Friday, July 23, 2010

Navy Information Operations Command - Hawaii sets junior officers up for success

Lt. j.g. Michael Lavoie - Navy Information Operations Command, Hawaii

Few communities in the Navy have seen as much change in recent years as the information warfare (IW) community In the last decade, naval cryptology took on many related disciplines, including electronic warfare, operations security, military deception and computer network operations, while striving to retain core competencies.

Such tremendous change created a need for sweeping reform of new accession training, and Navy Information Operations Command (NIOC) Hawaii responded with an innovative pipeline for junior officers (JOs) arriving at the command.

Following the Information Warfare Officer Basic Course (IWBC) in Pensacola, Florida., Ensign Miguel Cueva reported to the analysis and production (A&P) cell at Fleet Information Operations Center (FIOC) Hawaii. "IWBC was a whirlwind experience, exposing me to a broad range of topics," he noted. "Arriving at a major cryptologic center gave me the chance to go deeper into area-specific knowledge and see most aspects of IW in practice."

Junior officers typically spend five weeks in A&P, completing target and watch floor qualification requirements. The new arrivals then move on to five weeks under instruction as FIOC watch officer. "This is the phase where a lot of loose strings start to come together," explained Lt. j.g. William Brinkmeyer, FIOC division officer. "Armed with strong target knowledge and the resources available to the watch, junior officers learn to leverage this and pass it on to the fleet," he said.

"It's amazing to see the progress of our junior officers. They show up completely green to the community and by the time they move on to a second tour, they have performed at the level of department heads at sea and shore-side," noted Lieutenant Mike Curtis, NIOC deputy operations officer.

NIOC Hawaii plays an extensive role in surface and submarine direct support and after several months as FIOC watch officers, JOs make the transition from provider to consumer as direct support officers. "Getting underway as a direct support officer is an intimidating prospect for an ensign or lieutenant (j.g.), but I definitely took the knowledge I learned from FIOC and A&P to sea. Knowing what resources are available to tactical units is a huge advantage," Lt. j.g. Marcus Long explained.

With FIOC watch officer, direct support officer and the new community standard Information Warfare Personnel Qualification Standard (PQS) complete, JOs board for the 1810 designator. The 1810 board assesses individuals' knowledge of myriad topics related to IW and the wider Navy.

"The 1810 board emphasizes the 'big picture'... how everything JOs have learned as watch officers and DSOs fit into the construct of the 21st century Navy," said Curtis. "We are confident that this breadth of exposure sets our JOs up for tremendous success in their careers as information warfare officers."

Captain Jeffrey S. Cole assumed command of NIOC Hawaii on 9 July 2010.



Training guy said...

Can someone explain what is innovative about NIOC Hawaii's process? That is not clear to me from the article. Also, what were the sweeping reforms to accession training? I am not aware of any. We run the accession training here at Corry Town.

Anonymous said...

Before 2009, when JOs arrived at NIOC HI, they either qualified FIOC or DSO, and either qual instantly gained them the 1610 designator. Following the reform and institution of the community-wide PQS, JOs must board for FIOC, DSO, and CDO individually before becoming board-eligible for 1610. Thus instead of a few month road to 1610, it is now roughly 12 months.

The changes to new accession training is the institution of a formalized lecture schedule (usually twice a week). After attending the lecture, JOs are invited to discuss the topic with a qualified 1610 to obtain the signature. This is dramatically more organized than the previous set-up at NIOC HI.

Training guy said...

I think what you have described as NIOC Hawaii's training program is a good one. One would think that command training programs are run this way. However, I did not see anything INNOVATIVE in the description nor anything that suggests SWEEPING REFORMS.

Anonymous said...

Again, "sweeping reform" refers to community-wide new accession training. I think it's fair to say that following our transition to Information Warfare, the IWBC reform and development of the community-wide PQS qualify as "sweeping." This article was written for Navy Region Hawaii Public Affairs, so the focus was on the local NIOC and the process NIOC HI JOs experience. Apologies for leading you to believe otherwise.

Anonymous said...

Out of curiosity, how does hawaii differ from md, ga, or tx? From my understanding, they each have slightly different focuses, but can't seem to nail down these differences. Is hawaii strictly surface and sub oriented, or is there an aviation option as well for the iwo's stationed there? And besides the obvious environmental differences, what are the day to day differences in the job life?

Mike Lambert said...

Anon @ 7:25PM

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