Surface Warfare Magazine
Sharing stories and news from Sailors across the U.S. Navy’s Surface Forces
Integrated Air and Missile Defense
Weapons and Tactics Instructors

“Our junior officers in particular join the Navy to be warfighters, and we must provide them a culture where tactical excellence is developed and maintained throughout a career, and where tactical excellence is an explicit discriminator for promotion. Nothing else we can do will have a more positive impact on the Surface Warfare ethos.”

VADM Thomas H. Copeman III
Commander Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet
Vision for the 2026 Surface Fleet

Emerging threats and advances in Integrated Air and Missile Defense (IAMD) technology require a new approach to the development of warfighting expertise. Shipboard operators and tacticians must be properly trained to maximize the effectiveness of combat systems against emerging adversary technologies. Navy Integrated Fire Control-Counter Air (NIFC-CA), SM-6, the Cooperative Engagement Capability (CEC) equipped E2-D, and the emergence of the F-35 fifth generation fighter aircraft demand a re-evaluation of how the Navy trains, maintains, and employ IAMD forces.

In late 2012, the Surface Warfare community began an initiative to develop expertise in IAMD. Navy Air and Missile Defense Command (NAMDC), in conjunction with Aegis Training and Readiness Center (ATRC) and the Center for Surface Combat Systems (CSCS), began developing a course intended to produce a cadre of IAMD subject matter experts to the Fleet. The pilot course graduated in November of 2013 with seven IAMD Weapons and Tactics Instructors (WTI), and Class 14-0010 delivered four WTI’s to the Fleet on 16 May 2014.

The nineteen week IAMD WTI curriculum consists of seven weeks in advanced AEGIS and SSDS technical and tactical instruction (CIN: A-2F-0020), and is taught by ATRC staff. This course is designed provide a foundation of knowledge required by our cadre of tactical experts. It is followed by 12 weeks of subject matter expertise (SME) immersions led by NAMDC (CIN: A-121-0097). SME Immersions include C4I, space operations, Area of Responsibility (AoR) specific defense design analysis, electronic warfare, joint theater air and missile defense, ground based mid-course defense (GMD), joint ballistic missile defense planning and employment, and two weeks of Hawkeye WTI academics at Naval Strike and Air Warfare Center (NSAWC) in Fallon, NV. At all stages of the curriculum, candidates are trained in advanced instructional techniques and are required to demonstrate proficiency in those techniques prior to graduation. The culminating event for the WTI candidates is training and evaluating prospective Commanding Officers and Department Heads during the week-long Air and Missile Defense Commander’s Course.

U.S. Navy warships

As IAMD WTIs arrive on the waterfront, their influence will extend beyond the lifelines and will impact all levels of operations. LT Chris Murphy is a WTI student who is slated to CSCS Det Norfolk. Murphy most recently served as fire control officer (FCO) in USS RAMAGE (DDG 61), and completed his first division officer tour aboard USS JOHN S. MCCAIN (DDG-56). He served as AAW and BMD mission leads, and Air Warfare Coordinator and BMD Watch Officer during RAMAGE’s recent Mediterranean deployment.

“On deployment I was exposed to the full range of IAMD missions, and realized the need for advanced tactical training and TTP development in the surface community,” says Murphy. “I’m really excited to be a member of this WTI class, and am looking forward taking what I learn here to the Fleet. I’m glad to see the SWO community commit to advanced tactical training.”

Class 14-0020 convened on 27 May 14 and will graduate on 03 October 14. Class 14-0020 is filled to capacity with twelve Surface Line officers (1110). Five candidates will form the initial cadre of Force Air Defense Officer (FADO) Instructors at Center for Surface Combat Systems waterfront detachments. Three candidates are expected to fill IAMD training positions at Afloat Training Group commands. Two candidates are assigned to SWOS awaiting Department Head training and one candidate is assigned to NAMDC. The remaining candidate will be assigned to the Naval Surface Warfare Development Command in San Diego, CA. These students represent a wide range of IAMD expertise and experiences that greatly benefit the interaction and learning in both the classroom and the laboratory. Fiscal Year 2015 course convenings are scheduled for October 2014, March 2015 and August 2015.

IAMD WTI candidates will be post-division Officers (SWOs and Surface LDO/CWOs) who have been recommended by their Commanding Officers, completed the application process, screened by Navy Personnel Command, and approved by NAMDC. Selectees who successfully complete the curriculum will be designated as an IAMD WTI and will receive the KB1 additional qualification designator. Pre-requisites for submitting and application are TS/SCI clearance, SWO qualification, Aegis and-or SSDS tactical shipboard experience, acceptance of the Junior SWO Critical Skills Bonus, Air Warfare Coordinator and-or Tactical Action Officer Qualification, and Commanding Officer’s recommendation. Interested Officers should contact their detailers and-or NAMDC at

Each IAMD WTI will depart Dahlgren with a level of IAMD subject matter expertise that is unmatched. The IAMD WTI will develop a level of confidence that allows them to deliver a standardized level of advanced tactical training to junior and senior members of watch teams, including Commanding Officers. Ultimately, the IAMD WTI’s will arrive in ships, staffs and training commands across the entire fleet and directly influence fleet IAMD readiness.

Commanding Officers are encouraged to promote this program with all members of the wardroom. The IAMD mission is complex and a significant investment in education, training, and experience is required to produce the warfighters of tomorrow. Surface Warfare Magazine

“Like other specialties, the IAMD mission is so incredibly broad, deep and complex, that it takes a significant amount of education, training, and experience for any officer to master. This is a professional commitment to which young officers must commit and senior officers must foster. The Weapons Tactics Instructor program initiated by NAMDC is a step in the right direction.”

Captain Jim Kilby
Deputy for Ballistic Missile Defense, AEGIS Combat Systems and Destroyers in the Surface Warfare Directorate (N96)
and Prospective Commander, Naval Surface Warfare Development Command.
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