On 28 March 2018, Navy Information Operations Command (NIOC) Norfolk was recommissioned as Naval Information Warfare Training Group (IWTG) Norfolk. IWTG’s new mission is to advance the Fleet’s Information Warfare (IW) warfighting readiness by providing tailored operational training, highly experienced IW deployers and IW mission data management in support of afloat and ashore commands.
IWTG Norfolk is a direct response to our Navy’s need to enhance its Information Warfare proficiency in fighting and winning our Nation’s wars, including against high-end adversaries in a tense environment of Great Power Competition.
IWTG Norfolk has a long and rich history of changing names and adapting missions that stretches back seven decades, all the way to WWII. Over these years, the command has changed its name six times and each time it has flexibly grown to take on new missions and personnel. While 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 and Space Operations.
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. In January 2017, U.S. Fleet Cyber Command/Commander TENTH Fleet (FCC/C10F) committed support to the resulting Naval Information Warfare Development Command (NIWDC) and the Naval Information Warfare Training Group concepts. NIOC Norfolk/CTF 1030 was directed to assess their active and reserve resources for realignment in support of the establishment of IWTG. Later that year, Commander, Naval Information Forces (NAVIFOR) issued a message designating IWTG Norfolk as the executive agent for all IW unit level training and assessment; thus solidifying IWTG Norfolk as the focal point for all tailored unit level IW training to the Fleet.
In 2018, IWTG Norfolk worked with NAVIFOR and NIWDC to establish and update IW training requirements and proficiency standards for the Intelligence, Communications and Space Operations mission areas. Ever since, IWTG Norfolk’s has continued to focus on enhancing, transforming and institutionalizing Electronic Warfare, Cryptologic and Cyberspace training. In 2019, IWTG Norfolk became a subordinate command to Naval Information Warfare Training Command Headquarters.
To meet this goal, IWTG Norfolk will continue to expand its Fleet training to aircraft carriers, submarines, littoral combat ships, mine countermeasure ships, patrol crafts, carrier airwings, military sealift ships, IW shore commands, the U.S. Marine Corps and the U.S. Coast Guard. Additionally, IWTG Norfolk will continue to enhance its expertise and available training in the areas of Intelligence, Communications, Operational Security and Space Operations. IWTG Norfolk will continue to deepen 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 (OFRP) to instead supporting a continuous training engagement model as the Fleet moves to a more flexible deployment posture.
IWTG Norfolk is also making strides to standardize the unit-level IW training it provides globally. It also must leverage its full IWTG enterprise to meet Fleet requirements regardless of the specific location where the training is needed. To meet these goals, it is necessary to have a single IWTG global Headquarter staff that can manage the IWTG enterprise which consists of five subordinate units. To accomplish this, the Navy has approved the following initiative—that a senior staff of personnel from IWTG Norfolk separate itself into an IWTG Headquarter unit that will remain at Little Creek while IWTG Norfolk is placed under the charge of a Navy Commander and will support IWTG Headquarter by handling all IW training issues for units based in Norfolk, Mayport, Spain and Bahrain.
Never before has the IW community had the full capability and authority to independently train our forces in IW. In the future, IWTG will provide 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.