On March 27, 2017, Captain John A Watkins, assumed Command of Navy Information Warfare Development Center (NIWDC). Captain Watkins’ biography follows:
Captain John A. Watkins, U.S. Navy
Commanding Officer NIWDC
Captain John Watkins was born in San Francisco and raised in San Diego, CA, where he went on to graduate from the NROTC program at the University of San Diego obtaining his commission in 1991. He joined the Naval Information Warfighting Development Center as the Commanding officer, in March of 2017.
Captain Watkins tours include duty onboard USS INGERSOLL (DD-990) as a Surface Warfare Officer. Following his initial sea tour, he attended Naval Postgraduate School in 1995 obtaining his Master of Science in Information Technology Management during which time he laterally transferred from the Surface Warfare Community eventually becoming an Information Professional Officer in 2000. He has completed various staff assignments including Naval Satellite Operations Center and Naval Space Command, United States Pacific Command, Commander Naval Surface Forces, OPNAV N2/N6 Directorate, and most recently as the N6 on Commander THIRD FLEET Staff. Captain Watkins operational tours include duty as Executive Officer of USS CORONADO (AGF-11) forward deployed in support of COMSEVENTHFLT, Assistant Chief of Staff for C4I, Expeditionary Strike Group THREE forward deployed to Commander FIFTH FLEET, and as ACOS for C4I on the Carrier STRIKE GROUP NINE embarked on USS RONALD REAGAN and GEORGE WASHINGTON.
Captain Watkins wears both the Information Dominance and Surface Warfare designation pins earned over the span of his career. His command tours include service as Commanding officer of Naval Computer and Telecommunications Station San Diego from July 2009 to January 2012, and Major Command as Commanding Officer of Navy Information Operations Command TEXAS from June 2013 to January 2015.
Captain Watkins’ decorations include the Legion of Merit (3), Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal (5), Navy Commendation Medal, and Navy Achievement Medals (2), in addition to various campaign and unit awards.
Naval Information Warfighting Development Center Enters Initial Operational Capability
By Lt. Cmdr. Megan Shutka, NAVIFOR PA
NORFOLK, Va. – Commander, Naval Information Forces (NAVIFOR), Rear Adm. Matthew Kohler, announced the initial operational capability of the Naval Information Warfighting Development Center (NIWDC) in Norfolk, Virginia, March 27.
“The establishment of the Naval Information Warfighting Development Center is a significant step forward for Information Warfare and Navy warfighting,” said Kohler. “Among other capabilities, NIWDC will deliver advanced Information Warfare training; tactics, techniques and procedures; as well as Information Warfare tactics instructors. Above all, it will be a place for innovation,” he continued.
First at the helm to lead the NIWDC is Capt. John Watkins, originally from San Diego who recently served on Commander, Third Fleet Staff as the Assistant Chief of Staff for Command, Control, Communications, Computers and Intelligence (C4I). Watkins has served in the U.S. Navy since his commissioning in 1991 and obtained a Master of Science in Information Technology Management. In 1997, he transferred from the Surface Warfare Community to eventually become an Information Professional Officer.
“This is a significant milestone in Naval Information Warfare history and I am humbled and honored to be a part of it and the first to lead this command,” said Watkins, a Navy Reserve Officers Training Corps graduate from the University of San Diego. Watkins went on to say, “a key objective of the NIWDC is to provide hard hitting Fleet relevant Information Warfighting effects as soon as possible; the demand signal is strong and we are ready to deliver.”
Similar to other warfighting development centers, NIWDC’s mission will include training and assessing Information Warfare forces in advanced tactics, techniques and procedures at the individual, unit, integrated or advanced, and joint levels, ensuring alignment with the information warfare training continuum.
NIWDC will also support and coordinate Information Warfare initiatives that are advancing capabilities in the other warfighting development centers – Naval Aviation Warfighting Development Center, Naval Surface and Mine Warfighting Development Center, Navy Warfare Development Command, Undersea Warfighting Development Center and Navy Expeditionary Warfighting Development Center.
The NIWDC will be one of 74 commands under NAVIFOR. Per tasking from U.S. Fleet Forces Command, NIWDC is to achieve full operational capability by April 2019.
For more information on NAVIFOR, visit the command’s web site at http://www.navifor.navy.mil, our Navy News Web page at http://www.navy.mil/local/navifor or Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/USNavyInformationDominanceForces