The US Naval Information Forces (NAVIFOR) has confirmed the initial operational capability (IOC) of the new Naval Information Warfighting Development Center (NIWDC) in Norfolk, Virginia.
NAVIFOR commander rear admiral Matthew Kohler noted that the development of the NIWDC is a major step forward for the US Navy's information warfare and warfighting capabilities.
Kohler said: “Among other capabilities, NIWDC will deliver advanced information warfare training; tactics, techniques and procedures; as well as information warfare tactics instructors. Above all, it will be a place for innovation.”
The NIWDC will be led by captain John Watkins, who has recently served on commander, Third Fleet Staff as the assistant chief of Staff for Command, Control, Communications, Computers and Intelligence (C4I).
Watkins said: “This is a significant milestone in naval information warfare history and I am humbled and honoured to be a part of it and the first to lead this command.
"A key objective of the NIWDC is to provide hard-hitting, fleet-relevant information warfighting effects as soon as possible; the demand signal is strong and we are ready to deliver.”
NIWDC's mission will include training and assessing information warfare forces in advanced tactics, techniques and procedures at the individual, unit, integrated or advanced, and joint levels, in order to ensure alignment with the information warfare training continuum.
The new centre will also support and coordinate information warfare initiatives that are advancing capabilities in the other warfighting development centres, such as the Naval Aviation Warfighting Development Center, Undersea Warfighting Development Center and Navy Warfare Development Command.
The Naval Surface and Mine Warfighting Development Center and Navy Expeditionary Warfighting Development Center will also benefit from the new facility.
NIWDC will operate as one of the 74 commands under NAVIFOR, and is slated to attain full operational capability by April 2019.