US Navy information warfare development center now operational

The U.S. Naval Information Warfighting Development Center (NIWDC) in Norfolk, Virginia, has reached initial operational capability, Commander, Naval Information Forces (NAVIFOR), Rear Adm. Matthew Kohler, announced on March 27.

The centers aim will be to develop and implement doctrine and tactics, techniques and procedures (TTPs) for information warfare (IW) and provide advanced IW warfighting training to forces afloat and ashore.

“The establishment of the Naval Information Warfighting Development Center is a significant step forward for Information Warfare and Navy warfighting,” said Kohler.

“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,” he continued.

First at the helm to lead the NIWDC is Capt. John Watkins, originally from San Diego who recently served on Commander, Third Fleet Staff as the Assistant Chief of Staff for Command, Control, Communications, Computers and Intelligence (C4I).

Similar to other warfighting development centers, 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, ensuring alignment with the information warfare training continuum.

NIWDC will also support and coordinate information warfare initiatives that are advancing capabilities in the other warfighting development centers – Naval Aviation Warfighting Development Center, Naval Surface and Mine Warfighting Development Center, Navy Warfare Development Command, Undersea Warfighting Development Center and Navy Expeditionary Warfighting Development Center.

The NIWDC will be one of 74 commands under NAVIFOR. Per tasking from U.S. Fleet Forces Command, NIWDC is to achieve full operational capability by April 2019.