– The Navy’s top surface warfare officer (SWO) spoke to a group of 17 junior SWOs during the Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) Weapons Tactics Instructor (WTI) course at the Naval Mine and Anti-Submarine Warfare Command (NMAWC) in San Diego, Feb. 6.
Vice Adm. Thomas H. Copeman III, Commander of Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet, spoke to the group about how the course is designed to improve tactical proficiency for SWOs and support the Chief of Naval Operations tenets of “Warfighting First, Operate Forward and Be Ready.”
“New threats have emerged and evolved since the Cold War and these threats deserve respect and focused attention,” said Copeman. “For too many years our community has operated under the belief that tactical knowledge somehow grows based upon age and experience alone. Developing tactics must be a core competency function, not an afterthought.”
In addition to talking about standard SWO career paths and new opportunities like the littoral combat ship program, Copeman also spoke to the group about the need for a dedicated center to improve tactical competence across the full spectrum of all surface warfare mission areas.
“We expect to have the new command stood up by mid-2014,” said Copeman. “This command will be tasked with development, training and assessment of surface warfare tactics, tactical proficiency and tactical capability against adversaries from the individual to the task force level.”
Copeman said the core of this effort will be a surface warfare combat training continuum, which will codify the training and experience standards that officers and certain enlisted will be required to meet as they progress through their careers.
“We are intent on sending the best trained Sailors to well-armed ships with tactically proficient leadership,” said Copeman. “With the NMAWC WTI courses we are showing that we are serious about building on fundamentals of war fighting in the maritime environment.”
Closing his remarks with a question and answer session, Copeman answered questions on a variety of surface warfare topics before challenging the group to take what they learned back to the fleet.
“We are a professional community with global presence and a constant demand signal,” said Copeman. “We need to be ready and capable when our nation calls. The NMAWC WTI course is a solid step in the right direction to improve our surface force.”
Developing Sailors, training crews to fight and win, and providing warships ready for combat are the subjects of Copeman’s “Vision for the 2026 Surface Fleet” which consolidates a set of objectives and policies to maximize surface force readiness by concentrating on warfighting ability, sustainable excellence and wholeness over time.
For more information on the “Vision for the 2026 Surface Fleet,” visit: http://www.public.navy.mil/surfor/pages/surface-vision-2026.aspx
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