The History of Naval Information Warfare Training Group
Navy Information Operations Command (NIOC) Norfolk was recommissioned on 28 March 2018 as Naval Information Warfare Training Group (NIWTG) Norfolk, and in October 2019, senior staff separated from NIWTG Norfolk to establish an NIWTG Headquarters.
NIWTG Headquarters manages the NIWTG enterprise which consists of three subordinate commands, two detachments and two reserve units: NIWTG San Diego, Calif.; NIWTG Gulfport, Miss.; NIWTG Norfolk, Va.; NIWTG Fleet Intelligence Detachment (FID) Washington, D.C.; NIWTG FID Fallon, Nev.; NR NIWTG San Diego, Calif., and NR NIWTG Norfolk, Va.
NIWTG’s mission is to train, support and deploy Naval Forces to execute the Information Warfare (IW) mission in support of Naval Operations. NIWTG was a direct response to the Navy’s need to enhance its IW proficiency in fighting and winning our Nation’s wars, including against high-end adversaries in a tense environment of Great Power Competition.
NIWTG has a long and rich history of changing names and adapting missions that stretches back seven decades, all the way to World War II. Over these years, the command has changed its name six times and each time it has adapted to take on new missions and personnel. Originally the command’s mission was solely focused on Military Deception and Psychological Operations; it has since evolved to include expert Fleet training and support in Electronic Warfare, Cryptologic Warfare, Cyberspace Operations, Intelligence, Operations Security, Communications, Space Operations, and Meteorology and Oceanography.
In November 2014, the Chief of Naval Operations issued the Warfighting Development Centers Implementation Guidance which directed all naval warfare areas to establish warfare development centers to function as centers of excellence for their particular warfare area. Then in January 2017, U.S. Fleet Cyber Command / Commander, U.S. TENTH Fleet (FCC / C10F) committed support to the resulting Naval Information Warfare Development Command (NIWDC) and the NIWTG concepts. This directed NIOC Norfolk / CTF 1030 to assess their active and reserve resources for realignment in support of the establishment of NIWTG. Later that year, Commander, Naval Information Forces (NAVIFOR) issued a message designating NIWTG Norfolk, dual hatted as Headquarters for the NIWTG enterprise, as the executive agent for all IW unit level training and assessment thus solidifying the NIWTG enterprise as the focal point for all tailored unit level IW training to the Fleet.
In 2018, NIWTG Norfolk worked with NAVIFOR and NIWDC to establish and update IW training requirements and proficiency standards. Ever since, NIWTG Norfolk’s focus has remained on enhancing, transforming and institutionalizing Electronic Warfare, Cryptologic and Cyberspace training that its predecessor organizations had been providing the waterfront for over 30 years into a full spectrum of IW training available to the Fleet in preparation for deployment operations.
To meet this goal, NIWTG continues to expand its Fleet training to aircraft carriers, submarines, littoral combat ships, mine countermeasure ships, patrol crafts, carrier air wings, military sealift ships, IW shore commands, the U.S. Marine Corps and the U.S. Coast Guard. Additionally, NIWTG continues to enhance its expertise and training support in the areas of Intelligence, Communications, Operations Security and Space Operations. NIWTG will continue to expand its existing IW training processes with the platform Type Commanders and Afloat Training Groups by transitioning from conducting unit level training during the Basic Phase of the Optimized Fleet Response Plan to instead supporting a continuous training engagement model as the Fleet moves to a more flexible deployment posture.
NIWTG also made strides to standardize the unit-level IW training it provides globally. It must leverage its full NIWTG enterprise to meet Fleet requirements regardless of the specific location where the training is needed.
Never before has the IW community had the full capability and authority to independently train our Naval forces. Today, NIWTG provides Commanders and Commanding Officers, afloat and ashore, a reliable single touch point for support in all IW areas thereby enabling them to optimally utilize their organic IW assets as well as national support in order to achieve our Nation’s Maritime Objectives.