDC’s WTI program selects top Surface Warfare Officers (SWO) for advanced tactical training in four warfare specialty areas –ASW/SUW, amphibious warfare (AMW), integrated air and missile defense (IAMD), and mine warfare (MIW).
“We don’t want to fight a war and the best way to make sure we don’t have to fight a war is to have the true proven capability of credible combat power to make sure that any adversary that takes us on knows they will lose,” said Robertson. “You are now trusted with that incredible responsibility to make sure our combat power is credible, and that comes from our tactics that you are going to write and validate, and the training you are going to perform making strike groups and amphibious ready groups ready for deployment.”
The newest ASW/SUW WTIs – Lt. Cmdr. John Kavanagh, Lt. Cmdr. Linzy Lewis, Lt. Cmdr. Amanda Norton, Lt. Cmdr. Matthew Plant, Lt. Cmdr. Christopher Rakoski, Lt. Cmdr. Stephen Skahen, Lt. Steven Billmaier, Lt. Christopher Hallissy, Lt. Rod Hanks, Lt. Rob Lombardo, Lt. Levi Morris, Lt. Jason Rowles, Lt. Jeb Sightler, Lt. Errol Vidad, and Lt. Tyler Westover – completed 13-weeks of rigorous classroom instruction, mission planning, and scenarios focused on critical application of the Navy’s most cutting-edge tactics and technologies.
The curriculum is designed to develop each element of the WTI “Warrior, Thinker, Teacher” model through an emphasis on tactical simulations, immersion in doctrinal Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures (TTPs), and the development of instructor skills through threat briefs and Capstone presentations. SMWDC’s Sea Combat Division staff were the primary instructors, but there were guest lecturers from the Naval Aviation Warfighting Development Center, Naval Undersea Warfare Center, and other training commands.
Westover was selected as the Honor Graduate for having the highest overall grade in the class upon completion of all evaluated evolutions, demonstrating the Thinker aspect of a WTI. Hanks was selected as the Arleigh Burke Winner, selected by his peers for displaying the foremost presentation prowess throughout the duration of their instruction and evaluation. Hanks was also selected as the Top Tactician, selected by the staff for displaying leadership, character, attitude, and professional qualities of a WTI – and exemplifying the Warrior aspect of a WTI.
After earning qualification, WTIs complete a production tour, where they bring their skills to bear providing advanced tactical training, developing tactics and doctrine, providing operational support, and crafting capability assessments.
WTIs are a key element of accomplishing SMWDC’s mission: increasing the lethality and tactical proficiency of the Surface Force across all domains. Through a range of operations from updating doctrine and TTP, to providing training ashore and afloat during Surface Warfare Advanced Tactical Training (SWATT) events and similar exercises, WTIs are shaping doctrine and its implementation in the fleet. SMWDC’s long-term goal is to have at least one WTI onboard every ship as a department head.
SWOs interested in professional growth and development with opportunities to increase the Fleet’s readiness and lethality can email the WTI program managers at SWO_WTI@navy.mil.
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/.