Sunday, May 25, 2014
Battle of Midway Commemoration June 4-7
On Wednesday, June 4, the U.S. Navy will once again pause to commemorate the Battle of Midway, which occurred June 4-7, 1942.
In official ceremonies at the U.S. Navy Memorial here in the Washington, D.C., at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, in Hawaii and other Navy stations around the world, we will take the time to honor those who triumphed over the Imperial Japanese Navy in this historic encounter.
Midway was the turning point in the Pacific theater of operations in World War II. During that battle, U.S. Navy carrier strike forces, augmented by shore-based bombers and torpedo planes decisively defeated an Imperial Japanese navy carrier task force. These actions prevented the Japanese from capturing Midway Island and the success marked the dawn of the U.S. Navy's global prominence.
The Battle of Midway also looms large in the history of what we now call the Information Dominance Corps (IDC). As detailed in the Navy's "Course to Midway" webpages (http://www.navy.mil/midway/midway.html) and in the attached IDEA No. 26 from May of 2013, key to Admiral Chester Nimitz's decision to engage the Japanese at Midway were the seminal efforts of the U.S. Navy's code breakers.
Led by Admiral Nimitz's Fleet Intelligence Officer, Captain Edwin Layton, and his Fleet Cryptologist, Commander Joe Rochefort, these unknown and unheralded specialists enabled an enhanced awareness of the Midway battlespace that culminated in Nimitz's superior decisions. They not only provided insight into Japanese Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto's intentions, but revealed where and when his carriers would focus their attack. This highly skilled and knowledgeable group decrypted the Japanese Navy's operational code and delivered timely, actionable information that allowed Nimitz to ambush Yamamoto's force.
In doing so, they pioneered the concepts of Information Dominance that we maintain today.
As we approach this year's commemoration, I urge you to share the IDEA and link with your respective staffs and crews, and take the time to discuss what this battle represents - the emergence of the U.S. Navy as a global power and the foreshadowing of the IDC as warfighters bringing the power of information dominance to the fight.
Ted "Twig" Branch