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SMWDC Commander Highlights Importance of Warfare Tactics Instructors During AMW Division Visit

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MARCOA Media
Rear Adm. Scott Robertson, commander, Naval Surface and Mine Warfighting Development Center (SMWDC) visited Amphibious Warfare (AMW) Division one of four SMWDC divisions located in Virginia and California September 18 -19, 2019.

SMWDC's San Diego headquarters and four divisions are home to the Surface Force's Warfare Tactics Instructors (WTIs), and each division maintains one of four warfare specialty areas AMW, anti-submarine warfare / surface warfare (ASW/SUW), integrated air and missile defense (IAMD) and mine warfare (MIW).

Prospective AMW WTIs complete 15 weeks of academic studies on amphibious doctrine, tactics, techniques and procedures (TTP), and develop advanced warfighting expertise. The academics are backed up with Marine Corps immersion and observations of beach landings, the intricacies of ship-to-shore movement, and practical exercises that incorporate Marine Corps integration into AMW planning and execution.

During his visit, Robertson addressed prospective AMW WTIs about the exciting new chapter of their career that they are embarking on.

"Becoming the top tacticians and warfighters, and instructing your peers in the Fleet on advanced warfighting techniques is the way we will develop combat ready ships and battle-minded crews," said Robertson. "In this era of great power competition, we cannot afford to just maintain warfighting standards - we must elevate them and we do that by using the PBED model [plan, brief, execute, and debrief], developing and refining TTP, and completing the tactical reps and sets to become the best in the Fleet, the Navy, and around the world."

Robertson also visited USS San Jacinto (CG 56) where he briefed the wardroom on SMWDC's WTI program, WTI production tours, and the opportunities available to interested top SWOs.

"There are Fleet misconceptions that ship platform determines WTI concentration, that amphibious SWOs become AMW WTIs and cruiser-destroyer SWOs become IAMD or ASW/SUW WTIs, and those are simply not true," said Robertson. "Becoming an expert in multiple platforms, combat systems, and mission planning always increases your value to the Navy and our overall lethality."

After completing 2-weeks of baseline training in San Diego, WTI candidates complete warfare specialty area training at one of four SMWDC Divisions and following graduation they join more than 300 active WTIs in the Fleet. WTIs are the backbone of SMWDC's four lines of operations (LOO) - advanced tactical training, doctrine and tactical guidance development, operational support, capability assessments, and experimentation and future requirements. WTIs support SMWDC's LOOs through training events like SSDS simulators at Wallops Island, Va., Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) Surface Warfare Advanced Tactical Training (SWATT) planning and execution, as well as in the development and review of doctrine and TTP.

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. Additional updates are also included in the ALNAVSURFOR message released by Commander, U.S. Naval Surface Forces (DTG 211608Z AUG 19) that highlighted the WTI program.

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 ASW/SUW, MIW, AMW, and IAMD.

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