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At NAWS China Lake, Scientists and Sailors Are Building the Future Fleet

By Adm. Robert Burke, Vice Chief of Naval Operations

On a recent swing to the West Coast, I visited Naval Air Weapons Station (NAWS) China Lake, home of the Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division (NAWCWD), for the first time.

This remote location has been a premiere spot for technology and an institution in naval weapons. Several physical features distinguish NAWS China Lake from any other Dept. of Defense property, to include the air field, surrounding mountains, access to ranges and open ocean, as well as the laboratory and testing space. The extensive ranges cover upwards of 1 million acres. The area is sprinkled with state-of-the-art industrial facilities.

Amid classified briefings and highly detailed exhibits of advanced weapons technology, what struck me the most was the people – passionate about the mission and incredibly forward-thinking. Each and every professional I met displayed pride and purpose. With more government civilians than Navy Sailors, NAWCWD China Lake is the bedrock of innovation and integration and a shining example of where government not only gets it right, but does it better.

Here, engineers and rocket scientists, test pilots and software technicians, and generations of high-tech employees are building the weapons of the future. In areas such as hypersonics, long-range precision munitions, and ground strike capabilities, the Sailors and civilians assigned to the NAWCWD China Lake team are experimenting and building things from scratch, charting the course for defense industry giants to move to production in many cases.

As a Navy, we need significant research laboratories and a place for civilian scientists, engineers, and innovators to create prototypes, test emerging technologies, and contribute to R&D initiatives that give us a competitive edge. This in-house, long-term continuity provides an invaluable mechanism to incubate our intellectual capital while insulated from the unpredictability of the current fiscal environment.

Staying ahead of our competitors and building the future fleet is happening at NAWCWD China Lake. The work at China Lake supports the full-spectrum warfighter and an integrated fleet, and I was thoroughly impressed by the time I spent there. If you have the chance, get out there and learn what they’re up to; I’m positive you’ll be impressed too!

At NAWS China Lake, Scientists and Sailors Are Building the Future Fleet

By Adm. Robert Burke, Vice Chief of Naval Operations

On a recent swing to the West Coast, I visited Naval Air Weapons Station (NAWS) China Lake, home of the Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division (NAWCWD), for the first time.

This remote location has been a premiere spot for technology and an institution in naval weapons. Several physical features distinguish NAWS China Lake from any other Dept. of Defense property, to include the air field, surrounding mountains, access to ranges and open ocean, as well as the laboratory and testing space. The extensive ranges cover upwards of 1 million acres. The area is sprinkled with state-of-the-art industrial facilities.

Amid classified briefings and highly detailed exhibits of advanced weapons technology, what struck me the most was the people – passionate about the mission and incredibly forward-thinking. Each and every professional I met displayed pride and purpose. With more government civilians than Navy Sailors, NAWCWD China Lake is the bedrock of innovation and integration and a shining example of where government not only gets it right, but does it better.

Here, engineers and rocket scientists, test pilots and software technicians, and generations of high-tech employees are building the weapons of the future. In areas such as hypersonics, long-range precision munitions, and ground strike capabilities, the Sailors and civilians assigned to the NAWCWD China Lake team are experimenting and building things from scratch, charting the course for defense industry giants to move to production in many cases.

As a Navy, we need significant research laboratories and a place for civilian scientists, engineers, and innovators to create prototypes, test emerging technologies, and contribute to R&D initiatives that give us a competitive edge. This in-house, long-term continuity provides an invaluable mechanism to incubate our intellectual capital while insulated from the unpredictability of the current fiscal environment.

Staying ahead of our competitors and building the future fleet is happening at NAWCWD China Lake. The work at China Lake supports the full-spectrum warfighter and an integrated fleet, and I was thoroughly impressed by the time I spent there. If you have the chance, get out there and learn what they’re up to; I’m positive you’ll be impressed too!

Unity in Tragedy: Statement From Commander of Navy Region Southeast

By Rear Adm. Gary Mayes

I just came from the funeral procession, and the remains of our three fallen Shipmates are currently on their way to Dover Air Force Base in Delaware.

Friday’s senseless act of violence took these young men from us, physically wounded eight others, and scarred the hearts of countless more.

On behalf of the entire Navy, I extend my deepest sympathies to the families of the Sailors whose lives were taken during this heinous act.

In painful times like these, we also see the true strength and character of our interagency partnerships. Naval Security Forces responded to the scene immediately; within minutes the Escambia County first responders arrived, and they worked together seamlessly in this crisis, just as they trained. This team hones skills they hoped they would never have to use, but when called upon they responded with such expertise and determination that they most certainly saved the lives of many others. The “whole of community” response continues, and the Navy will continue to work closely with local, county, state and federal law enforcement in support of the FBI’s investigation into this tragic incident.

For the Navy, our primary focus remains on taking care of the families and friends of the victims, as well as ensuring the Service members, civilians, and the families of NAS Pensacola receive the support that they need. The Navy chaplains are available for pastoral care, an Emergency Family Assistance Center has been established at the Fleet and Family Service Center, and additional counselors are available to help the team already here in Pensacola.

I urge anyone who feels they need a little extra support to reach out and get the help they need to process this event and rebuild and strengthen your personal resiliency. Asking for help is a sign of strength, and we are strongest as a team.

The installation is currently open only to mission essential personnel, and as it shifts back to routine access tomorrow morning, know that the security forces are doing what needs to be done to make NAS Pensacola and bases and installations around the world as safe as possible. We will continue to work with our partners in law enforcement to investigate, review and guard against future vulnerabilities and to safeguard the security of our service members and their families. Their safety is paramount.

