Today, Captain Mike Vernazza was relieved by Captain Patrick Count as Commanding Officer, Navy Information Operations Command Georgia. Captain Count’s biography follows:
Captain Patrick A. Count, U.S. Navy
Commanding Officer NIOC Georgia
Commander Task Force 1050
Captain Count is a native of North Augusta, South Carolina. A prior-enlisted Navy Arabic Linguist (CTI), he is a senior member of the Navy Information Warfare Officer Community with expertise in signals intelligence, cyberspace and information operations and electronic warfare. He has experience in command and in major staff positions at all levels of warfare and echelons of command both Navy and Joint. His 26-year career includes duty ashore, at sea, and in the air with more than10 years overseas.
Captain Count’s staff assignments involved integrating non-kinetic warfare capabilities into military plans and operations, policy and strategy development, and resource programming. Captain Count served on the staff of the Commander, U.S. European Command, Stuttgart, Germany as Chief of cyberspace and information operations plans within the Operations Directorate (J39). In the Pentagon, Captain Count served as Branch Head for cyberspace operations policy and strategy and as resource sponsor for Navy Cyber Mission Forces (CMF) and cyberspace warfare development on the staff of the Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Information Warfare (OPNAV N2/N6). As a Collection Manager on the staff of the Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command/U.S. Fifth Fleet in Manama, Bahrain, he was responsible for directing the signals intelligence collection efforts of all naval platforms in the theater. At sea, he served as Deputy Information Warfare Commander and Cryptologic Resource Coordinator on the staff of the Commander, Carrier Strike Group EIGHT embarked in USS Dwight D. Eisenhower and USS George Washington deploying to the U.S. Central, European, and Southern Command AORs.
Captain Count has held several key command leadership positions in the Cryptologic and Information Warfare Communities. He commanded Navy Information Operations Command (NIOC) Pensacola where he shaped the Navy’s vision for fielding Cyber Mission Forces and oversaw the establishment and initial operation of the Navy’s first teams in support of U.S. Pacific, Southern, and Central Command cyberspace operations requirements. He served as a Major Command Executive Officer and Operations Officer at NIOC Georgia on Fort Gordon managing the command’s growth from 400 personnel to over 1,000 providing air, surface and subsurface cryptologic direct support to the Commander U.S. Fifth Fleet and the Commander of the National Security Agency/Central Security Service Georgia. Captain Count served as a Special Evaluator, Division Officer and VQ liaison Officer at Naval Security Group Activity Misawa, Japan where he accumulated over 1,700 flight hours in EP-3 aircraft of Fleet Air Reconnaissance Squadrons One and Two throughout the Pacific and Central Command theaters.
Captain Count holds an M.A. in Strategic Studies from the Air War College (with distinction), an M.S. in Electrical Engineering from the Naval Postgraduate School and a B.A. in International Studies from the University of South Carolina graduating Phi Beta Kappa and Magna Cum Laude. He is a graduate with highest distinction from the Naval War College Command and Staff program (distance) and a two time honor graduate of the Defense Language Institute in the Arabic and Russian languages. Captain Count is a Joint Qualified Officer, qualified Information Warfare Officer, and Naval Aviation Observer.
Having been selected for Information Warfare Major Command, on December 6, 2016 Captain Count assumed Command of NIOC Georgia and Task Force 1050 comprised of 1,600 active and 400 reserve personnel. In this capacity he will direct Cryptologic and Information Warfare support to U.S. Fifth Fleet on behalf of the Commander U.S. Tenth Fleet/Commander, U.S. Fleet Cyber Command with supporting units in Bahrain, Jacksonville, FL and Fort Gordon Georgia.
Captain Count’s awards include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal (3), the Joint Service Commendation Medal, the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (3), the Joint Service Achievement Medal, the Navy Achievement Medal, the Combat Action Ribbon and numerous other campaign and service medals.