Top SWOs Begin Surface Warfare Tactics Instructor Training

SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- Twenty warfare tactics instructor (WTI) candidates completed the first stage of the WTI qualification, the Instructor and Tactics Course, Aug. 3 at Naval Surface and Mine Warfighting Development Center (SMWDC).

“It’s great to see all the different types of WTI candidates under one roof. It’s our intent that these first weeks of training establish a network of tacticians to solve the Navy’s most complex problems,” said SMWDC Academics Manager, Lt. Cmdr. Chris Polnaszek.

The instructor and tactics course provides the basic framework all WTIs will need to complete the qualification and return to the fleet as warriors, thinkers and teachers. The aim is to make the entire cadre a single group of networked professionals that can leverage each other’s strengths and emphasize areas. This deep integration early in their training is essential, as the maritime domain becomes more complex and integrated with overlapping mission sets.

After completing the Instructor and Tactics Course, candidates head to their respective divisions to achieve full WTI qualification. WTIs are trained as anti-submarine warfare/surface warfare (ASW/SUW), amphibious warfare (AMW), and integrated air and missile defense (IAMD) tactical experts. This most recent class of WTI candidates included four AMW, seven ASW/SUW and nine IAMD candidates. Beginning in fiscal year 2019, SMWDC will also train WTI candidates to become mine warfare (MIW) WTIs, expanding the depth and breadth of the surface WTI cadre and network.

After earning their patches, WTIs are assigned to a variety of readiness production tours where they are challenged to bring their expertise to bear by training the fleet, developing tactics and doctrine, and providing operational support to the fleet.​​​


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“WTI candidates learn and refine their instructional techniques in this foundational course, before continuing to the surface warfare specialty training that they were selected for,” said Rear Adm. David Welch, SMWDC commander. “After they are qualified as WTIs, they will work alongside SMWDC mentors to plan and conduct surface warfare advanced tactical training exercises with the fleet to increase the lethality, capability and readiness of the Surface Force.”

SMWDC headquarters is located at Naval Base San Diego with four divisions in Virginia and California focused on AMW, IAMD, ASW/SUW and MIW. The command’s mission is to increase the lethality and tactical proficiency of the Surface Force across all domains. Its four lines of operation are advanced tactical training, doctrine and tactical guidance development, operational support to combatant commanders, numbered fleet commanders, and task force commanders, and capabilities assessments, experimentation and future requirements.Surface Warfare Magazine

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