NORFOLK, Va. (NNS) -- The Navy has integrated all of its Information Operations (IO) capabilities under one authority by formally disestablishing Naval Security Group Command (NAVSECGRU) and aligning its personnel and assets under Naval Network Warfare Command (NETWARCOM).
What was formerly NAVSECGRU has now become NETWARCOM's Information Operations Directorate.
The alignment officially took place Sept. 30, and allows for greater opportunities and relevance in the information domain while preserving the Navy's support to the national intelligence mission.
Based at Naval Amphibious Base Little Creek, Va., NETWARCOM is the Navy's type commander for IO, Networks and Space. Through the alignment, NETWARCOM will now be able to provide an integrated and responsive team of IO and network professionals to deliver information-age solutions for the fleet and joint commander in the maritime domain.
A ceremony recognizing the disestablishment of NAVSECGRU was held at its headquarters Sept. 30 at Fort George G. Meade, Md. During the ceremony, NAVSECGRU's final commander, Rear Adm. Andrew Singer, spoke about the transition the command has made during his tenure.
"This is a historic day to reflect what we have achieved and what we will achieve, looking forward to the future after seven decades of war, crisis and peace seen by Naval Security Group."
"Since cryptology stood up in 1924 it was tied to communications," remarked guest speaker Adm. John Nathman, commander, U.S. Fleet Forces Command, referring to its relationship with radio signals. "Now, communications is tied to the net, and integration can only be achieved by realignment."
The consolidation involves Singer's headquarters staff, and subordinate Naval Security Group Activities (NSGA) and detachments (NSGD). When fully completed, the action will combine the Navy's enlisted Cryptologic Technicians and Information Warfare officers into the same organization as the Navy's Information Systems Technicians and Information Professional officers.
The IO warfare area is composed of five core integrated capabilities: Electronic Warfare, Computer Network Operations, Psychological Operations, Military Deception and Operational Security. These combine with related capabilities to provide "Information Dominance," the concept of controlling an adversary's use of the information and communications environment while protecting one's own.
The relationship between the two commands is not new. Since NETWARCOM's inception in 2002, the NAVSECGRU commander has served on the NETWARCOM staff in an "additional duty" capacity. Under the new construct, the combined warfighting and intelligence authorities of the two organizations, derived from titles 10 and 50 of the U.S. Code, will reside under one command, resulting in a more streamlined capability.
Rear Adm. Edward H. Deets III, NETWARCOM's vice commander, will assume the duties as the Naval Service Cryptologic Element from NAVSECGRU, making him the principal cryptologic authority responsible for naval participation in the National Intelligence Program.
"It really gives you a relationship that didn't exist in the Navy before," said Capt. William Leigher, special assistant for Information Operations at NETWARCOM. "They were separate chains of command.
"There is a natural linkage between the cryptologic mission areas of protecting friendly information and exploiting that of adversaries," Leigher continued, "and the IO mission to leverage that information to shape the battle environment for a decisive combat advantage.
As part of the realignment, NAVSECGRU's subordinate commands and detachments worldwide will be renamed either Navy Information Operations Commands (NIOC), or the smaller Navy Information Operations Detachments (NIOD). NSGA Norfolk will be the one exception - it will consolidate with NETWARCOM's Fleet Information Warfare Command (FIWC), also in Norfolk, which will be renamed NIOC Norfolk in early November.
The first of the new commands stood up July 27 as NIOC San Diego, taking on the consolidated missions, functions and tasks of the concurrently disestablished FIWC Detachment, San Diego and NSGA San Diego.
"There are huge challenges attendant to the alignment of NAVSECGRU and NETWARCOM," explained Leigher. "We are making a fundamental change in how we do business across all signals intelligence, IO and network areas. Coherently linking all of the mission sets now under the NETWARCOM umbrella is an undertaking of enormous magnitude, spanning all fleet areas and impacting all naval warfare disciplines. We are confident that we will meet those challenges and deliver the best product possible to our Navy, joint and national commanders, partners and customers."
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