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    Newest Anti-Submarine Warfare and Surface Warfare WTIs Join Fleet

    Newest Anti-Submarine Warfare and Surface Warfare WTIs Join Fleet

    Photo By Clinton Beaird | Graduates of Naval Surface and Mine Warfighting Development Center’s (SMWDC’s)...... read more read more



    Courtesy Story

    Naval Surface and Mine Warfighting Development Center (SMWDC)

    Rear Adm. Scott Robertson, commander of Naval Surface and Mine Warfighting Development Center (SMWDC), congratulated eleven Surface Warfare Officers (SWOs) that qualified and became the newest Anti-Submarine Warfare / Surface Warfare (ASW/SUW) Warfare Tactics Instructors (WTIs) at a small ceremony onboard Naval Base Point Loma, Harbor Drive Annex, on Friday, April 17.

    ASW/SUW WTIs are warfighting experts in one of four surface warfare areas, and they are joined in the WTI cadre with other warfare area WTIs – Integrated Air and Missile Defense (IAMD), Amphibious Warfare (AMW), and Mine Warfare (MIW).

    The curriculum is designed to develop each element of the WTI “Warrior, Thinker, Teacher” model through an emphasis on tactical simulations, immersion in doctrinal Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures (TTPs), and the development of instructor skills through threat briefs and capstone presentations. The curriculum featured lectures from subject-matter experts from across the warfighting communities. SMWDC’s Sea Combat Division staff were the primary instructors, but there were guest lecturers from the Naval Aviation Warfighting Development Center, Naval Undersea Warfare Center, and other training commands.

    “We are operating innovatively with all required precautions so that we can continue our mission of increasing Fleet lethality through the production of more WTIs,” said Robertson. “The coronavirus pushed us to think outside of the box from how we typically operate, to include how we complete WTI training. This gave us the opportunity to look at how we can maximize training potential. Moving forward we will change the order of training, which will allow us to cover more advanced scenarios in the training pipeline.”

    Following all guidelines for reducing the spread of coronavirus, SMWDC conducted the WTI graduation ceremony with the minimum number of personnel, and maintained social distancing.

    The newest ASW/SUW WTIs are Lt. Cmdr. Patrick Brinkman, Lt. Cmdr. Anthony Grusich, Lt. Cmdr. Michelle Smith, Lt. Keegan Hoey, Lt. Charles Lloyd, Lt. Netan Pruthi, Lt. Samuel Ross, Lt. Michelle Ehlhardt, Lt. Garrett Platt, Lt. j.g. Juan Lopez, and Lt. j.g. Louis Wohletz.

    Grusich was selected as the Honor Graduate for having the highest overall grade in the class upon completion of all evaluated evolutions, demonstrating the Thinker aspect of a WTI. Grusich was also selected as the Arleigh Burke Winner, selected by his peers for displaying the foremost presentation prowess throughout the duration of their instruction and evaluation. Smith was selected as the Top Tactician, selected by the staff for displaying leadership, character, attitude, and professional qualities of a WTI – and exemplifying the Warrior aspect of a WTI.

    After earning qualification, WTIs complete a production tour, where they bring their skills to bear providing advanced tactical training, developing tactics and doctrine, providing operational support, and developing capability assessments.

    WTIs are a key element of accomplishing SMWDC’s mission. Through a range of operations from updating doctrine and TTP, to providing training ashore and afloat during Surface Warfare Advanced Tactical Training (SWATT) events and similar exercises, WTIs are shaping doctrine and its implementation in the fleet. SMWDC’s long-term goal is to have at least one WTI onboard every ship as a department head.

    SWOs interested in professional growth and development with opportunities to increase the Fleet’s readiness and lethality can email the WTI program managers at

    SMWDC is a subordinate command of Commander, Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet. SMWDC headquarters is located onboard Naval Base San Diego and has four divisions located in Virginia and California focused on ASW/SUW, MIW, AMW, and IAMD.



    Date Taken: 04.20.2020
    Date Posted: 04.20.2020 14:50
    Story ID: 367866

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