The citizens of Pensacola have been incredibly generous with their thoughts and prayers, which are foundational and continue to make a huge difference during the process of healing and recovery. On behalf of Navy leadership, I would again like to thank the hard work and dedication of everyone here and the entire community.

USS Constitution Marks 10 Years as America’s Ship of State

By Mass Comm. Spec. 2nd Class Casey Scoular, USS Constitution Public Affairs

This year marks USS Constitution’s 222nd birthday—the big triple-two. Our ship was launched into Boston Harbor on Oct. 21, 1797, making her the oldest commissioned warship afloat in the world. 

This year also marks another big milestone: October heralds the 10th anniversary of Constitution’s designation as America’s Ship of State.

On Oct. 28, 2009, Congress passed the National Defense Authorization Act; section 1022 designates USS Constitution as America’s Ship of State.

BOSTON (July 1, 2019) Sailors assigned to USS Constitution furl the mizzen topsail during weekly sail training. Constitution’s crew members conduct weekly training to learn and retain sailing information. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Casey Scoular/Released)

But why? With so many titles and accomplishments, ranging from “Old Ironsides” to “the Eagle of the Seas” to “Boston’s only undefeated team” (33-0), why add “America’s Ship of State” to the mix? What exactly does a ship of state do?

Before we get into that, let’s look at how USS Constitution earned her awesome reputation.

At the start of her national service, USS
Constitution protected America’s merchants during the Quasi War with France and
had a few at-sea Ws under her belt by
the time she finished mopping up corsairs during the first Barbary War.

Her record at this time is 17-0; however, her greatest test was still to come: the powerful British royal navy.

The British were fighting Napoleonic France at sea and needed men for their navy. So they decided to start taking our Navy Sailors and forcibly drafting them into the Royal Navy. Not cool! The United States was fed up with this practice and the trade restrictions imposed against neutrals, so we declared war on Britain. So began the War of 1812.

“Constitution vs. Guerierre.” George Ropes, Jr. 1813 Oil on Panel, USS Constitution Museum Collection

At the outset of the war, we were looking at David-and-Goliath odds. The American people feared they would be back under British rule again because Britain had the best navy in the world. After the British naval victories over the French, Spanish, and Dutch navies during the Napoleonic Wars, the royal navy was seen as invincible.

But Isaac Hull and the crew of USS
Constitution changed that. 

USS Constitution faced HMS Guerriere in August of 1812 and defeated her in our Navy’s first frigate-to-frigate battle at sea. She earned the nickname “Old Ironsides” during that fight, when cannonballs were seen bouncing harmlessly off the side of her tough live-oak hull. Huzzah!

The American people welcomed Capt. Isaac Hull and his crew back to Boston as heroes.

Constitution’s victory had given the American people the hope they so desperately needed and proved that the royal navy could be beaten.

Constitution delivered more victories,
defeating another British frigate, HMS Java.

The royal navy’s confidence was shaken, and the British admiralty commanded captains to not engage American frigates unless in squadron force (two or more against one).

USS Constitution answered the challenge,
simultaneously defeating both HMS Cyane and HMS Levant in the last phase of the
war.

In 1815, the National Intelligencer, a famous newspaper of the day, hailed Constitution as a symbol of the up-and-coming United States:

“Let us keep Old Ironsides at home, she has literally become the nation’s ship and should thus be preserved in honorable pomp, as a glorious monument of her own and our other naval victories.”

Constitution became a symbol of the American
people and our ability to triumph over seemingly unbeatable odds. 

War of 1812 Constitution Anniversary Stamp USS Constitution, attributed to Michele Felice Corne, 1803. USS Constitution Museum Collection, U.S. Navy Loan

In the late 1820s, Constitution was awaiting repairs. Incorrectly believing the ship was destined for the scrapyard, physician-poet Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr. (father of the eventual Supreme Court justice) wrote a poem in 1830 that implored the government not to destroy this symbol of the United States.

His poem, titled “Old Ironsides” motivated the
citizens of Boston as well as the nation to demand Constitution’s immediate
repair.

Aye tear her tattered ensign down

Long has it waved on high,

And many an eye has danced to see

That banner in the sky;

Beneath it rung the battle shout,

And burst the cannon’s roar;—

The meteor of the ocean air

Shall sweep the clouds no more.

Constitution was repaired and put back into
service. Her 1844-46 world cruise exhibited the American flag around the world.

Now claiming the title of 32-0, she would claim one last victory at sea. On Nov. 3, 1853, while combating the slave trade, she captured an American slaving vessel, H.N. Gambrill, cementing her score at 33-0.

In 1860, USS Constitution evacuated the midshipmen from the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis to Newport, Rhode Island, in fear that the Confederates would capture the city and the beloved ship.

She served as a training ship from the 1860s until the 1880s, when she was taken off the active duty roster and resigned to service in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

Detail of the only known photograph of USS Constitution under sail, taken by Army Private Hendrickson, summer 1881, Hampton Roads, Virginia. [Courtesy Naval History & Heritage Command Detachment Boston]

In 1896, President Kennedy’s grandfather, Rep. John Fitzgerald, successfully campaigned to have Constitution moved back to Boston for her 100th birthday.

Again, the citizens of Boston and the United States
wanted Constitution to be honored and revered for her service.

During the early portion of the 20th century, Old Ironsides was in Boston and began falling into disrepair. The Navy said it would restore her, but it could not fund the full extent of the work needed.

