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Shaping the Navy of today and tomorrow

January 2011 Navy

By RADM Wendi Carpenter, Commander, Navy Warfare Development Command Norfolk

A unique active, reserve and civilian blend spearheads innovation at the Navy Warfare Development Command

Today’s Continuum of Service

The Navy’s Global Force for Good is composed of a strong team of professionals, all seamlessly integrated: Active Component (AC), Reserve Component (RC), and civilians. The RC of the Navy and the other services is a critical player and force multiplier in today’s Global Maritime Environment. The Navy’s RC, comprised of those who span the reaches of the professional community, can be anyone from a seasoned veteran to a young and aspiring scholar. Gone are the days of considering the RC as only “Weekend Warriors.” The paradigm has changed dramatically in recent years. The Navy’s RC is now both a strategic and an operational reserve force that fights and deploys worldwide on a daily basis and is tightly integrated with its AC counterparts. RC manning may be chosen to mirror or to complement the AC, depending upon the mission and nature of the work, as either part-time or full-time. Additionally, it is not uncommon now for AC Sailors to transition to the RC, or back again, multiple times over the course of a career, executing a “continuum of service” through various programs now in place to facilitate such a transition; but every case will be different, based upon the needs of the Navy and the desires and life phases of the Sailor.

Navy Warfare Development Command (NWDC)

For example, here at the Navy Warfare Development Command (NWDC), both the Commander and Deputy Commander are part of the RC. The Commander, Rear Admiral Wendi Carpenter, an aviator by trade, is on a long-term recall as Commander and has frequently accepted recalls for varying periods, with their length tailored to the mission at hand. She has served in a variety of positions at Flag rank, including a stint as Deputy Region Commander, Vice Director of Standing Joint Force Headquarters (USJFCOM), and nearly two years as Deputy Commander of U.S. Second Fleet. With a background heavily steeped in concepts, doctrine, training, and organizational transformation from 15 years of assignments to senior Fleet staffs (Carrier Group Four, Naval Forces Europe and Sixth Fleet), thorough immersion in the joint and coalition arenas, and experience in command positions at OPNAV and Second Fleet, she was a logical choice to take command of NWDC. The Deputy of NWDC, Rear Admiral Ken Carodine, is in his first Flag assignment, serving regularly on short-term orders and dedicating approximately 50% of his time to support NWDC and Navy Personnel Command (NPC). A surface warfare officer by military training, Rear Admiral Carodine has highly developed business skills and also information systems expertise. Like Rear Admiral Carpenter, he has also served on senior Fleet staffs and is well versed in the challenges the warfighter must face.

Unlike their AC counterparts, assignments for RC can often be determined in a more “hand-picked” fashion; and with the variation in career paths among RC Sailors, experience may be gained that is nontraditional for an AC Sailor. Those additional skills may make a RC Sailor ideal for a particular position. RC Sailors can, and often are, selected for certain jobs based on unique skill sets. At other key positions at NWDC are hand-selected RC Sailors who are helping spearhead concepts and deliver capability. Those individuals are serving on active duty periods of varying length. In a parttime capacity, working through drill periods and short term orders are the members of the NWDC reserve unit who are tightly integrated with the command, working in the experimentation directorate or reviewing analysis and publications at periodic intervals.

NWDC is a key source for innovative solutions in concepts and doctrine to enhance maritime capability across the spectrum of operations. Established in 1998 to coordinate the development of concepts, doctrine, lessons learned, analysis, modeling and simulation, and experimentation, NWDC was originally assigned to report to the Naval War College but is now assigned to U.S. Fleet Forces Command (USFF) and OPNAV (as Executive Agent for Concepts). The command works in a highly collaborative fashion across a myriad of other Navy, joint, and coalition organizations to facilitate warfare development, at times supported, but often supporting. The primary customer of NWDC is first and foremost the Fleet.

As a result of the Base Realignment and Closure Commission (BRAC) legislation of 2005, NWDC has recently moved from Sims Hall in Newport, RI, to the new location in Norfolk. At NWDC’s groundbreaking ceremony in June 2008, Rear Admiral Carpenter stated, “the move to Norfolk taps into a synergy with other key commands in the Hampton Roads area and provides richer opportunity to collaborate and impact.” The BRAC is now complete (30 Sep 10) and the new building is fully occupied and operational.

NWDC: Preparing for tomorrow; delivering today

NWDC strives to predict and assist the Navy in preparation of future trends in warfare and in the global maritime environment, but is actively involved in solving today’s warfighting challenges through delivery of a myriad of products and services that range from warfighting concepts of operations, to doctrine or Fleet Synthetic Training (FST). There is not a better group of individuals to provide this service to the Navy, with a day-today focus on warfighting challenges of today and regular analysis of emerging trends.

