Rear Admiral Mike Vernazza, Commander of Naval Information Warfighting Development Center, provided a comprehensive overview of the Naval Information Warfighting Development Center (NIWDC) during NIP’s Virtual Speaker event on 25 February 2021. The event was another successful opportunity for NIP members to gather virtually and hear from one our senior leaders in our community. As the Admiral discussed the mission, role, and status of NIWDC, it was clear that the command is fully engaged in fulfilling its mission and is moving out with drive, tenacity and enthusiasm on multiple warfighting initiatives. Its primary purpose is to deliver the decision advantage to our Navy.
As background, Admiral Vernazza provided a brief overview of the genesis of NIWDC, which stemmed from CNO Admiral Greenert’s directive in 2014 to the stand-up of six Navy Warfighting Development Centers. Having achieved initial operating capability (IOC) in 2017, NIWDC is the Navy’s IW Center of Excellence, enhancing Fleet high-end warfighting capabilities and readiness across the operational and tactical levels of war—focused on providing full-spectrum, multi-discipline IW to our Fleet commanders. NIWDC has three locations – the primary location in Norfolk and a smaller footprint in San Diego and Suffolk (co-located with Navy Information Forces).
The four missions of NIWDC are: (1) training IW forces in advanced tactics, techniques and procedures (TTPs) at the individual, unit, integrated, advanced, and joint levels, (2) developing doctrine and TTPs, (3) providing operational support to the Fleet and (4) leading IW innovation and assessments.
Toward that end, NIWDC is moving out along several lines of effort:
NIWDC is also pursuing efforts in support of high-end warfighting. The command is partnering with the OPNAV staff (on virtual IW Modeling and Simulation capability) and with MIT Lincoln Labs (on gaming applications to emulate tactical IW warfighting capabilities and enhanced team trainers).
In addition to the various lines of effort, NIWDC is pursuing several initiatives across a broad spectrum of areas. These include:
As a final note, Admiral Vernazza discussed plans to hold INFOWARCON in late June/early July to bring Fleet IW stakeholders together, as this conference has proven to be extremely beneficial in past years.
For more on NIWDC, you can read Admiral Vernazza’s article in the next READBOOK, coming out in April 2021.