Cmdr. Michael Dwan, an Integrated Air and Missile Defense (IAMD) Warfare Tactics Instructor (WTI), assumed command of U.S. Aegis Ashore Missile Defense System (AAMDS) Romania August 7, 2020.
Dwan – a native of Port Monmouth, New Jersey, and the first IAMD WTI to command AAMDS – relieved Cmdr. John Fitzpatrick during a change of command ceremony held onboard Naval Support Facility Deveselu, Romania.
“Taking command is a humbling privilege, I am honored to lead this small team of dedicated warfighters and have been inspired by their dedication and motivation in being ready to win the fight,” said Dwan. “Aegis Ashore is different than our ships at sea but no less critical to preserving our way of life. While dedicated to defending the (NATO) alliance, we face unique challenges that require us to be the very best at what we do. To accomplish this, we must continually train through ever increasing complexity to discover any and all weakness and quickly respond to shore it up, move on, and stay in the fight.”
Dwan was honored with the Arleigh Burke award for leadership, nominated by his IAMD WTI course peers, during his graduation ceremony from Naval Surface and Mine Warfighting Development Center’s (SMWDC’s) IAMD WTI program in 2014 at Naval Support Facility Dahlgren, Va.
SMWDC selects top-talented junior Surface Warfare Officers (SWOs) to become qualified as expert surface warfighting tacticians, WTIs, in one of four warfare areas – IAMD, Anti-Submarine Warfare/Surface Warfare (ASW/SUW), Amphibious Warfare (AMW), or Mine Warfare (MIW). WTIs are the drivers of SMWDC’s mission to increase lethality and tactical proficiency of the surface force across all domains.
“Being a WTI is symbolic of my commitment to better my tactical proficiency every day,” said Dwan. “It means that I accept the challenge of doing all that I can to ensure true warfighting understanding and execution. WTIs have a great responsibility to uphold, we are often on the cutting edge of implementing new technology to raise our lethality – and we are constantly learning the depths of how our current combat system will behave in combat through the most advanced training and testing the Surface Force has ever done.”
At sea, Dwan’s Division Officer tours were aboard USS Roosevelt (DDG 80) and USS Cape St. George (CG 71), Department Head tour aboard USS Milius (DDG 69), and as Executive Officer aboard USS John Paul Jones (DDG 53). Ashore he completed tours at U.S. Naval Forces Central Command, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations Surface Warfare Directorate, at SMWDC Headquarters and SMWDC’s IAMD Division.
“WTIs push warfighting knowledge outward by integrating deep into our watch teams and raise our collective capability. One measure of WTI success is in those who are inspired to join the ranks and earn their [WTI] patch. It’s a tremendously exciting and rewarding opportunity to see it happen, to truly make a difference,” said Dwan.
SWOs interested in professional growth and development with opportunities to increase the Fleet’s readiness and lethality can email the WTI program managers at SWO_WTI@navy.mil