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Navy Information Warfare and Warfighters: In demand at West 2024

13 February 2024

From Joshua Rodriguez, NAVIFOR Public Affairs Office

Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Lisa Franchetti and a host of others visited the Naval Oceanography booth in the Information Warfare Pavilion at WEST 2024 in San Diego, Calif. from February 12-16.

Naval Information Warfare (IW) leaders and warfighters participated in WEST 2024 at the San Diego Convention Center Feb. 13-15, discussing today’s information environment and the critical impact of Navy IW to a variety of industry, government and military leaders.

WEST 2024, co-sponsored by the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association (AFCEA) International and the U.S. Naval Institute (USNI), is the premier naval conference and exposition on the West Coast.

The theme for this year’s event, “Are Acquisition and Readiness on Pace to Meet Global Security Demands?” addressed how ready the Fleet and IW force are to meeting future challenges. The conference, attended by tens of thousands, brings together leaders and experts in military, government, industry, and academia to discuss information warfare, integrated warfare, near-peer challenges and associated creative and agile solutions.

Ms. Liz Nashold, NAVIFOR deputy commander, started the conference Feb 13 by participating in a panel titled What Changes are Community Leaders Making to Meet Global Security Demands. During the panel, commanders of Naval Type Commands (TYCOMs) were represented and fielded questions from both the moderator and audience on their top priorities in meeting future threats.

“When it comes to our competition, the entity that can sense, make sense, and act faster wins — and so information warfare is important to decision advantage,” said Nashold. “When it comes to our industry partners, you are key to information warfare and you are key to decision advantage.”

“IW underpins every single warfare mission in the Navy today. You name that mission and there’s an IW component to it,” said Nashold.

‘The future fight is an informed fight’

On Feb. 14, Nashold delivered remarks in the WEST IW Pavilion, where she highlighted the critical role IW plays in operations throughout the fleet.

“Really, the future fight is going to be an information fight. Warfighters who can sense, make sense and act on information are going to win. And that’s really what we need to focus on from an information warfare perspective,” said Nashold. “IW is foundational to success. From peacetime to competition to crisis and conflict…it’s integral to fleet and joint operations and it plays a role in every warfare domain, every day, and is its own warfighting domain as well.”

The Navy is entering an information age where information warfare is at the forefront of everything we do, declared Nashold.

“From a TYCOM perspective we are we’re seeing it every day. And IW capabilities are in demand more now than they’ve ever been,” said Nashold.

Nashold closed with a call to Navy’s partnership with industry. “Industry, academia, allies and partners, all of us working together is crucial to our success,” said Nashold.

On day three at the Navy IW pavilion, Ms. Jennifer Edgin, Assistant Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Information Warfare (N2N6) opened the day of speakers with her four focus areas.

“As the CNO’s principle advisor and resource sponsor for information we have the mission to direct, sustain, and strengthen the Navy’s intelligence and information warfare capabilities to prevail in the maritime fight,” said Edgin.

Focus areas

The focus areas for (N2N6)

• Execute in our roles as resource sponsors
• Drive success of the CNO’s vision for “America’s Warfighting Navy”
• Strengthening strategic partnership and enhancing alliances
• Normalizing the domains of Cyber, Space, and EW-how we will fight in and through these domains
“In closing I hope you realize that N2N6 is leading the way for sustainable positive change for the future – and the future of information is bright.” said Edgin.

In his IW Pavilion remarks, Capt. Bryan Braswell, commander of Naval Information Warfighting Development Center (NIWDC), explained how the Navy is developing and enhancing high-end IW capabilities and tactics through lessons-learned from ongoing operations in the Red Sea.

“We can really rapidly understand the performance of our IW systems forward and update the [tactics, techniques and procedures] that were employed. And then we will better posture those forces to respond to threats,” said Braswell.

The WEST IW Pavilion speakers series also featured a panel showcasing perspectives from IW operational commanders.

Capt. Christi Montgomery, information warfare commander (IWC) for Carrier Strike Group Twelve, highlighted the key importance of IWCs to warfighting.

“The information warfare community investing in information warfare commanders is putting an integrator at the point of decision-making. and for a very long time in the fleet, that integration didn’t exist. So now, through the work of NAVIFOR, through the work of Fleet Forces Command and Pacific Fleet directing that sort of integration at the [maritime operations center] level, you have a nice continuity of understanding of information warfare across the continuum,” said Montgomery. “From our shipmates supporting us ashore, to the MOCs, to the strike group and to the amphibious ready group level, there’s a common language, a common understanding, and a common integration.”

Importance of IW in the Navy

The IW pavilion on the WEST show floor showcased the various naval aspects of information warfighters and the importance of IW in the Navy.

IW Sailors and civilians were on hand from across IW disciplines to demonstrate key warfare capabilities. The pavilion allows the industry professionals who design and build the platforms, equipment and weapons to talk first hand with WEST attendees about the demand and challenges of IW.

The Navy IW Pavilion, now in its ninth year at WEST, highlights the Navy’s commitment to warfighting and the warfighter, now and in the future. Through interactive pavilion displays and a robust speaker’s series, subject matter experts from commands across the IW enterprise were on-hand to meet with attendees and highlight current technologies utilized by the Fleet.
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.


Commander, Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command | 1100 Balch Blvd. | Stennis Space Center, Mississippi 39529

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