JOINT EXPEDITIONARY BASE LITTLE CREEK-FORT STORY (NNS) -- Seven Warfare Tactics Instructor (WTI) candidates completed the Amphibious Warfare (AMW) WTI qualification course Nov. 27, and joined the growing team of Naval Surface and Mine Warfighting Development Center (SMWDC) WTIs across the Surface Force.
SMWDC, one of five Naval Warfighting Development Centers, was formally established in 2015 to increase the lethality and proficiency of the Surface Force, and to date 82 officers have graduated as AMW WTIs.
Rear Adm. Roy I. Kitchener, commander of Naval Surface Force Atlantic, delivered remarks at the graduation ceremony held onboard Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Ft. Story at SMWDC’s AMW Division. Kitchener spoke to the significance of this training, referring to the “graduate level education in tactics and combat leadership,” received as they prepare to start their WTI production tours, or return to the fleet aboard ship or staff.
“The training you’ve experienced is not just an investment in you as a professional officer, it’s also an investment in every surface Navy Sailor and the tactical competency of the Force,” said Kitchener. “You accomplishing your mission as the keepers of tactical standards is key to the generation of combat ready ships, battle minded crews.”
After earning qualification, WTIs 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.
The newest AMW WTIs – Lt. Cmdr. Omari Buckley, Lt. Cmdr. Jason Nowell, Lt. Charles Cahoon, Lt. Samuel Lieber, Lt. Tia Myers, Lt. Kaila Oliver and Lt. Anthony Ortman – will report to production tours or return to the Fleet. WTIs support SMWDC’s lines of operation through training events like Center for Surface Combat Systems (CSCS) Ship’s Self Defense Systems (SSDS) simulators at Wallops Island, Virginia, and conducting training underway as a part of Amphibious Ready Group Surface Warfare Advanced Tactical Training (SWATT) planning and execution. Lieber was selected as the class Honor Graduate for academic excellence, and Cahoon was presented the Iwo Jima Leadership award – selected by his peers for superb leadership qualities displayed throughout the fifteen-week course.
The 15-week AMW WTI course of instruction is focused on all aspects of AMW. Students apply amphibious doctrine and tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTP’s) during the course through student-led briefings, practical applications, and open forum discussions. Students exercise tactics in synthetic training evolutions conducted at CSCS SSDS trainer onboard Wallops Island, and one-on-one immersion training with Marine Corps personnel from each element of the Marine Air-Ground Task Force onboard Camp Lejeune, N.C. The immersive experience teaches students to plan and execute missions across the range of military operations with their Marine Corps counterparts – a crucial element of AMW mission success.
These seven graduates were introduced to a revamped Capstone process consisting of a comprehensive final exam, paired with an in-depth oral board that tests the knowledge of each WTI candidate following the operational planning team centric Battle Problem. Students demonstrate their synthesis of the course material on an individual level, reinforcing their confidence and abilities before they return to the Fleet.
SMWDC’s newest graduates joined the 342 AMW, Integrated Air and Missile Defense (IAMD), and Anti-Submarine Warfare/Surface Warfare (ASW/SUW) WTIs in the Fleet; this spring the first five Mine Warfare (MIW) WTIs will graduate and join the cadre.
If you are interested in becoming a Warfare Tactics Instructor, email SWO_WTI@navy.mil or reach out to your detailer for more information!
SMWDC is a subordinate command of Commander, U.S. Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet and is headquartered at Naval Base San Diego, with four divisions in Virginia and California focused on AMW, IAMD, ASW/SUW, and MIW.
For more news from Naval Surface and Mine Warfighting Development Center , visit www.navy.mil/local/SMWDC/.