Unsurprisingly, there was a huge outpouring of
support, and people from all over the United States contributed funds to the
restoration. School children from across the country even donated their pennies
to see Constitution restored.

The “Pennies Campaign” was a huge success, and from 1931-1934, Constitution traveled around the country on a national cruise to thank the citizens of the nation for their donations.

As far away from Boston as Bellingham, Washington, huge crowds of people came to see her. In the Puget Sound area alone, she attracted a crowd of more than 500,000 people.

She even served during WWII, as a receiving
barracks for troops transitioning between duty stations.

In 1976, during bicentennial celebrations, she hosted Queen Elizabeth II while on her tour around the country. By now, of course, our two countries had long been close allies.

Constitution represents the United States, from our ingenuity and fierce fighting spirit to our warm hospitality and friendship.

She has done so much for our country and the
people of our country have expressed so many times how much they love ‘Old
Ironsides’.

So to the question of why call her our Ship of State, I think the better question is: What took us so long?

But if you’re still wondering what exactly a Ship of State does, here’s what the aforementioned Defense Authorization Act states on the matter:

“It is the sense of Congress that the President, Vice President, executive branch officials, and members of Congress should use the USS Constitution for the conducting of pertinent matters of state, such as hosting visiting heads of state, signing legislation relating to the Armed Forces, and signing maritime related treaties.”

USS Constitution is tugged through Boston Harbor during Constitution’s birthday cruise. Constitution got underway to celebrate the ship’s 222nd. birthday and the Navy’s 244th birthday. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Apprentice Alec Kramer/Released)

Navy Information Warfare Then and Now: From the Civil War to Midway to 21st Century Great Power Competition

U.S. Fleet Cyber Command / U.S. 10th Fleet Public Affairs

With the United States and its adversaries returning to an era of Great Power Competition, in which new domains of cyber and space are rife with attacks below the level of open conflict, information warfare has never been so important to the security of the United States and its allies.  The upcoming release of the new film “Midway” reminds us all how Navy cryptologists, linguists, and intelligence personnel, the forerunners of modern information warriors, literally helped save the world 77 years ago.  Maintaining an edge over our adversaries in information warfare is just as critical and potentially game-changing today as it was on the eve of the battle that marked the turning point in the Pacific theater of World War II. 

170130-N-PP996-057
PACIFIC OCEAN (Jan. 30, 2017) Cryptologic Technician (Technical) 2nd Class Jonathan Morel, assigned to the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Michael Murphy (DDG 112), uses a radar tracking system to track surface contacts. Michael Murphy is on a western Pacific deployment with the Carl Vinson Carrier Strike Group as part of the U.S. Pacific Fleet-led initiative to extend the command and control functions of U.S. 3rd Fleet. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Danny Kelley/Released)

Naval information warfare traces its history to the
Civil War, when specially trained personnel intercepted and deciphered enemy
signals and formulated ways to protect their own communications. The first
radio transmission from a U.S. Navy ship in 1899 led to the assignment of radio
intelligence and communications security duties to Sailors and Marines.

During World War I, the Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI) in cooperation with MI-8, the cryptanalytic office in the Army’s Military Intelligence Division, solved a Japanese diplomatic code before the end of the war. Due to a lack of traffic and a lack of linguists, the office was quickly downsized at the end of the war.

Throughout the 1920s, Capt. Laurance F. Safford, regarded by many as the “father” of Navy cryptology, advocated more effort for Communications Intelligence (COMINT). Safford recruited promising cryptanalysts by putting puzzles in the Navy’s monthly Communications Bulletin, beginning in mid-1924. Over the years, he recruited many who sent in successful solutions.

The first pupil to come to Safford for training, in
1924, was Ensign Joseph N. Wenger. A more formal class in all aspects of COMINT
and communications security began the following year. Among the students in
that group was LT Joseph J. Rochefort. Both Wenger and Rochefort went on to
make significant contributions to American cryptology.

In October 1928, the Navy and Marine Corps’ first
training class of radio intercept operators convened. The school’s original
location was in a blockhouse on the roof of the old Navy Department
building.  Graduates were nicknamed the
“On-the-Roof Gang.”

From 1928 to 1941, the school graduated 176 Sailors
and Marines who were the first enlisted radio operators and formed the vanguard
of naval cryptology.

In a letter, dated May 13, 1929, recognizing the need
for radio intelligence, the Chief of Naval Operations indicated his intention
to establish a radio intelligence office with the Asiatic Fleet and to organize
cryptanalytic units afloat. Cryptologic units in Washington and Hawaii as well
as the establishment of a special cryptographic system strictly for COMINT were
then included in Navy war plans.

The increased emphasis on COMINT operations paid off
early. Larger numbers of intercept operators enabled the U.S. fleet to copy a
considerable volume of radio traffic from the Japanese fleet’s 1930 Grand Maneuvers.
These messages revealed Japan’s battle plan against the United States, Japanese
fleet mobilization procedures, and Japanese plans for defense of the western
Pacific. To the surprise of the Americans, the Japanese had an excellent grasp
of American war plans for the Pacific.

The evolution of naval cryptology, from 1924 to 1935,
gave rise to the Communications Security Group, which was established on March
11, 1935. This date is considered the birthday of Navy cryptology.

Following the outbreak of the Pacific War, December 7,
1941, when the Imperial Japanese Navy attacked the U.S. Pacific Fleet at Pearl
Harbor, Japanese armed forces conducted military operations throughout the
Pacific and Southeast Asia. The first phase of these operations, which was the
seizure of various island groups in the central and western Pacific, was
virtually complete by March 1942.

