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Commander, Naval Information Forces.

Delivering Decision Advantage: NAVIFOR Hosts Annual IW Commanders Summit

by Joshua Rodriguez, NAVIFOR Public Affairs Office
01 December 2023 Vice Adm. Kelly Aeschbach, commander, Naval Information Forces (NAVIFOR) and the Navy’s IBoss, hosted the annual NAVIFOR Commanders’ Summit in Suffolk, Va., Nov. 28-30.

More than 180 Navy Information Warfare (IW) flag officers, commanders, and enlisted leaders representing 51 IW commands as far as Naples, Bahrain and Hawaii gathered at the three-day event. With a theme of “Information Warfare: Delivering Decision Advantage,” the summit featured engaging discussion panels, presentations and dialogue on current IW challenges and priorities.   

IBoss opened the summit by highlighting the critical role of IW in shaping the strategic environment.

 “Conflict and competition make what we do in Information Warfare incredibly relevant, and incredibly rewarding,” said Aeschbach. “IW is constantly in demand in this competitive environment – we have no spare capacity. If we want to stay in competition, we need to do IW exceptionally well - every leader and every professional in this room plays a critical role.”

For the first time ever, the summit kicked off with a “Brain Trust” dialogue and discussion of 11 IW flag officers who have retired since NAVIFOR's inception as a type command. They each shared unique perspectives on where they see the community and Navy IW in future years.

“It was incredibly important to me to include our retired IW leaders in our summit,” noted IBoss. “Each was instrumental in shaping the community we know today, and I believe the candid dialogue we fostered through this session shows how committed we are as a community to assessing ourselves and aiming toward continual improvement. These leaders’ insights will undoubtedly enhance our ability to address current challenges and prepare for future missions.”

The summit also included discussions on IW readiness issues, to include ashore readiness, training for the high-end fight, and IW manpower and manning.

Ms. Liz Nashold, NAVIFOR’s deputy commander, stressed the importance of incorporating IW into the Live, Virtual Constructive (LVC) training environment, which she noted is IBoss’ top priority.

“We’re working to bring IW into the LVC training environment because in no other warfighting area is LVC more important than ours,” said Nashold. “Incorporating IW fully into LVC will allow us to truly measure our proficiency and accelerate and improve our capability.”

The final day of the summit aimed at providing resources to IW command triads to increase command resilience and adress barriers to success.  During a panel focused on Get Real Get Better, commanders shared how they used Navy-proven leadership and problem solving best practices to empower their people to achieve exceptional performance.

“Get Real Get Better is about mirrors and microscopes – and not about microphones,” noted Capt. Tim Krippendorf, NAVIFOR’s liaison to Fleet Cyber Command/U.S. Tenth Fleet. “It’s about looking at yourself, your own command and your own processes and using data to create a plan that is measured and analyzed. GRGB can be extremely powerful when it’s executed properly.”

Many commanders appreciated the ability to network face-to-face with fellow IW leaders and work though shared challenges, to include Cdr. Hannah Bealon, commanding officer of Naval Computer and Telecommunications Station (NCTS) San Diego.

“This summit was amazing!” said Bealon. “It provided an opportunity for my fellow commanding officers and I to share solutions that will remove barriers for our Sailors. I am looking forward to participating again next year!”

IBoss closed the summit by sharing her thoughts on the health of the IW force, and encouraging all leaders to connect with NAVIFOR for assistance to more rapidly effect change when needed. 

“I sleep well at night because we have so many exceptional people in Navy IW,” said Aeschbach. “The caliber of the Sailors in your commands is truly eye-watering, and we’re fortunate to have such exceptional talent in our community.”

NAVIFOR’s mission is to generate, directly and through our leadership of the IW Enterprise, agile and technically superior manned, trained, equipped, and certified combat-ready IW forces to ensure our Navy will decisively DETER, COMPETE, and WIN.

For more information on NAVIFOR, visit the command Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/NavalInformationForces/ or the public web page at https://www.navifor.usff.navy.mil.

