SAN DIEGO (NNS) – Vice Adm. Tom Rowden, commander of Naval Surface Forces, congratulated 19 surface warfare officers on becoming Warfare Tactics Instructors (WTIs) at a graduation ceremony at Naval Amphibious Base Coronado, Nov. 9.
The event marked the officers’ completion of Naval Surface and Mine Warfighting Development Center’s (SMWDC) Sea Combat Division Anti-Submarine Warfare/Surface Warfare (ASW/SUW) WTI course, and each of the graduates received the distinctive red WTI Patch.
The WTIs completed 14 weeks of rigorous classroom instruction, mission planning, and scenarios focused on the application of the Navy’s most cutting edge tactics and technologies. The WTI curriculum is designed to develop each element of the WTI “Warrior, Thinker, Teacher” model through an emphasis on tactical simulations and the Plan, Brief, Execute, and Debrief (PBED) Process; immersion in tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs); and, instructor skills.
"The course you just completed is setting up a foundation of a great career of both learning and application," said Rowden. "As you take in the lines and wake up one day to find yourself in combat, we're depending on you to do the right thing. It's a huge responsibility, but we're going to put you on the front line, and I know you'll rise to the occasion."
The course included lectures from subject-matter experts from across the warfighting community; instruction provided by SMWDC’s Sea Combat Division staff with guest lectures from the Naval Aviation Warfighting Development Center (NAWDC), Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI), Naval Undersea Warfare Center (NUWC) and other commands.
Upon graduation, most of the newly patched WTIs will commence production tours delivering tactical instruction at commands including Surface Warfare Officers School (SWOS), the Center for Surface Combat Systems (CSCS), the Undersea Warfighting Development Center (UWDC), and SMWDC. Several graduates will be stationed on ships immediately, including three officers who completed the course between their first and second division officer tours.
”The seeds of victory in battle are sown long before the war is started. SMWDC has sown those seeds, but not just any seeds. We have the fortune to be blessed by the acorns of live oaks. When the winds of war break upon our Navy, these WTIs stand ready to sink ships and submarines, be victorious in combat at sea and control the seas for the United States Navy,” said Capt. Thomas Williams, the SMWDC Sea Combat Division Director.
WTIs are a key element for accomplishment of SMWDC’s mission to increase lethality and tactical proficiency of the Surface Force across all domains. From updating TTPs to providing afloat training through Surface Warfare Advanced Tactical Training (SWATT) events similar to exercises, WTIs are shaping doctrine and its implementation in the fleet.
“The part of being a WTI I am most excited about is applying the tactical training I received to the execution of Fleet exercises at sea, and then being able to take the results back to the lab to improve tactical doctrine,” said Lt. Cmdr. Robert Burke of SMWDC’s Mine Warfare Division. “In this way WTIs have an opportunity to make an impact at each phase of the tactical development process.”
SMWDC Headquarters is located at Naval Base San Diego with two divisions in Virginia and two in California. SMWDC is one of the Navy’s five Warfighting Development Centers (WDC) and fills an integral role in the Surface Force Strategy.