SMWDC Amphibious Warfare (AMW) Division
Tactical Excellence by Design
TOP SWOs Earn Their Warfare Tactics Instructor Patch at SMWDC AMW Division
​​Little Creek VA (April 20, 2018) Amphibious Warfare (AMW), Warfare Tactics Instructor Class 18-1 picture L-R: Capt. Darren Nelson Naval Surface and Mine Warfighting Development Center (SMWDC) AMW Division officer in charge, Lt. David Pagan, Lt. Kendra Cypher, Lt. Cmdr. Rick Rivas, Lt. Cmdr. Jessica Hill, Commodore Daniel Blackburn, commander Amphibious Squadron (PHIBRON) Six, Lt. Crystal Roth, Lt. Mark Behnke, Lt. Ashley Gernhardt, Lt. Cmdr. Janet Broome, Lt. Michael Pires, and Cmdr. Martin Arriola - SMWDC AMW Division Deputy. SMWDC is headquartered in San Diego and has four divisions located in California and Virginia focused on Integrated Air and Missile Defense, AMW, Surface Anti-Submarine Warfare, and Mine Warfare. (U.S. Navy photo by Lt. Brianna Frazier/released)​​

LITTLE CREEK, Va. (NNS) — Nine Surface Warfare Officers (SWOs) completed Naval Surface and Mine Warfighting Development Center's (SMWDC) Amphibious Warfare (AMW) Warfare Tactics Instructor (WTI) course April 20, earning their WTI patch and joining SMWDC's cadre across the Surface Force.

Prospective WTIs receive mentorship and instruction to develop their skills and leverage the Plan, Brief, Execute, and Debrief (PBED) methodology for rapid learning as they hone their tactical surface warfare proficiency.

"Being in the Navy has always made me proud, and with the knowledge I have gained through this program I can now go out and make a great organization even better," said Lt. Cmdr. Janet Broome, one of the WTI graduates. Broome also emphasized her eagerness to begin her readiness production tour at SMWDC AMW Division, and her desire to increase tactical proficiency across the surface fleet.

Commodore Daniel Blackburn, commander Amphibious Squadron (PHIBRON) Six, served as guest speaker for the graduation ceremony and spoke about the heightened relevance of the amphibious fleet in today's complex world. Blackburn discussed the importance of the WTI skill sets and the operational support these new WTIs bring to improve the warfighting capability and readiness across the surface force; he expressed to the graduates, "Your membership in the WTI community means you have the unique opportunity to shape and build the Navy's warfighting culture in creative ways and stamp your imprint on the way our Navy operates". Blackburn additionally highlighted SMWDC's recently rolled-out Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) Surface Warfare Advanced Tactical Training (SWATT) exercise and the role of WTIs in providing sound guidance and tactical proficiency to the amphibious fleet.

Lt. Michael Pires from Mountainside, New Jersey, was named as AMW WTI Class 18-1 Honor Graduate, and Lt. David Pagan, was selected by his peers to be the recipient of the Iwo Jima Leadership Award.

Pires will be assigned to the USS San Antonio (LPD 17) as the Plans and Tactics Officer after completion of department head school. "The past fourteen weeks have challenged me; I feel prepared to return to the fleet as a department head and transfer the skills and knowledge I have learned in the AMW WTI course to the wardroom and crew of USS San Antonio," said Pires.

The AMW WTI course offers a gateway for young well-qualified SWOS to develop deep tactical expertise in the field of Amphibious Warfare (AMW), and begins with a two-week Instructor and Tactics Course followed by a tailored, 14 week course of instruction. The course focuses on the intricacies of sea control and power projection of the Navy-Marine Corps team. Post qualification, WTIs complete a 24-month "readiness production tour" at SMWDC headquarters, SMWDC's AMW Division or at selected training commands, including Carrier Strike Group 4/15, Tactical Training Group Pacific/Atlantic, Afloat Training Group, Center for Surface Combat Systems, or Surface Warfare Officer School. During production tours, WTI skills mature in the classroom - and at sea - during Surface Warfare Advanced Tactical Training (SWATT) and other fleet training events.

SMWDC has now produced 50 AMW WTIs and more than 200 WTIs across all three WTI surface warfare areas - AMW, Integrated Air and Missile Defense, Anti-Submarine / Anti-Surface Warfare. If you are interested in becoming a Warfare Tactics Instructor, email or reach out to your detailer for more information!

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