U.S. Coast Guard Rear Adm. Joseph Buzzella, director of exercises and training, U.S. Cyber Command (USCYBERCOM), visited the Center for Information Warfare Training (CIWT) to learn more about the U.S. Navy’s cyber training program.
With four schoolhouse commands, two detachments, and training sites throughout the United States and Japan, CIWT trains more than 26,000 students every year, delivering trained information warfare professionals to the Navy and joint services. CIWT also offers more than 200 courses for cryptologic technicians, cyber warfare technicians, intelligence specialists, information systems technicians, electronics technicians, and officers in the information warfare community.
While receiving a base orientation of the learning facilities in the CIWT crow’s nest, Buzzella discussed the option of bringing the Future Operator Readiness, Growth and Enrichment (FORGE) courses to be taught at Naval Air Station Pensacola Corry Station, Florida. Capt. Chris Bryant, commanding officer of CIWT, responded that the cyber students would definitely benefit from having the curriculum taught locally as it would allow them to maintain the learning momentum built during the courses leading up to FORGE.
After the tour, Buzzella met with CIWT leadership to discuss the joint cyber training pipeline at IWTC Corry Station.
One of the issues identified that was hampering the cyber training process was the skill atrophy that occurs with the extended delays students sometimes face between initial cyber training courses and advanced training, like the FORGE courses.
Positive results that were gained by providing enlisted cyber senior mentors who could oversee and motivate students to better grasp some of the difficult lessons they were struggling with, thus preventing the Navy from losing time and money invested into students in the effort ensure fleet cyber readiness.
Buzzella was very supportive of building out the PCTE framework as well as assisting in advocating for further CIWT infrastructure to improve both the capacity of cyber training as well as its sophistication.
The new Maritime Cyber Warfare Officer (MCWO) designation training process was also highlighted during the visit. Three MCWO new accessions officers are attending one of the two new Computer Network Operations Qualification Courses (CNOQC) currently taking place at IWTC Corry Station.
At the end of his tour of Information Warfare Training Command (IWTC) Corry Station, Buzzella got the opportunity to speak with students in the Marine Corps Cyber Operations Readiness Curriculum (MCCORC) course. The MCCORC course has been a highlight of the CIWT domain’s ability to produce cyber warfare personnel capable of performing highly sensitive cyber warfare work roles.