SAN DIEGO (NNS) - It was a proud commencement ceremony, May 19 at the
base theater aboard Naval Base San Diego as 15 young surface warfare
officers (SWOs) earned their red warfare tactics instructors (WTIs)
patches after graduating from Naval Surface and Mine Warfighting
Development Center (SMWDC).
Pronounced "witty,", SMWDC's WTIs are comparable to graduates of the
storied Navy Fighter Weapons School (TOP GUN) for the Navy's top
aviators in Fallon, Nevada.
SMWDC biannually selects an elite cadre of SWOs to become WTIs -- the
best of the best in tactics and doctrine development to increase the
tactical proficiency and lethality of the surface fleet in support of
maintaining sea control and maritime dominance..
"I congratulate these 15 officers on successfully completing a
demanding curriculum and for what they're about to do in the journey
that lies ahead," said Rear Adm. John. Wade, commander SMWDC. "We
needed experts who were ready to get out and change the culture and
the mindset so that we have the confidence and the competence to fire
our weapons if called upon. And in our surface community, it's the
warfare tactics instructors."
Formally launched June 2015, the new program trains SWOs for 12-19
weeks, in graduate-level tactics in one of three WTI disciplines;
integrated air and missile defense, amphibious warfare or an infusion
of anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare.
As the guest speaker for the ceremony, Wade encouraged the graduates
to embrace their new found area of expertise, but he also challenged
them to not settle for the status quo.
"We're in an evolving and complex world, things are changing and
happening fast as new competitors and new technologies emerge, said
Wade. So, the studying and the learning doesn't stop at today's
graduation. Your credibility (as a WTI) rests on your knowledge that
continues to evolve over time."
For 16 intensive weeks, prospective WTIs were presented with a unique
classroom experience that included not only lectures and lab work, but
access to a computer-based Multi-Mission Team Trainer, which allowed
them to gain an enormous amount of practical application scenarios as
single ships or surface action groups.
New WTI, LT. Mor Rosenberg, spoke about the program's curriculum and
the cutting edge technical experience it presented for her and her
"This is one the first courses in the Navy that teaches you the
building blocks, and then takes you into the simulator, forcing you to
apply those building blocks to create tactical plans for different
scenarios," said Rosenberg. "I've never done a course like this
before. It forces you from thinking of a single ship environment, to
forcing you to think of multi-ships, multi-warfare and multi-war
Rosenberg's father, Menahem Rosenberg, from Hadera, Israel was in
attendance for the graduation. When asked how he felt about his
daughter's achievement, he said, "I don't have the words to describe
how proud I am of her today and throughout her career. I'm no military
man, but raising a kid who's contributing to her country, and giving
all her effort, I just have tremendous pride."
The new Anti-Submarine/Anti-Surface WTI will return to the fleet to
become tactical force multipliers for their ships, staffs, and
squadrons on board cruisers, destroyers and amphibious ships, by
teaching them the latest tactics and doctrine -- based on real world
"In W-T-I, the I, the instructor part is what I'm most passionate and
excited about," said WTI, Lt. Czar Mine, who will soon join the ranks
aboard USS Bunker Hill (CG 52). "I'm excited to head back to the fleet
and teach the things I've learned to my fellows officers and Sailors."
In less than two years of activation, SMWDC's WTI program nears the
sesquicentennial mark with 147 WTI across the surface fleet in all
three WTI disciplines. WTI classes commence twice a year in San Diego
and Virginia in integrated air and missile defense, amphibious
warfare, and anti-submarine/anti-surface warfare.
For more information on SMWDC's WTI programs, visit