-USN-

Delivering Decision Advantage: NAVIFOR Hosts Annual IW Commanders Summit
SLIDESHOW | images | 231128-N-FB292-1028 Rear Adm. Michael Vernazza, Commander, Fleet Information Warfare Command Pacific/Information Warfare Task Force (TF-501), Pacific fields questions during his brief at the Commander's Summit. The IBoss, Vice Adm. Kelly Aeschbach, commander, NAVIFOR hosted the third annual NAVIFOR Commanders’ Summit in Suffolk, Va., Nov. 28 through 30. With a theme of “Information Warfare: Delivering Decision Advantage,” the summit featured engaging discussion panels, presentations and dialogue on current information warfare challenges and priorities. (U.S. Navy Photo by Robert Fluegel/RELEASED)
Delivering Decision Advantage: NAVIFOR Hosts Annual IW Commanders Summit
SLIDESHOW | images | 231128-N-FB292-1015 Ms. Elizabeth Nashold, deputy commander, Naval Information Forces (NAVIFOR) shares the IW TYCOM focus areas and initiatives during the Commanders' Summit. The IBoss, Vice Adm. Kelly Aeschbach, commander, NAVIFOR hosted the third annual NAVIFOR Commanders’ Summit in Suffolk, Va., Nov. 28 through 30. With a theme of “Information Warfare: Delivering Decision Advantage,” the summit featured engaging discussion panels, presentations and dialogue on current information warfare challenges and priorities. (U.S. Navy Photo by Robert Fluegel/RELEASED)
Delivering Decision Advantage: NAVIFOR Hosts Annual IW Commanders Summit
SLIDESHOW | images | 231128-N-FB292-1001 Vice Adm. Kelly Aeschbach, commander, Naval Information Forces (NAVIFOR) and the Navy’s IBoss, hosted the third annual NAVIFOR Commanders’ Summit in Suffolk, Va., Nov. 28-30. NAVIFOR held an inaugural “Brain Trust” of 11 IW flag officers who have retired since NAVIFOR's inception as a type command. Their wealth of experience and expertise served as an invaluable resource that fostered high-level collaboration and insightful discussions aimed at elevating IW into the future. Back row: Vice Adm. Timothy White, Rear Adm. Stephanie Keck, Vice Adm. Brian Brown, Rear Adm. Jim Butler, Vice Adm. Mathew Kohler, Vice Adm. Nancy Norton, Rear Adm. Will Metts, Rear Adm. Jeffrey Scheidt, Rear Adm. Thomas Bond, and Rear Adm. Kathleen Creighton Front row: FORCM Laura Nunley, RDML Dannelle Barrett, Vice Adm. Kelly Aeschbach, and Ms. Elizabeth Nashold. (U.S. Navy Photo by Robert Fluegel/RELEASED)
Delivering Decision Advantage: NAVIFOR Hosts Annual IW Commanders Summit
SLIDESHOW | images | 231130-N-FB292-1052 Rear Adm. Mietus, Director, Navy Culture and Force Resilience Office, N17, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations shared valuable perspectives on Navy Leader Development Framework (NLDF) at the Commanders' Summit. The IBoss, Vice Adm. Kelly Aeschbach, commander, NAVIFOR hosted the third annual NAVIFOR Commanders’ Summit in Suffolk, Va., Nov. 28 through 30. With a theme of “Information Warfare: Delivering Decision Advantage,” the summit featured engaging discussion panels, presentations and dialogue on current information warfare challenges and priorities. (U.S. Navy Photo by Robert Fluegel/RELEASED)
Delivering Decision Advantage: NAVIFOR Hosts Annual IW Commanders Summit
SLIDESHOW | images | 231130-N-FB292-1011 During the NAVIFOR Commanders’ Summit audience members listen to the Get Real Get Better Journey panel. The IBoss, Vice Adm. Kelly Aeschbach, commander, NAVIFOR hosted the third annual NAVIFOR Commanders’ Summit in Suffolk, Va., Nov. 28 through 30. With a theme of “Information Warfare: Delivering Decision Advantage,” the summit featured engaging discussion panels, presentations and dialogue on current information warfare challenges and priorities. (U.S. Navy Photo by Robert Fluegel/RELEASED)
Delivering Decision Advantage: NAVIFOR Hosts Annual IW Commanders Summit
