Navy leaders continued efforts to prepare crews for high-end warfighting. Vice Adm. Richard Brown, Commander, Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet (CNSP), welcomed the newest qualified Warfare Tactics Instructors (WTI) to the fleet during a graduation ceremony at CNSP headquarters at Naval Amphibious Base Coronado, April 26.
Brown presided over the graduation of 17 anti-submarine warfare/surface warfare (ASW/SUW) WTIs on the West Coast, while Rear Adm. Dave Welch, Commander, Naval Surface and Mine Warfighting Development Center (SMWDC), led a ceremony for six amphibious warfare (AMW) WTI graduates in Norfolk.
WTIs are a growing cadre of tactically astute junior Surface Warfare Officers (SWOs) who train the fleet to be more lethal and tactically proficient. They undergo about four months of instruction at SMWDC, which is responsible for increasing the lethality and tactical proficiency of the Surface Force across all domains.
“Out of all the Surface Warfare Officers out there, you’re the elite. You’re the best of the best,” said Brown. “The value that you bring to the community is huge, but you need to have humility. You’re not going to be judged by how much you know. You’re going to be judged by how much you teach those who don’t know. That’s the power of WTIs.”
Along with ASW/SUW, and AMW, SMWDC’s core curricula drives young officers to develop deep tactical expertise in the fields of Integrated Air and Missile Defense (IAMD).
“This is, by far, the most tactically relevant training I’ve received in my Naval career. I am eager to do my part to help SMWDC increase lethality in the Fleet,” said Lt. Bryan Sumpter, one of the 17 WTI graduates.
SMWDC’s core curricula drives young officers to develop deep tactical expertise in the fields of Integrated Air and Missile Defense (IAMD), Amphibious Warfare (AMW) and, in this case, Anti-Submarine/Surface Warfare (ASW/SUW). Students receive a comprehensive orientation to four distinct lines of operations – advanced tactical training, doctrine and tactical guidance development, operational support, capability assessments, experimentation and future requirements.
With recent changes to the Surface Warfare Officer career path, a high-performing junior officer may be nominated to attend SMWDC’s WTI program after completing their initial 30-month sea tour as part of the “Accelerated Warfighter” program. Candidates for the course are selected from a highly-competitive pool of top talent in the surface warfare community.
“It’s extraordinary watching the class as they develop the tactical proficiency that we require of a WTI,” said instructor Lt. Kelly Denimarck. “The curriculum is challenging; it demands an intense understanding of not only our own capabilities, but of our adversaries as well. Seeing the students develop this unparalleled level of knowledge is comforting in a day and age where the near-peer threat is becoming increasingly more complex. I’m ecstatic that we’re adding 17 more warfighters to the Fleet to increase the lethality and tactical proficiency of our Navy.”
This newest group of amphibious warfare tactics instructors will be charged with helping the Surface Force to drive toward a culture of excellence and transition readiness into lethality.
Established in 2015, SMWDC is a subordinate command of Commander, Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet and exists to increase the lethality and tactical proficiency of the Surface Force in both the U.S. Pacific Fleet and U.S. Fleet Forces area of operations. It is headquartered at Naval Base San Diego, with four divisions in Virginia and California focused on Sea Combat, IAMD, Amphibious Warfare, and Mine Warfare.