Progress against the Japanese Navy’s operational code,
JN-25, was a challenge. Prior to the attack on Pearl Harbor, only 10 to 15
percent of the code was being read.

By late spring of 1942, Cmdr. Joseph J. Rochefort, officer in charge of COMINT processing at Station Hypo, the Navy’s codebreaking organization located at Pearl Harbor, and Lt. Cmdr. Edwin T. Layton, the Pacific Fleet staff intelligence officer, were able to make educated guesses regarding the Japanese Navy’s movement.

On May 19, Rochefort and his team identified Midway and Dutch Harbor in the Aleutians as specific Japanese objectives. On May 22, following a radio deception operation, Fleet Radio Unit Melbourne, a U.S. fleet radio-intercept unit located in Melbourne, Australia, confirmed Midway as a target. Station Hypo then discovered the date cipher used in Japanese message traffic. Analysts could then determine exactly when the attack would take place. After examining previously intercepted messages, Hypo predicted an attack on Midway on June 4. Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, commander in chief, Pacific Fleet, used this estimate to plan American countermeasures that included reinforcement of the forces already on Midway.

During the height of WWII, the Navy’s communication
program comprised more than 22,000 officers and 225,000 Sailors.  Throughout the Korean, Vietnam and Cold War, information
warfare was vital to protecting the U.S. 
During that time, information warriors have played a direct role in
every U.S. conflict and have evolved to meet the dynamic challenges of modern
cyber warfare.

Part of that evolution included the establishment, on Feb. 6, 2004, of the Navy Cryptologic Technician (Networks) rating. It was designed to further develop a skilled work force to meet fleet requirements in computer network defense and other computer network operations.  The next year, the Navy renamed cryptologic officers “information warfare officers” to reflect the expanded competencies of information operations and cyber warfare.

The White House Cyberspace Policy Review of May 2009
stated that “America’s failure to protect cyberspace is one of the most urgent
national security problems facing the new administration.”

Two months later, Secretary of Defense Gates unveiled
his plan for military cyberspace operations. In a memo to the Secretaries of
the Armed Forces, he wrote, “Our increasing dependency on cyberspace, alongside
a growing array of cyber threats and vulnerabilities, adds a new element of
risk to our national security.

To address this risk effectively and to secure freedom
of action in cyberspace, the Department of Defense requires a command that
possesses the required technical capability and remains focused on the
integration of cyberspace operations. Further, this command must be capable of
synchronizing war-fighting effects across the global security environment as
well as providing support to civil authorities and international partners.”

In response, the Information Dominance Corps was
established, Oct. 1, 2009. The corps consists of four separate communities:
Information Warfare/Cryptologic Technicians; Intelligence/Intelligence
Specialists; Information Professionals and Technicians; and
Oceanographers/Aerographers.

On Jan. 29, 2010, U.S. 10th Fleet was recommissioned
and Fleet Cyber Command was established. The dual-hatted command assumed the
Navy’s cryptologic, information operations, network operations, cyber,
electronic warfare and space missions.

Vice Adm. Timothy “TJ” White, the Navy’s community
leader for Cryptology and Cyber Warfare, released on Feb. 8, 2019 a new vision
titled, “Navy Cryptologic & Cyber Warfare Community Vision” which serves as
an aligning narrative for the community. According to the vision, the Navy’s
Cryptologic and Cyber Warfare Community is responsible for delivering
competitive outcomes in all domains of warfare through the application of
Cyberspace Operations, Signals Intelligence, and Electronic Warfare.

The Navy views the electromagnetic spectrum-cyber environment as a primary warfighting domain. Information warfare officers and cryptologic technicians are the principal warfighters. Information warfare specialists are directly involved in every aspect of naval operations, deploying globally to support Navy and joint military requirements. Mirroring the impact that the forerunners of modern information specialists made during conflicts such as the Battle of Midway, they deliver vital information to decision makers by attacking, defending and exploiting networks to capitalize on vulnerabilities in the information environment and continue to defend the nation.  

NOTE: This blog is one of a four-part series to honor the Navy victory at the Battle of Midway and to highlight current Navy capabilities against modern and future U.S. adversaries.

Navy Information Warfare Then and Now: From the Civil War to Midway to 21st Century Great Power Competition

U.S. Fleet Cyber Command / U.S. 10th Fleet Public Affairs

With the United States and its adversaries returning to an era of Great Power Competition, in which new domains of cyber and space are rife with attacks below the level of open conflict, information warfare has never been so important to the security of the United States and its allies.  The upcoming release of the new film “Midway” reminds us all how Navy cryptologists, linguists, and intelligence personnel, the forerunners of modern information warriors, literally helped save the world 77 years ago.  Maintaining an edge over our adversaries in information warfare is just as critical and potentially game-changing today as it was on the eve of the battle that marked the turning point in the Pacific theater of World War II. 

170130-N-PP996-057
PACIFIC OCEAN (Jan. 30, 2017) Cryptologic Technician (Technical) 2nd Class Jonathan Morel, assigned to the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Michael Murphy (DDG 112), uses a radar tracking system to track surface contacts. Michael Murphy is on a western Pacific deployment with the Carl Vinson Carrier Strike Group as part of the U.S. Pacific Fleet-led initiative to extend the command and control functions of U.S. 3rd Fleet. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Danny Kelley/Released)

Naval information warfare traces its history to the
Civil War, when specially trained personnel intercepted and deciphered enemy
signals and formulated ways to protect their own communications. The first
radio transmission from a U.S. Navy ship in 1899 led to the assignment of radio
intelligence and communications security duties to Sailors and Marines.

