Pensacola, Florida - Rear Adm. Daniel MacDonnell, the 11th deputy chief of the Central Security Service (CSS) at the National Security Agency (NSA), visited the Center for Information Warfare Training (CIWT) and Information Warfare Training Command (IWTC) Corry Station April 16 to review information warfare (IW) training initiatives and discuss current and future training for the military services’ rapidly changing IW missions, capabilities and roles.
This was MacDonnell’s first visit to CIWT since taking the helm of CSS in September 2018.
In his role at CSS, MacDonnell oversees the function of the military cryptology system; coordinates and develops policy and guidance on the signals intelligence and cybersecurity missions of NSA/CSS to ensure military integration; manages and cultivates the partnerships between NSA/CSS and the service cryptologic elements; provides timely and accurate cryptologic support, knowledge, and assistance to the military cryptologic community; and ensures military capabilities to fulfill the national cryptologic strategy.
MacDonnell began the visit with CIWT Commanding Officer Capt. Nick Andrews, where they discussed various topics to include current and planned developments of training CIWT offers from rating-specific enlisted apprentice to cyber warfare to officer courses.
"Rear Adm. MacDonnell's visit was a great opportunity to both update him on our training challenges and demonstrate current innovations, while also showcasing how we are continuing to transform the development and delivery of the right training at the right time in the right way for our information warriors," Andrews said. "The visit also offered the admiral the opportunity to witness firsthand our team of exceptionally talented and dedicated professionals who are deeply invested in the execution of our mission, training for warfighting lethality, readiness and capacity.”
MacDonnell’s visit also offered an opportunity to update him on the latest force development approaches for building a talented fleet through initiatives, such as Ready, Relevant Learning, that take recruits from "street to fleet" and transform civilians into highly skilled, operational, and combat-ready warfighters.
MacDonnell was then presented CIWT domain training related briefs and participated in detailed discussions with various CIWT and IWTC Corry Station leaders and subject matter experts. Topics ranged from processing security clearances to cryptologic training developments to the latest in Cyber Mission Force training developments.
“In today’s information warfare arena, nimble and pioneering IW training is crucial for our country to fight and win,” MacDonnell said. “Readiness, lethality, and delivery of ready information warfare warfighters to combatant commanders is expected. Training and preparation are critical for success, and CIWT’s sense of urgency, commitment and hard work to ensure our service members are equipped and ready, is commendable."
Other events throughout the day included discussions with students in the Joint Cyber Analysis Course (JCAC) and the Cryptologic Resource Coordinator (CRC) and Afloat Cryptologic Managers (ACM) courses; lunch with IWTC Corry Station students at the base galley; a barracks walk through; and a tour and discussion of the temporary modular Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility (SCIF) trailers that will add an additional 27,000 square feet of space for IW training.
During the JCAC, CWOBC and ACM student discussions, MacDonnell presented personal challenge coins to some, discussed the latest IW developments, thanked the students for their service and sacrifices to the country, and encouraged everyone to become the finest warfighters within their commands and respective branch of service.
“Each of you volunteered to wear the cloth of this great country, and I thank every one of you for your sacrifices and dedicated service,” said MacDonnell. “We must always stay ahead in the great power competition, so while here training, learn everything you can to be the finest in your fields, but also balance your time to have fun.”
In departing comments with Andrews, MacDonnell expressed how impressed he was of CIWT’s training initiatives and newest developments to deliver combat-ready warfighters to the fleet.
“The CIWT team is truly passionate and persistent in pursuing and employing solutions to tough training challenges facing the services,” shared MacDonnell. “We have many more challenges ahead, and I’m confident your team is doing and will continue to do everything it can to meet and exceed the nation’s expectations for the Navy and all military branches.”
With four schoolhouse commands, two detachments, and training sites throughout the United States and Japan, CIWT is recognized as Naval Education and Training Command’s top learning center for the past three years. Training over 21,000 students every year, CIWT delivers trained information warfare professionals to the Navy and joint services. CIWT also offers more than 200 courses for cryptologic technicians, intelligence specialists, information systems technicians, electronics technicians, and officers in the information warfare community.