NORFOLK --- Commander, Naval Information Forces (NAVIFOR), Rear Adm. Matthew Kohler, announced the initial operational capability of the Naval Information Warfighting Development Center (NIWDC) in Norfolk, Virginia, March 27.
"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).
Watkins has served in the U.S. Navy since his commissioning in 1991 and obtained a Master of Science in Information Technology Management. In 1997, he transferred from the Surface Warfare Community to eventually become an Information Professional Officer.
"This is a significant milestone in Naval Information Warfare history and I am humbled and honored to be a part of it and the first to lead this command," said Watkins, a Navy Reserve Officers Training Corps graduate from the University of San Diego.
Watkins went on to say, "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."
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.