During World War I, the Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI) in cooperation with MI-8, the cryptanalytic office in the Army’s Military Intelligence Division, solved a Japanese diplomatic code before the end of the war. Due to a lack of traffic and a lack of linguists, the office was quickly downsized at the end of the war.

Throughout the 1920s, Capt. Laurance F. Safford, regarded by many as the “father” of Navy cryptology, advocated more effort for Communications Intelligence (COMINT). Safford recruited promising cryptanalysts by putting puzzles in the Navy’s monthly Communications Bulletin, beginning in mid-1924. Over the years, he recruited many who sent in successful solutions.

The first pupil to come to Safford for training, in
1924, was Ensign Joseph N. Wenger. A more formal class in all aspects of COMINT
and communications security began the following year. Among the students in
that group was LT Joseph J. Rochefort. Both Wenger and Rochefort went on to
make significant contributions to American cryptology.

In October 1928, the Navy and Marine Corps’ first
training class of radio intercept operators convened. The school’s original
location was in a blockhouse on the roof of the old Navy Department
building.  Graduates were nicknamed the
“On-the-Roof Gang.”

From 1928 to 1941, the school graduated 176 Sailors
and Marines who were the first enlisted radio operators and formed the vanguard
of naval cryptology.

In a letter, dated May 13, 1929, recognizing the need
for radio intelligence, the Chief of Naval Operations indicated his intention
to establish a radio intelligence office with the Asiatic Fleet and to organize
cryptanalytic units afloat. Cryptologic units in Washington and Hawaii as well
as the establishment of a special cryptographic system strictly for COMINT were
then included in Navy war plans.

The increased emphasis on COMINT operations paid off
early. Larger numbers of intercept operators enabled the U.S. fleet to copy a
considerable volume of radio traffic from the Japanese fleet’s 1930 Grand Maneuvers.
These messages revealed Japan’s battle plan against the United States, Japanese
fleet mobilization procedures, and Japanese plans for defense of the western
Pacific. To the surprise of the Americans, the Japanese had an excellent grasp
of American war plans for the Pacific.

The evolution of naval cryptology, from 1924 to 1935,
gave rise to the Communications Security Group, which was established on March
11, 1935. This date is considered the birthday of Navy cryptology.

Following the outbreak of the Pacific War, December 7,
1941, when the Imperial Japanese Navy attacked the U.S. Pacific Fleet at Pearl
Harbor, Japanese armed forces conducted military operations throughout the
Pacific and Southeast Asia. The first phase of these operations, which was the
seizure of various island groups in the central and western Pacific, was
virtually complete by March 1942.

Progress against the Japanese Navy’s operational code,
JN-25, was a challenge. Prior to the attack on Pearl Harbor, only 10 to 15
percent of the code was being read.

By late spring of 1942, Cmdr. Joseph J. Rochefort, officer in charge of COMINT processing at Station Hypo, the Navy’s codebreaking organization located at Pearl Harbor, and Lt. Cmdr. Edwin T. Layton, the Pacific Fleet staff intelligence officer, were able to make educated guesses regarding the Japanese Navy’s movement.

On May 19, Rochefort and his team identified Midway and Dutch Harbor in the Aleutians as specific Japanese objectives. On May 22, following a radio deception operation, Fleet Radio Unit Melbourne, a U.S. fleet radio-intercept unit located in Melbourne, Australia, confirmed Midway as a target. Station Hypo then discovered the date cipher used in Japanese message traffic. Analysts could then determine exactly when the attack would take place. After examining previously intercepted messages, Hypo predicted an attack on Midway on June 4. Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, commander in chief, Pacific Fleet, used this estimate to plan American countermeasures that included reinforcement of the forces already on Midway.

During the height of WWII, the Navy’s communication
program comprised more than 22,000 officers and 225,000 Sailors.  Throughout the Korean, Vietnam and Cold War, information
warfare was vital to protecting the U.S. 
During that time, information warriors have played a direct role in
every U.S. conflict and have evolved to meet the dynamic challenges of modern
cyber warfare.

Part of that evolution included the establishment, on Feb. 6, 2004, of the Navy Cryptologic Technician (Networks) rating. It was designed to further develop a skilled work force to meet fleet requirements in computer network defense and other computer network operations.  The next year, the Navy renamed cryptologic officers “information warfare officers” to reflect the expanded competencies of information operations and cyber warfare.

The White House Cyberspace Policy Review of May 2009
stated that “America’s failure to protect cyberspace is one of the most urgent
national security problems facing the new administration.”

Two months later, Secretary of Defense Gates unveiled
his plan for military cyberspace operations. In a memo to the Secretaries of
the Armed Forces, he wrote, “Our increasing dependency on cyberspace, alongside
a growing array of cyber threats and vulnerabilities, adds a new element of
risk to our national security.

To address this risk effectively and to secure freedom
of action in cyberspace, the Department of Defense requires a command that
possesses the required technical capability and remains focused on the
integration of cyberspace operations. Further, this command must be capable of
synchronizing war-fighting effects across the global security environment as
well as providing support to civil authorities and international partners.”

In response, the Information Dominance Corps was
established, Oct. 1, 2009. The corps consists of four separate communities:
Information Warfare/Cryptologic Technicians; Intelligence/Intelligence
Specialists; Information Professionals and Technicians; and
Oceanographers/Aerographers.

