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Surface Fleet WTIs Prepare For Great Power Competition
by Naval Surface and Mine Warfighting Development Center
May 18, 2020

Forty-eight Integrated Air and Missile Defense (IAMD) Warfare Tactics Instructors (WTIs) participated in the fourth annual IAMD WTI Re-Blue event hosted by Naval Surface and Mine Warfighting Development Center’s (SMWDC) IAMD Division onboard Naval Support Facility Dahlgren, Virgina, March 2 to March 6, 2020.

March 6, 2020 - Integrated Air and Missile Defense (IAMD) Warfare Tactics Instructor (WTI) alumni gathered together in Dahlgren, Virgina, home of the IAMD WTI program, and conducted the fourth annual WTI Re-Blue event in March 2020. Alumni meet for an annual week long Re-Blue requalification training, to provide and share critical combat air and missile defense skills and receive additional tactical training developed during the previous year. (U.S. Navy photo by Information Management Specialist Laurie Buchanan)
March 6, 2020 - Integrated Air and Missile Defense (IAMD) Warfare Tactics Instructor (WTI) alumni gathered together in Dahlgren, Virgina, home of the IAMD WTI program, and conducted the fourth annual WTI Re-Blue event in March 2020. Alumni meet for an annual week long Re-Blue requalification training, to provide and share critical combat air and missile defense skills and receive additional tactical training developed during the previous year. (U.S. Navy photo by Information Management Specialist Laurie Buchanan)

WTI Re-Blue events bring WTIs, technical experts, and senior mentors together to sharpen warfighting skills with the most up-to-date fleet knowledge and skills needed to outpace strategic competitors. Re-Blue events are also conducted for Amphibious Warfare (AMW) and Anti-Submarine Warfare / Surface Warfare (ASW/SUW) WTIs.

"Our greatest strength as IAMD WTIs is in clearing hurdles together, and Re-Blue affords us the opportunity to hone our collective skills against the threats of today and tomorrow," said Cmdr. Mike Dwan, SMWDC IAMD N5 branch head and an IAMD WTI. "We are rooted in a commonality of uncommon expertise, addressing a dynamic and demanding environment to effectively deter and counter any adversary. When I looked out across the room of 48 IAMD WTIs, I saw an incredibly focused, combat-ready cadre determined to OWN THE FIGHT! They are an impressive and inspiring group of talented warfighters who have forged a common bond amongst patch-wearers from sixteen classes since 2013."

Re-Blue is a dynamic networking event which helps develop lasting and meaningful relationships within the WTI cadre. WTI culture is a key component of the program that supports future tactical development and vital transition in the Fleet from a culture of training compliance to a culture of performance proficiency.

SMWDC Commander, Rear Adm. Scott Robertson, connected with Re-Blue participants through VTC to discuss his top three priorities – Surface Warfare Advanced Tactical Training (SWATT), WTI production, and Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures (TTP) development. Robertson received thought-provoking questions from the group, and he challenged attendees to work daily to develop their warrior mindset, personal toughness, as well as mental and physical resiliency.

WTIs received SWATT and Live Fire with a Purpose (LFWAP) exercise training updates, enabling WTIs to maintain TTP and program proficiency for continued high-level support to SMWDC headquarters for planning, leading, and executing advanced tactical training events while serving in production tours. The WTIs conducting SWATT exercises expressed that they are learning a lot from LFWAP and central to those lessons is the understanding and application of Threat-Centric planning and the use of the Plan Brief Execute Debrief (PBED) process. WTIs coach ships’ combat teams to use PBED, trust the process, and continually update tactical systems to maintain warfighting readiness.

Re-Blue participants also discussed how SMWDC is working with the technical community to continually develop and update planning tools, to counter evolving threats to our capability that stress mission planning tools. In the interim, trained and ready WTIs armed with the experience and readiness of our reach-back team are the thin blue line with the skills and knowledge to keep our forces honed and ready.

Additional WTI to WTI training topics included updates on advanced Electronic Attack capabilities; TTP to counter the growing threat of Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS); new platforms such as the EA-18G Growler, F-35 and LCS; and a set of scenarios in the new Combined IAMD / ASW Trainer (CIAT)-based Reconfigurable Combat Information Center Trainer (RCT) tactical labs located at the Aegis Training and Readiness Center.

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. It is headquartered onboard Naval Base San Diego with four divisions in Virginia and California focused on Integrated Air and Missile Defense, Anti-Submarine Warfare / Surface Warfare, Amphibious Warfare, and Mine Warfare.

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