Director Expeditionary Warfare Visits Naval Surface and Mine Warfighting Development Center
Maj. Gen. David Coffman, director, Expeditionary Warfare in the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations (OPNAV N95), left, shakes hands with Rear Adm. Dave Welch, commander, Naval Surface and Mine Warfighting Development Center (SMWDC), right, during a visit to SMWDC's headquarters. SMWDC is one of the Navy's five Warfighting Development Centers and its mission is to increase the lethality and tactical proficiency of the Surface Force across all domains. (U.S. Navy photo by Clinton Beaird/Released)

NAVAL BASE SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- Maj. Gen. David Coffman, director of Expeditionary Warfare for the Office of the Chief Naval Operations (OPNAV N95) visited the team at Naval Surface and Mine Warfighting Development Center (SMWDC) onboard Naval Base San Diego, Aug. 24.

“I know the threat that mines pose to the Fleet is real, and it’s a wicked problem that keeps the Chief of Naval Operations and the Commandant of the United States Marine Corps up at night,” said Coffman. "Please know that the work that you do matters, and we are committed to investing in innovative solutions that can be deployed rapidly."

SMWDC is one of five Navy Warfighting Development Centers (WDCs) that are designed to increase lethality and tactical proficiency in their area of warfare specialty, and integrate laterally to support cross-domain, high-end warfighting. SMWDC stood up as the Surface Navy’s WDC in 2015 in recognition of a new era of competition in the maritime domain.

During his visit, Coffman received an update on SMWDC operations specific to expeditionary warfare, WDC integration across domains, Mine Warfare (MIW) and Mine Countermeasures (MCM) operations and readiness, and new technologies being implemented and experimented with in the Fleet through SMWDC. He also received a brief on the MIW Warfare Tactics Instructor (WTI) program that will begin in the next fiscal year.

WTIs are junior surface warfare officers who first learn to be instructors through a course at SMWDC Headquarters, and then become steeped in tactics, techniques and procedures (TTP) in specific warfare areas. SMWDC currently delivers three types of WTIs – Amphibious Warfare (AMW), Integrated Air & Missile Defense (IAMD), and Anti-Submarine Warfare/Surface Warfare (ASW/SUW) – to the Fleet as the foundation of a cultural shift in the surface Navy.

“Seeing the returns on readiness and lethality come in from the advanced tactical training, doctrine and TTP development, and future requirements and experimentation from just a few Amphibious Ready Group and MCM Surface Warfare Advanced Tactical Training exercises has been great to see.”

SMWDC is a subordinate command of Commander, Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet and exists to increase the lethality and tactical proficiency of the Surface Force across all domains. SMWDC headquarters is at Naval Base San Diego with four divisions in Virginia and California focused on Sea Combat, Integrated Air and Missile Defense, Amphibious Warfare and Mine Warfare.

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