NWDC: Executive Agent of Concept Generation and Concept Development

The Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) established the Navy Concept Generation and Concept Development (CGCD) Program in June 2008 with NWDC as the Executive Agent. In the execution of that very important mission, the goal is to develop capability through a collaborative approach that produces Navy strategic and operational concepts, influences the tactical level, and provides the best and most affordable capabilities to the warfighter. The end user – the Fleet warfighter – is involved in the process in key ways to ensure solutions are feasible not just economically, but make sense for warfighting effectiveness. The importance of this approach cannot be underestimated in its strategic effects. In recent years, NWDC has shaped research on potential solutions within technology, striving to provide the most effective and affordable capabilities to the Fleet. There is an open invitation for any organization to partner with NWDC on generating conceptual ideas and driving development of technology that provides potential capabilities through the Navy’s CGCD Program.

NWDC: Home to Navy’s Doctrine, Navy Lessons Learned, and State of the Art Modeling and Simulation (M&S)

In addition to NWDC’s role as Executive Agent for the CGCD program, the Command is also home to key Navy doctrine, Navy Lessons Learned, and the Navy’s Center for Advanced Modeling and Simulation (NCAMS).

The new modeling and simulation center is 10,000 square feet of stateof- the-art equipment, which supports the Navy Continuous Training Environment, Navy Experimentation, and Concepts of Operations development. “This facility will enhance our ability to collaborate with the warfighter and more rapidly respond to meeting the needs of the Fleet,” said Rear Admiral Carpenter. “It is going to allow us to gain efficiencies and greater effectiveness in ways we probably cannot even fully imagine now; but with the continued revolution in computers and information, it adds an enhanced dimension to the art of capturing what is on the horizon. It is a centerpiece of validation for concepts and doctrine through wargaming and experimentation, particularly due to the ability to connect worldwide to other nodes located in fleet concentration areas or with coalition nations.”

Leveraging the Reserve to Advance the Navy

Most of the NWDC personnel have prior active duty experience in a variety of the armed services (Reserve Component, civilians and contractors included). The easily recognized benefit is not having the requirement for training people in key skill sets, organizational understanding, or cultural understanding. NWDC is immediately able to leverage the wealth of knowledge and experience acquired in both military and civilian sectors. With the RC in particular, this enables them to be tremendous force multipliers and employed as unique assets since they are bringing currency in both civilian and military areas. This duality often enables a Reserve to approach a problem differently than an AC counterpart, and so improves the outcomes of our teams.

In addition to the depth in technical expertise and breadth gained by serving the profession of arms, the RC are not required to move as often and complete a “continuum of service” in units with a sometimes longer assignment period. The command has individuals who serve with other service reserve forces as well. For example, our current strategic communications expert is an Air Force Reserve officer. NWDC has enjoyed the benefits of having Guardsmen and Army RC. Personnel in the NWDC Reserve unit help provide continuity to move forward, rapidly or meet surge requirements. This builds not only unparalleled levels of continuity, but also strongly contributes to innovation possibilities through the wide diversity of the teams. It short, it helps drive excellence.

NOTE: Coming soon... New Headquarters and NCAMS unveiled

A small ribbon-cutting ceremony was held in June of 2010 for the new home of NWDC in Norfolk, Virginia. Following a very busy fall schedule and the full completion of the lab, NWDC will open the facility for a VIP tour soon, presenting what will be the first opportunity for visitors and guests to view the remarkable NCAMS facility and envision its capability and potential.

The three-story, 84,849 square foot NWDC Headquarters holds new office space for approximately 300 personnel at the Naval Station. The personnel at NWDC can certainly claim global reach with a staff including foreign liaison officers and personnel remotely assigned to partner locations such as San Diego, CA; Pearl Harbor, HI; and Yokosuka, Japan, for on-site work with the fleet.

Summary

NWDC is a command truly unique in its mission, nature, and impact, and one that knows fully how to maximize the contributions of the Nation’s Reserve Component forces, as well as joint and coalition officers assigned. NWDC is tangibly and visibly shaping the Navy of today and tomorrow from concepts through doctrine development and in key mission areas such as fleet synthetic training; with a pivotal place in our Navy, it is also influencing the joint and coalition arenas as well.

Composed of active duty, reserve and civilians, NWDC is home to the full spectrum of communities. Now that the command has one central location from which to work, and the new state-of-the-art facility, the innovative potential is unlimited.

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