On Jan. 29, 2010, U.S. 10th Fleet was recommissioned
and Fleet Cyber Command was established. The dual-hatted command assumed the
Navy’s cryptologic, information operations, network operations, cyber,
electronic warfare and space missions.

Vice Adm. Timothy “TJ” White, the Navy’s community
leader for Cryptology and Cyber Warfare, released on Feb. 8, 2019 a new vision
titled, “Navy Cryptologic & Cyber Warfare Community Vision” which serves as
an aligning narrative for the community. According to the vision, the Navy’s
Cryptologic and Cyber Warfare Community is responsible for delivering
competitive outcomes in all domains of warfare through the application of
Cyberspace Operations, Signals Intelligence, and Electronic Warfare.

The Navy views the electromagnetic spectrum-cyber environment as a primary warfighting domain. Information warfare officers and cryptologic technicians are the principal warfighters. Information warfare specialists are directly involved in every aspect of naval operations, deploying globally to support Navy and joint military requirements. Mirroring the impact that the forerunners of modern information specialists made during conflicts such as the Battle of Midway, they deliver vital information to decision makers by attacking, defending and exploiting networks to capitalize on vulnerabilities in the information environment and continue to defend the nation.  

NOTE: This blog is one of a four-part series to honor the Navy victory at the Battle of Midway and to highlight current Navy capabilities against modern and future U.S. adversaries.

Cyber Workforce: Critical to Defending the Navy in Cyberspace

By the Office of the Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Information Warfare

“As the greatest potential source of cybersecurity
vulnerabilities, the workforce level of knowledge, training and daily action
will either contribute to safe operations or present opportunities for
adversaries to exploit. “  SECNAV Cyber Readiness Review, 2019

To prevail in cyberspace against determined, well-resourced,
and highly skilled adversaries, the Navy must attract, train, and retain a
counterbalancing force of cybersecurity professionals capable of defending our
data, systems, and networks. Others have come to the same conclusion –
recruiting, developing, and managing cyber workforce talent are key themes in
every Federal and Department of Defense (DOD) cybersecurity policy.

Cybersecurity personnel are in high demand. To attract
qualified candidates, DOD and the Navy have either begun or expanded existing
initiatives to recruit, train and retain the cyber workforce.

  • Congress and DOD have approved direct hiring of government
    civilian cyber personnel and authorized special pay for them. Fleet Forces Command
    is in the second phase of implementing this new personnel system, called the
    Cyber Excepted Service.
  • The DOD Chief Information Officer (CIO) offers
    cyber recruitment scholarships for college students and retention scholarships
    for DOD Federal employees and military members. These incentives are available
    for current and prospective Navy personnel.
  • The Federal CIO’s Council has finished training
    two groups of students at the Federal Cybersecurity Reskilling Academy, which
    develops the next generation of cybersecurity talent from those already filling
    other civilian roles in government.  The
    Council is now evaluating results from these two groups to further refine the
    Reskilling Academy curriculum.    

To identify possible skill gaps, the Navy is coding its
military and civilian cyber billets by work role and required proficiency
level. This is a daunting task – there are 54 work roles, 3 levels of
proficiency for each role, and more than 36 thousand personnel filling cyber
positions – but the Navy will complete the coding quickly and correctly to
ensure it has the right numbers and types of people to defend itself in
cyberspace.

170803-N-JN784-021 CORAL SEA (August 3, 2017) Quarter Master 3rd Class Sharon Stone, from Pittsburgh, Pa., checks coordinates on a computer in the bridge of the amphibious dock landing ship USS Ashland (LSD 48) during a replenishment-at-sea. Ashland is on patrol in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region to enhance partnerships and be a ready-response force for any type of contingency (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Alexandra Seeley/Released)

The Navy is partnering with DOD to formalize the training,
education and/or certifications required for each role. The Navy has mapped its
schoolhouse training to the 54 roles, and DOD has begun mapping commercial
certifications to them as well. When finalized, the DOD roles qualification
matrix will be a valuable tool for the Cyber Workforce to assess their
suitability for a role and identify a path for career development.

Leaders, supervisors and members of the Cyber Workforce are
encouraged to take advantage of the available programs, authorizations and
opportunities.   

The critical importance of a ready cyber workforce is well recognized
and the Navy is taking steps to close readiness gaps because a fully manned,
well trained, and highly proficient Cyber Workforce increases our warfighting
capability by reducing cybersecurity vulnerabilities. 

Then and Now: MIDWAY and the U.S. Navy Aircraft Carrier

By Vice Adm. DeWolfe Miller III, Commander, Naval Air Forces/Commander, Naval Air Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet

Midway.
The mere mention of it warms the heart of a U.S. aircraft carrier Sailor. At Midway
Island, American aircraft carriers secured the greatest victory in our Navy’s
history and changed the course of World War II. The aviators who served and
flew off carriers Enterprise,
Hornet
and Yorktown
struck a decisive blow against the powerful Japanese fleet. During the Battle
of Midway, the aircraft carrier proved to be the preeminent weapon system in
the naval arsenal, a distinction that it holds today and will hold for the
foreseeable future.

SBD Dauntless dive bombers from USS Hornet (CV-8) approaching the burning Japanese heavy cruiser Mikuma to make the third set of attacks on her, during the early afternoon of 6 June 1942. Mikuma had been hit earlier by strikes from Hornet and USS Enterprise (CV-6), leaving her dead in the water and fatally damaged. Photo was enlarged from a 16mm color motion picture film. Note bombs hung beneath these planes. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.

