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Rear Adm. John Wade (middle), commander Naval Surface and Mine Warfighting Development Center (SMWDC), poses with the newest cohort of Warfare Tactics Instructors (WTI), during their WTI graduation at Naval Base San Diego. The 15 junior officers graduated from SMWDC's intensive 16 week course in anti-submarine/anti-surface warfare. With the graduation, there are now 147 WTIs in the fleet specializing in integrated air and missile defense, amphibious warfare or anti-submarine/anti-surface warfare. WTIs are an elite cadre of young surface warfare officers selected by SMWDC to become the best of the best in tactics and doctrine development. These new generation surface warriors are charged with increasing the tactical proficiency and lethality of surface ships in support of maintaining sea control and maritime dominance. (U.S. Navy photo by MC2 Phil Ladouceur/Released)

Rear Adm. John Wade (middle), commander, Naval Surface and Mine Warfighting Development Center (SMWDC), poses with Lt. Cmdr. David Hollon, recipient of the newest cohort of Warfare Tactics Instructors (WTI)’s Top Tactician Award (left), and Lt. Carson Talley, the cohort's honor graduate (right), of the during their WTI graduation at Naval Base San Diego. The 15 junior officers graduated from SMWDC's intensive 16 week course in anti-submarine/anti-surface warfare. With the graduation, there are now 147 WTIs in the fleet specializing in integrated air and missile defense, amphibious warfare or anti-submarine/anti-surface warfare. WTIs are an elite cadre of young surface warfare officers selected by SMWDC to become the best of the best in tactics and doctrine development. These new generation surface warriors are charged with increasing the tactical proficiency and lethality of surface ships in support of maintaining sea control and maritime dominance. (U.S. Navy Photo by MC2 Phil Ladouceur/Released)

 

Lt. Kristen Eriksen, Lt. Mor Rosenberg, Lt. Camille Berry, and Lt. Jennifer Nielsen display the distinguished patch they each received upon graduating from the Naval Surface and Mine Warfighting Development Center's (SMWDC) 16-week warfare tactics instructor (WTI) course at Naval Base San Diego. WTIs are an elite cadre of young surface warfare officers selected by SMWDC to become the best of the best in tactics and doctrine development. These new generation surface warriors are charged with increasing the tactical proficiency and lethality of surface ships in support of maintaining sea control and maritime dominance. WTI courses commence biannually in January and July in San Diego and Virginia. (U.S. Navy Photo by MC2 Phil Ladouceur/Released)
SMWDC Graduates 15 new WTIs
Story by MC1(SW) Marcus L. Stanley

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 classmates.

"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 front."

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 scenarios.

"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 http://www.public.navy.mil/surfor/nsmwdc/Pages/Home.aspx

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