SAN DIEGO - SPAWAR Systems Center Pacific is helping set the standard for a new corps of warfighter with 13 newly qualified Information Dominance Warfare Officers. The first 10 officers were pinned with the new warfare insignia during a ceremony Nov. 1, to recognize their accomplishments.
These officers were among the first in the Navy to become members of the Information Dominance Corps, which comprises more than 44,000 active duty and reserve officers, enlisted and civilians with expertise in information-related fields.
“I think it’s one of the proudest moments of an individual’s career when they finish their warfare requirements,” said SPAWAR Commander Rear Adm. Pat Brady, who gave the officers their pins. “Also, these folks are trailblazers.”
As part of the first class of Information Dominance Warfare Officers, these SSC Pacific officers will better position the Center and Team SPAWAR to achieve the Chief of Naval Operation’s goal for Information Dominance.
Both Brady and SSC Pacific Commanding Officer Capt. Mark Kohlheim said they are committed to realizing Adm. Gary Roughead’s vision for the Navy, and they said they believe the IDC plays an important role in their efforts to align with his goals.
And the IDC also reinforces the importance of having well-trained sailors operating in the cyber domain, just as the Navy has in every other domain.
“We want the same operational excellence on our networks that we want out of our SEALs or any other Navy component,” Brady said. “With respect to the cyber warriors, they may not need to do as many pushups as a Navy SEAL does, but that doesn’t mean their combat is going to be any less rigorous or their training will be any less demanding. We need to have core operational excellence in all those areas.”
Part of gaining the operational excellence is understanding the entire community.
Previously, an intelligence officer would focus on intelligence; a meteorologist would focus on meteorology, and so on. They were separate groups with separate goals. But now, members of all information-related fields must function as one community with a unified purpose.
Just like the aviation community defines all Sailors who fly, navigate, repair or otherwise work with aircraft, the IDC defines Sailors with the skills required for information dominance. Included information fields are information professional officers, information warfare officers, naval intelligence officers, meteorological and oceanography officers, space cadre officers, aerographer’s mates, cryptologic technicians, intelligence specialists, information systems technicians and corresponding civilian personnel.
The first generation of Information Dominance Warriors will continue their training to better understand their counterparts in various information areas as they integrate into the fleet in their new capacity. Future generations will begin that training process from day one before filling a more defined role in the fleet as the key operators and decision makers for information systems.
For SSC Pacific, recognition of these 13 Information Dominance Warfare Officers is an important element in supporting the fleet in cyberspace. With the stand-up of U.S. Tenth Fleet at the beginning of the calendar year, the establishment of a Fleet Cyber Command and the reorganization of OPNAV N2/N6, SSC Pacific, along with Team SPAWAR, have new opportunities for channeling cyber expertise toward a shared goal.
Brady said SPAWAR will provide technology and acquisition expertise to Tenth Fleet and OPNAV N2/N6 to make their vision for information dominance a reality. SPAWAR will be the systems center for Tenth Fleet, providing cyber capabilities to the warfighter, just like NavAir is the systems center for Naval Air Forces, provides all things aviation to the warfighter.
SSC Pacific plays a central role in Team SPAWAR’s ability to support Tenth Fleet.
Nearly two-thirds of all work at SSC Pacific already is cyber related. The Center has a long history of providing secure network-based capabilities. And scientists and engineers in the lab today are forging ahead to develop the next generation of capabilities necessary in an increasingly connected world.
Next-generation communications will eliminate stovepipe systems making all data secure and accessible across all domains in a collaborative, joint environment. And the Information Dominance Warriors will have the necessary skills not only to effectively operate the systems, but also to make better decisions faster with the information they gather.
The presence of the warriors at SSC Pacific will provide necessary insight and expertise to the capabilities provided to Tenth Fleet.
“Our goal is to be prominent in the information dominance domain,” Kohlheim said. “Today, we recognized the officers who will help us reach that goal – but we couldn’t do it without the enlisted and civilian experts on our team.”