Midway,
a feature-length film scheduled for release on November 8, tells the story of
the Sailors and aviators who fought so bravely in June 1942. This retelling
comes at a critical time for our Navy and our nation. Seeing the attack on Pearl
Harbor and the Battle of Midway on the big screen serves as a reminder of the cost
of unpreparedness in an age of great
power competition
.

Under the brave leadership of Admirals Raymond
Spruance
and Frank
Fletcher
, our Sailors displayed toughness and answered the call. Young
aviators, lacking experience and flying planes that were no match for the
Japanese aircraft, stared death in the face and delivered. Overcoming long odds,
these heroes carried the day and prevailed in war at sea.

USS Enterprise (CV-6) steaming at high speed at about 0725 hrs, 4 June 1942, seen from USS Pensacola (CA-24). The carrier has launched Scouting Squadron Six (VS-6) and Bombing Squadron Six (VB-6) and is striking unlaunched SBD aircraft below in preparation for respotting the flight deck with torpedo planes and escorting fighters. USS Northampton (CA-26) is in the right distance, with SBDs orbiting overhead, awaiting the launch of the rest of the attack group. Three hours later, VS-6 and VB-6 fatally bombed the Japanese carriers Akagi and Kaga. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the U.S. National Archives.

Unlike the fleet of late 1941 and early 1942, today’s
aircraft carriers are trained, equipped, and ready for a high-end fight. The large-deck
nuclear-powered aircraft carrier and embarked carrier air wing are relevant and
potent year after year and decade after decade because they remain lethal,
agile, and resilient. Modern carrier strike groups (CSGs) comprise an
ever-changing combination of cutting-edge technology, next generation aircraft,
and advanced weapons systems to remain dominant over realized and potential
threats. They are central
to conduct of Distributed
Maritime Operations
within the modern Fleet Design.

Torpedo Squadron SIX (VT-6) TBD-1 aircraft are prepared for launching on USS Enterprise (CV-6) at about 0730–0740, 4 June 1942. Eleven of the 14 TBDs launched from Enterprise are visible. Three more TBDs and ten F4F fighters must still be pushed into position before launching can begin. The TBD in the left front is Number 2 (Bureau No. 1512), flown by Ensign Severin L. Rombach and Aviation Radioman 2nd Class W. F. Glenn. Along with eight other VT-6 aircraft, this plane and its crew were lost attacking Japanese aircraft carriers somewhat more than two hours later. USS Pensacola (CA-24) is in the right distance and a destroyer is in plane guard position at left (80-G-41686).

The CSG provides our national command
authority with options, access, and a survivable forward presence that allows
for a rapid response to a wide spectrum of threats or natural disasters. The speed,
composition, integration, and maneuverability of a CSG allow it to penetrate
contested waters and airspace, enabling the embarked air wing to project unrelenting
power over great distances. The CSG’s ability to sail and fight anywhere in the
maritime domain enables the United States to continue to secure peace,
stability, and strategic lines of commerce and communications around the world.

191020-N-JY233-1048
ARABIAN SEA (Oct. 20, 2019) Sailors upload ordnance to an F/A-18E Super Hornet attached to “Fist of the Fleet” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 25 on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72). Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group is deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations in support of naval operations to ensure maritime stability and security in the Central Region, connecting the Mediterranean Sea and the Pacific Ocean through the western Indian Ocean and three strategic choke points. With Abraham Lincoln as the flagship, deployed strike group assets include staffs, ships and aircraft of Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 12, Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 2, the guided-missile cruiser USS Leyte Gulf (CG 55) and Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 7. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Mohamed Labanieh/Released)

America requires the right aircraft
carriers—and enough of them—to operate with allies, overmatch adversaries, and
defend national interests in this age of great power competition. In the
future, when the president and fleet commanders ask the familiar question,
“Where are the carriers?” the answer must be, “On station and ready.”

And manned with Aviators and Sailors
with the same grit and determination as their predecessors at Midway.

NOTE: This blog is the first of a four-part series to honor the Navy victory at the Battle of Midway and to highlight current Navy capabilities against modern and future U.S. adversaries.

How NSS Reforms Helped Us Fix Our Squadrons

By: Cmdr. Kelly Borden, VFA-122 Maintenance Officer

Achieving 343 mission-capable Super Hornets was a great accomplishment. It was no small feat; it was a herculean effort we should all be proud of. Here at Naval Air Station (NAS) Lemoore, our focus is now on sustaining these numbers.

F/A-18 E Super Hornet
190916-N-MM912-3041
ARABIAN SEA (Sept. 16, 2019) An F/A-18E Super Hornet attached to the Sidewinders of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 86 launches from the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72). The Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group is deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations in support of naval operations to ensure maritime stability and security in the Central Region, connecting the Mediterranean and the Pacific through the western Indian Ocean and three strategic choke points. With Abraham Lincoln as the flagship, deployed strike group assets include staffs, ships and aircraft of Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 12, Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 2, the guided-missile cruiser USS Leyte Gulf (CG 55) and Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 7. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Michael Singley/Released)

Last year, when then-Secretary Mattis ordered the Navy to get to 80% mission-capable, we at the West Coast Fleet Replacement Squadron (FRS) for the F/A-18E/F, VFA-122, had just 17 mission-capable jets out of 46 available. We needed parts, equipment and experienced personnel.

As NSS-A (Naval Sustainment System–Aviation) kicked off, we started to transfer our long-term down aircraft to the Naval Aviation Maintenance Center for Excellence, which enabled us to better focus our resources on our flyable jets. We gave them more than a dozen long-term down aircraft, and our numbers dipped to 11 mission-capable out of 32 total. As a result, we started to notice a reduction in distractions and an increased focus on making mission-capable aircraft that were immediately able to go on the flight schedule.

