VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (NNS) -- Recent graduates of intelligence training schools are now prepared to take to the fleet vital skills necessary in support of traditional combat operations, irregular warfare and other critical tenets of the nation's maritime strategy.
On April 30, 21 students from the Intelligence Specialist Imagery Interpretation Course and 13 students from the Operational Intelligence Analyst Course graduated and headed to the fleet to support current operations.
These courses are two of several conducted by the Center for Naval Intelligence (CNI) and the Navy and Marine Corps Intelligence Training Center (NMITC) in Virginia Beach, Va.
The naval intelligence community was officially founded in March 1882 when then-Secretary of the Navy William H. Hunt signed General Order 292. Presently, the CNI is the Navy's center of excellence for intelligence training, responsible for providing intelligence professionals to operate in a wide range of naval and joint organizations across the globe.
"The intelligence mission has become much more specialized than in Secretary Hunt's day," explained Capt. Elizabeth Train, commanding officer for CNI and NMITC.
"In today's Navy and Marine Corps the business of naval intelligence is conducted by a select cadre of officer, enlisted, and civilian intelligence professionals - a community that is increasingly in demand in an increasingly complex and dangerous world."
CNI has two subordinate commands -- NMITC and Fleet Intelligence Training Center (FITC). NMITC's primary responsibility is officer and enlisted accession- and journeyman-level training followed closely by advanced training. FITC focuses on advanced training but also provides global maritime partner training through its International Maritime Intelligence Course.
CNI continues to expand its capabilities in response to the increasingly complex national defense environment and graduated 3,914 students, including 756 enlisted intelligence specialists (IS) from IS "A" and "C" school and 171 officers from the Naval Intelligence Officer Basic Course (NIOBC), in 2008.
"This represents a sixty-five percent increase in student throughput since 2006, a clear testament of the increased emphasis Navy has placed on its intelligence capability," said Train.
Evolving operational requirements and an increasing emphasis on more traditional operational intelligence skills have required a new approach to training, new curriculum content and innovative learning delivery methods.
"The Navy was compelled to adapt quickly to assure we expanded our capability and capacity to provide intelligence support to growing irregular warfare operations, while at the same time strengthening intelligence support to traditional warfighting missions," said Train.
"Today's intelligence specialists require a complex tool kit of skills that crosses both the irregular and traditional warfighting domains. Irregular warfare includes violent struggles among nontraditional warring groups, such as guerilla fighters, in an effort to achieve legitimacy or influence over others. This type of warfare depends not just on our military prowess but also our understanding of such social dynamics as tribal politics, social networks, religious influences and cultural mores."
In response to emerging, and enduring, required skills, course curricula at the intelligence training centers continue to be updated.
"We have added additional skills training to accession-level and mid-level courses to provide the best prepared intelligence professionals to operational units," said Train.
These skills include intelligence collection, imagery analysis and specific training to support Naval Special Warfare operations.
The goal for the CNI instructors is to provide the best-trained intelligence professionals with a full understanding of maritime domain awareness and an ever-changing adversary.
In 2008, CNI earned the Naval Education and Training Command Excellence Award for its achievements in training intelligence personnel.
"The instructors are dedicated, innovative professionals who have a passion for the work they are doing," said Train. "We clearly have the need to continue to attract our top talent for assignments in our learning sites as well as aggressively seek out innovative curriculum development and learning delivery methods as we continue to meet the complex challenges of developing our future naval intelligence workforce."
For more news from Naval Education and Training Command, visit www.navy.mil/local/cnet/.