“We supported an air defense exercise, anti-submarine exercise, a surface warfare exercise, and a live-fire integrated fast attack craft /fast in-shore attack craft exercise,” said Lt. Cmdr. Matthew Cox, SMWDC WTI.
Cox continued. “I went through 19 weeks of intensive Integrated Air and Missile Defense training in Dahlgren, Virginia. “We [WTIs] are expected at a junior level to set and maintain the standard for our specific warfare area in the surface Navy, and that’s what we demonstrated during SWATT.”
SMWDC’s tactical teachers utilized a fresh ‘crawl, walk and run’ approach to the planning of warfighting exercises that was leveraged upon the latest doctrine and tactics, techniques, and procedures.
“We were heavily involved in the Plan, Brief, Execute and Debrief (PBED) process for each exercise,” said Cox. “We wanted to make the planning processes more tactical, more doctrine-oriented and more measurably discrete. I believe our efforts were well received by the ship’s leadership and the watchstanders due to us showing the benefits of a robust planning process.”
Rear Adm. Ron Boxall, JCS CSG commander, concurred and was impressed by the execution of SMWDC’s pilot SWATT. He said, “The level of talent that SMWDC can bring to bear far exceeds that which is currently available and will definitely result in better trained warfighters. Conducting a SWATT exercise puts surface ships on much better footing to be tactically prepared for strike group integrated operations. This pilot effort should definitely become a model for future strike groups prior to going on COMPTUEX."
SMWDC’s SWATT was an experimental pick-up team effort supported by Commander, U.S. Third Fleet, Destroyer Squadron Thirty One, Carrier Strike Group 15, Center for Surface Combat Systems, Naval Air and Missile Defense Command, Naval Surface Warfare Center Corona, and the Surface Tactical Development Group.
“We received universal support from all involved for this pilot event,” said Kilby, who went underway with John C. Stennis and Stockdale. “This will be a relationship and a product forged over time. The key is for us [SMWDC] to focus on advanced tactical training. When we deliver, ships will welcome it.”
The next trial SWATT is scheduled for fall 2015 with the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group.
SMWDC will be headquarted in San Diego and commanded by Rear Adm. James Kilby and Deputy Commander, Capt. Frank Olmo. The specifics on upcoming facilities, establishment and locations have not been finalized.