On March 23, 2018, Navy Information Operations Command (NIOC) Norfolk disbanded to create the Information Warfare Training Group (IWTG) in Norfolk, Virginia, March 28.
“This completes a larger effort in the Information Warfare community to increase readiness throughout the Navy through the establishment of the Information Warfare Type Commander, Warfighting Development Center and Training Group,” said Capt. Chris Slattery, IWTG’s first commanding officer, during the ribbon-cutting ceremony. IWTG will now formalize basic and intermediate level training. Information Warfare individual level training is completed at the Center for Information Warfare Training (CIWT) and advanced level training is facilitated at Navy Information Warfare Development Command (NIWDC).
IWTG Norfolk has a long, robust history traversing seven decades, tracing back to WWII efforts to incorporate Military Deception (MILDEC) in support of Naval amphibious operations, and building on lessons learned following the tragedy at Dieppe in 1942. In March 1943, LT Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., conceptualized tactical cover and deception operations employing small units to simulate amphibious landings, thereby deceiving and confusing the enemy. These units became known as the Beach Jumpers and remained active until shortly after WWII ended. The Beach Jumpers were reactivated during the Korean War with a secondary mission to plan and execute Psychological Operations, and by 1960 were re-designated as Beach Jumper Units (BJU) 1 (San Diego) and 2 (Norfolk).
In 1972, the Chief of Naval Operations re-designated the Beach Jumpers as Fleet Composite Operational Readiness Groups (FLTCORGRU ONE and TWO) to emphasize the importance of BJU operations to Naval Warfare during the Vietnam conflict. Subsequently, in 1986 the FLTCORGRU’s were re-designated as Fleet Tactical Deception Group Pacific and Atlantic (FLTDECGRUPAC/FLTDECGRULANT) with a new mission to assist commanders in planning and executing tactical MILDEC operations during the course of the Cold War.
Beginning in 1992, a series of command mergers and name changes occurred that ultimately resulted in the establishment of Fleet Information Warfare Center (FIWC) in 1995. Those mergers included: FLTDECGRULANT combining with Fleet Electronic Warfare Support Group (FEWSG) to form the Fleet Tactical Readiness Group (FTRG); in 1994 FTRG and FLTDECGRUPAC changed their names to Command and Control Warfare Group Atlantic and Pacific, which became FIWC Headquarters and FIWC Detachment San Diego on 1 October, 1995.
It is important to note that the evolutionary path leading to FIWC’s establishment was a product of the maturation of Information Operations (IO). After its stand-up, FIWC firmly established itself as a leader in IO augmentation, planning, training, doctrine/tactics development and data management, becoming a principal source of IO expertise for Fleet and Joint commands.
The events of this decade, including the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, Operations ENDURING FREEDOM and IRAQI FREEDOM, and stand-up of Commander, Naval Network Warfare Command (CNNWC) in 2002 solidified the establishment of IO as a primary naval warfare area and reinforced the importance of FIWC as the Warfare Center of Excellence for Information Operations. With the advent of a new Type Commander, control of FIWC was re-aligned from Commander, Naval Security Group(CNSG) to CNNWC. Following the historic disestablishment of CNSG on 30 September 2005 and its subsequent consolidation under CNNWC as the IO Directorate, FIWC merged with Naval Security Group Activity Norfolk on 4 November 2005 to establish NIOC Norfolk, thereby integrating the former NSGA cryptologic mission area with the former FIWC IO mission.
NIOC Norfolk’s Vision
The Navy Information Operations Command Norfolk, as the Navy’s Center of Excellence for Information Operations, will provide unsurpassed Information Operations support to Naval Combatant and Joint Force Commanders and lead the transformation of Information Operations in defense of our nation.