SLIDESHOW | images | 231129-N-PD810-1009 Ms. Tamara North, Director of Information Warfare Readiness at Naval Information Forces (NAVIFOR) addresses the Commander's Summit, delivering a compelling presentation on Ashore Readiness. Her insights shed light on critical strategies and initiatives, setting the tone for robust discussions on maritime preparedness. Vice Adm. Kelly Aeschbach, commander, NAVIFOR and the Navy’s IBoss hosted the third annual NAVIFOR Commanders’ Summit in Suffolk, Va., Nov. 28 through 30. With a theme of “Information Warfare: Delivering Decision Advantage,” the summit featured engaging discussion panels, presentations and dialogue on current information warfare challenges and priorities. (U.S. Navy Photo by Jason Rodman/RELEASED)
Delivering Decision Advantage: NAVIFOR Hosts Annual IW Commanders Summit
SLIDESHOW | images | 231129-N-PD810-1011 Triad leaders, fostering teamwork, engage in an ice breaker on day two of the Commanders' Summit with a marshmallow challenge. A showcase of strategy and camaraderie unfolds amidst group discussions. Vice Adm. Kelly Aeschbach, commander, Naval Information Forces (NAVIFOR) and the Navy’s IBoss hosted the third annual NAVIFOR Commanders’ Summit in Suffolk, Va., Nov. 28 through 30. With a theme of “Information Warfare: Delivering Decision Advantage,” the summit featured engaging discussion panels, presentations and dialogue on current information warfare challenges and priorities. (U.S. Navy Photo by Jason Rodman/RELEASED)
Delivering Decision Advantage: NAVIFOR Hosts Annual IW Commanders Summit
SLIDESHOW | images | 231130-N-PD810-1007 Vice Adm. Kelly Aeschbach, Commander of Naval Information Forces (NAVIFOR) and the Navy’s iBoss fields questions with expertise during the Our GRGB Journey panel at the Commander's Summit. The IBoss hosted the third annual NAVIFOR Commanders’ Summit in Suffolk, Va., Nov. 28 through 30. With a theme of “Information Warfare: Delivering Decision Advantage,” the summit featured engaging discussion panels, presentations and dialogue on current information warfare challenges and priorities. (U.S. Navy Photo by Jason Rodman/RELEASED)
Delivering Decision Advantage: NAVIFOR Hosts Annual IW Commanders Summit
SLIDESHOW | images | 231129-N-PD810-1018 Force Master Chief Petty Officer Laura Nunley, force master chief petty officer, Naval Information Forces (NAVIFOR) actively participates in a group discussion with information warfare (IW) Command Master Chief Petty Officers and senior enlisted leaders at the Commanders' Summit. Her leadership presence contributes to strategic dialogue on advancing IW capabilities. Vice Adm. Kelly Aeschbach, commander, NAVIFOR and the Navy’s IBoss hosted the third annual NAVIFOR Commanders’ Summit in Suffolk, Va., Nov. 28 through 30. With a theme of “Information Warfare: Delivering Decision Advantage,” the summit featured engaging discussion panels, presentations and dialogue on current information warfare challenges and priorities. (U.S. Navy Photo by Jason Rodman/RELEASED)
Delivering Decision Advantage: NAVIFOR Hosts Annual IW Commanders Summit
SLIDESHOW | images | 231129-N-PD810-1015 Vice Adm. Kelly Aeschbach, commander, Naval Information Forces (NAVIFOR) and the Navy’s IBoss shares strategic insights on Ashore Readiness during the Commanders' Summit, providing a high-level perspective on naval preparedness. The IBoss hosted the third annual NAVIFOR Commanders’ Summit in Suffolk, Va., Nov. 28 through 30. With a theme of “Information Warfare: Delivering Decision Advantage,” the summit featured engaging discussion panels, presentations and dialogue on current information warfare challenges and priorities. (U.S. Navy Photo by Jason Rodman/RELEASED)
 

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