SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- Vice Chief of Naval Operations (VCNO) Adm. Bill Moran met with Warfare Tactics Instructors (WTIs) assigned to Naval Surface and Mine Warfighting Development Center (SMWDC) headquarters, Jan. 11.
"In the aviation community, we really turned the corner after we invested in the warfare rock stars and taught them to become the most tactically proficient warfighters we could build and ensure they learn the skills to transfer that wisdom to the fleet," said Moran. "We logged over eight hundred hours in the simulator until the operation was reflexive, our eyes and minds knew exactly where to scan before it was time to."
More than 200 WTIs are currently in the Surface Warfare community, and fleet appetite for SMWDC advanced tactical training, tactical development, operational support, and assessments are driving a demand for more to enter the WTI pipeline. WTIs are junior surface warfare officers, ideally just finishing their first division officer tours, who go through an intensive advanced tactical training program before earning their WTI patch. SMWDC designates three-types of WTIs through three of its four divisions in either California or Virginia. Amphibious Warfare (AMW) WTIs are trained at SMWDC's AMW Division in Little Creek, Virginia.; Anti-Submarine Warfare/Surface Warfare WTIs are trained at SMWDC's Sea Combat Division in San Diego; and Integrated Air and Missile Defense (IAMD) WTIs are trained at SMWDC's IAMD Division in Dahlgren, Virginia.
"It was great to meet Adm. Moran and to hear how many of our experiences as WTI's are mirrored in his," said Lt. Benjamin Olivas. "It's important to me and my peers that we continue to learn and develop as tacticians and leaders to maintain and expand our competitive advantage at sea."
SMWDC builds proficient surface warfare officers into warriors, thinkers, and teachers - expanding their understanding of naval warfighting doctrine, ships and weapons systems, and honing tactical warfighting skills to the expert level as WTIs.
Candidates for the WTI program are typically second-tour division officers, often having successful tactical experience. Second-tour department heads, limited duty officers and chief warrant officers -system test officers, electronics maintenance officers, and engineering duty officers are also eligible candidates. Following graduation, WTIs are competitive for promotion and continue to have traditional career path opportunities, department head tours, and post-graduate education.
"As I look around the room at the representatives of the [surface community's] WTI program I can see that we are on a great track," said Moran.
WTI's are developed through a rigorous advanced tactical training program, and held to high standards of continuous learning and performance that are driving high velocity learning in the Surface Warfare community. They are a central element to SMWDC's operations, which are split among four distinct lines of operation; advanced tactical training; doctrine and tactical guidance development; operational support; and capability assessment, experimentation and requirements.
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