RDML Kilby
SMWDC Introduces WTI Programs at SNA Symposium
By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Veronica Mammina, Defense Media Activity

CRYSTAL CITY, Va. (NNS) -- Naval Surface and Mine Warfighting Development Center (SMWDC) shared information about Warfare Tactics Instructor (WTI) programs at the Surface Navy Association (SNA) Symposium Jan. 13.

The foundation of this effort is training junior officers to become WTIs who will specialize in warfare areas such as amphibious operations, integrated air and missile defense, or a combination of anti-submarine warfare (ASW) and surface warfare.

Rear Adm. Jim Kilby, commander, SMWDC, announced a change to one of the WTI programs.

"Beginning this month, the existing ASW WTI course will be renamed 'Advanced anti-submarine warfare officer's (ASWO) and extended from four weeks to five for second tour division officers," said Kilby in a U.S. Naval Institute Proceedings magazine article. "WTIs are moving forward consolidating, updating and developing doctrine, tactics, techniques and procedures (TTP) - the foundation of warfighting."

A key message to the SNA symposium was the importance of distributed lethality.

"If we are to truly achieve a more lethally distributed surface force capability in which every ship that floats can fight, and fight well, this change must go beyond how warfare commanders employ ships and aircraft and focus on - and reinvest in - tactical proficiency at the individual warfighter and watch-team levels," said Kilby.

Much like scouts from a professional sports team, Kilby and his team are on a campaign to go ship-by-ship to identify the best junior officers to fill the 100 seats they plan to graduate annually. Eventually, 20 percent of officers will become WTIs after their division officer tours. Additionally, 10 percent of WTIs will come from the Limited Duty Officer (LDO) program.

The future of the surface warfare officer (SWO) community is moving toward creating warfighting experts. Soon, all ships across the fleet will have WTIs in the ranks of second tour division officers and department heads through the most senior officers.

"Along with the finest ships and the most advanced warfighting systems, we must also have the most tactical warfighters in the world," said Kilby.

SMWDC was formally established June 2015 at Naval Base San Diego with detachments in Dahlgren and Little Creek, Virginia, along with two detachments in San Diego. Kilby leads the program and is responsible for increasing the tactical readiness of individual surface warfare communities through the creation of warfare doctrine, underway assessment exercises and WTIs.

The SNA was incorporated in 1985 to promote greater coordination and communication among those in the military, business and academic communities who share a common interest in Naval Surface Warfare and to support the activities of Surface Naval Forces.

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