In January, representatives from the Boston Consulting Group came to NAS Lemoore. These commercial aviation experts helped airlines maintain exceptional aircraft mission-capable rates. There was some skepticism at first; we’re not exactly a for-profit operation but for the most part, we were willing to jump headlong into their reforms. After all, we had been doing things the same way for years and were looking at many long-term down jets; what did we have to lose?

One of the most powerful reforms we made is making crew leads for individual aircraft. Each jet that is down for maintenance now has a petty officer in charge of it. That sailor is responsible for coordinating all maintenance requirements, leading a team of maintainers, and coming up with a delivery date to the squadron—and meeting it. The petty officers took ownership of the aircraft, telling us what they needed, instead of the other way around. The fact that our maintainers were more invested in the results and were being held accountable drove success. It also allowed our chief petty officers to work the big-picture details and reduce barriers for all of the jets.

After several months of implementing the O-level (squadron) reforms, enthusiasm increased, and we turned a corner. We started to realize we were capable of meeting the 80 percent goal, something that many thought we couldn’t do. Our mission-capable aircraft rate has increased every month. Today, we have 31 mission-capable jets out of 42 at VFA-122. We have bigger classes of replacement aircrew and bigger training detachments—and we are moving the needle for combat readiness.

NSS-A is the first time in my 29-year career that we have seen the Navy take a holistic approach to attack Super Hornet readiness. We have had tremendous support from the air wings, Strike Fighter Wings, the Fleet Readiness Center, the supply and engineering communities—the list goes on and on. I’m happy to be a part of it.

Our Sailors have increased their knowledge and experience under the crew lead approach, and they’ll be better chiefs as a result. If we continue to get the resources and support from our leadership, we are confident that we can sustain strike fighter readiness and keep improving. Navy leadership has removed some of the barriers, and through the hard work of our Sailors, we’re putting more jets into the air. Now our job is to keep ’em flying.

Remembering the Battle of Midway

By Rear Adm. Roy Kelley

Commander, Naval Air Force Atlantic

If time travel were possible, it would be interesting to go back and watch the Battle of Midway unfold. Sitting in the radio room, I could listen to pilots give updates on the position of the Japanese fleet. Then I would make my way to the flight deck and stand in awe watching Navy Avengers and Wildcats launch and recover. How amazing it would be to see and hear firsthand the actions of brave Sailors who literally reshaped history and the world as we know it today.

As a member of the Naval Air Force Atlantic team, the Battle of Midway is especially close to my heart because of the incredible impact it had on the Navy, Naval aviation and the evolution of how we conduct war from the sea.

Battle of Midway, June 1942. Torpedo Squadron Six (VT-6) TBD-1 aircraft are prepared for launching on USS Enterprise (CV-6) at about 0730-0740 , June 4, 1942.Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.

From 1942 to 2019, over the course of 77 years, many aspects of naval warfare have evolvedbut some things remain resolute. During World War II, the aircraft carrier and its embarked air wing replaced the battleship as the most powerful naval offensive weapons system; that tide has not shifted.

It is amazing to see aircraft carriers are just as strategically vital to our nation’s defense now as then. While the concept of launching and recovering aircraft at sea has remained the same, the capability and lethality of our flattops has changed enormously.

The carriers at Midway were 820 feet long and dependent on oilers for fuel. Modern carriers are nearly 1,100 feet long and run on nuclear power. They can remain at sea for 25 years before needing to refuel.

As for our aircraft, the evolution is striking. Modern jets and helicopters have an increased lethality and can conduct a much wider range of missions, to include anti-submarine warfare, intelligence gathering, search and rescue, precision strike, offensive and defensive counter-air and many others.

One area where you would find little difference, however, is the quality of our men and women serving in uniform. From the Revolutionary War through the Battle of Midway to our ships deployed around the world today, our Sailors transcend time, passing pride, patriotism and professionalism from one generation to the next.

Those serving today are a direct reflection of the Sailors that stood on the bridge, worked on the flight decks and sat in the cockpit of aircraft taking off from USS Yorktown, USS Enterprise and USS Hornet in June 1942. I have no doubt that just like their predecessors, these dedicated and extremely bright men and women will lead the next “greatest generation.”

In 1942, our Navy was the only thing standing between freedom and tyranny. And ironically, today we are facing similar global threats around the world.

 

GULF OF ALASKA (May 25, 2019) The aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) transits the Gulf of Alaska. Theodore Roosevelt is conducting routine operations in the Eastern Pacific. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Erick A. Parsons/Released)

Our fleet of 11 aircraft carriers have traveled millions of miles across the world’s oceans to fight our adversaries, deter aggression and ensure international waters remain free. Our current adversaries may be flying a different flag than those in 1942, but their intent to restrict access and intimidate other nations on the high seas is something we have seen before.

The aircraft carrier proved its worth at Midway. And today and for decades to come, our Nimitz- and Ford-class carriers will remain the backbone of the fleet.

Three U.S. Navy aircraft carriers at Midway turned the tide of the war in the Pacific. Today, at this moment, we have four carriers at sea: Lincoln, Reagan, Truman and Eisenhower. Each is manned by our nation’s best, prepared to take the fight to our enemies and ensure tyranny remains far from our shores.

For those who served at the Battle of Midway, we thank you for stepping forward to defend our great nation. For those who gave their lives during this historic engagement, your sacrifice was not in vain and will forever be rememberedespecially by your shipmates in Naval aviation.