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First NIOC Stands Up as NSGAs Align with NETWARCOM

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS050729-02
Release Date: 7/29/2005 12:26:00 PM

By Chief Journalist (SW/AW) Joseph Gunder, Naval Network Warfare Command

NORFOLK, Va. (NNS) -- The Navy took the first step to integrate all of its Information Operations capabilities into one team July 27 with the disestablishment of Fleet Information Warfare Center (FIWC), Detachment San Diego and Naval Security Group Activity (NSGA) San Diego, while establishing a new combined command - Navy Information Operations Command (NIOC) San Diego.

The ceremony marking the stand-up of NIOC San Diego included a change of command, which was conducted aboard the former USS Midway (CV 41), a museum berthed in San Diego harbor. Cryptologic and information operations functions from the two previous commands are being rolled into the NIOC, creating new synergies out of their overlapping skill-sets.

NIOC San Diego will be led by Cmdr. Eric Dietz, formerly the officer-in-charge of FIWC Detachment San Diego. He assumed command at the ceremony from Capt. Gary Burnette, formerly commanding officer of NSGA San Diego.

“I am honored and definitely feel privileged to be entrusted with command of what is the first of several Navy Information Operations Commands to be established,” Dietz said. “The merger of Fleet Information Warfare Center Detachment San Diego and Naval Security Group Activity San Diego, and the superb Information Warriors that made - and will continue to make up - their ranks, leads the way in the ongoing effort to transform Naval Information Operations. I am supremely confident that we shall succeed, blazing new trails and making a tangible and significant contribution in our nation’s ongoing war on terrorism.”

Dietz previously served as cryptologic resource coordinator for Commander, Cruiser/Destroyer Group (CCDG) 1, embarked aboard USS Constellation (CV 64) for operations Enduring Freedom, Southern Watch and later, Iraqi Freedom. He stayed with CCDG 1 after the command shifted flags to USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) in August 2003 and participated in Exercise Summer Pulse ’04, as well as SIFOREX/Unitas exercises with various South American countries. Some of his prior assignments include a tour in the Cryptologic/Information Warfare Directorate of Commander in Chief, U.S. Atlantic Fleet (now Commander, U.S. Fleet Forces Command); and the OUTBOARD division officer aboard USS South Carolina (CGN 37).

“When you look at what NSG’s charter has been for the last 70 years – it has been information warfare (IO),” said Vice Adm. James D. McArthur, commander of Naval Network Warfare Command (NETWARCOM), who presided over the ceremony. “Now these functions will be at NETWARCOM, and we will be able to provide an integrated, synchronized team in the area of information and network warfare. And with this merger today, we now have our first command that will lead the way to full spectrum Information Operations in addition to the cryptologic mission.”

Information operations is the warfare area composed of five core integrated capabilities: Electronic Warfare (EW), Computer Network Operations (CNO), Psychological Operations (PSYOP), Military Deception (MILDEC) and Operational Security (OPSEC) that work with supporting and related capabilities to influence, disrupt, corrupt or usurp an adversary's decision-making while protecting one's own.

NIOC San Diego is at an Echelon V level under NETWARCOM (Echelon III), based in Norfolk, Va. The parent command of NIOC San Diego is FIWC in Norfolk, Va., which itself will be renamed NIOC Norfolk in early November as part of the realignment. NIOC Norfolk will report directly to NETWARCOM.

The consolidation and name change in San Diego are the beginning of a Navywide plan to integrate all cryptologic and information operations functions into NETWARCOM’s Information Operations Directorate. By Oct. 1, Naval Security Group field activities worldwide will become either NIOCs or the smaller NIODs (Navy Information Operations Detachment).

Lt. Cmdr. Grayson Morgan of NETWARCOM’s Enterprise Transformation Group explained the reason for the realignments is efficiency.

"We’ve got a lot of resources in the Navy that are tied together with the common threads of information operations and information warfare. Putting them under one command streamlines the overhead, the admin processes, which are there to make the warfighter’s job easier. Their jobs essentially will not change. By streamlining the chain of command, the warfighters will be able to go out and do the mission much easier and faster.”

On Sept. 30, Naval Security Group headquarters at Fort George G. Meade, Md., will disestablish with its commander, Rear Adm. Andrew Singer, being aligned into NETWARCOM as the director of information operations while continuing to serve as head of the Navy’s Service Cryptology Element.

"This next version of Naval Network Warfare Command brings to our Navy the increased power of information operations, our networks and intelligence as a coherent operational art,” Singer said about the new alignment. “Bringing these together delivers to Navy and joint commanders an unprecedented level of IO expertise and responsiveness that hunts, understands and changes the information environment to meet peace, crisis and wartime objectives.”

A number of personnel and other functions will remain at Fort Meade, Md., as components of NETWARCOM to uphold ongoing responsibilities in support of the National Security Agency.

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