Inaugural Information Warfare Officer graduating

More than a year after its establishment, the first Information Warfare Officer (IWO) work group graduates will be joining the fleet.

CAPTION: Information Warfare Officer instructors Lieutenant Martin Anderson, left, and Lieutenant Commander Ryan Bidgood, right. Story and photo by Sub-Lieutenant Cinaed Finall.

The inaugural IWO Course started in January, with 13 officers trained in the broad spectrum of information warfare.

The course was held at HMAS Watson within the new Maritime Intelligence and Information Warfare School.

The role of an IWO is to generate and synchronise information with other effects to create cognitive supremacy and tactical advantage within the maritime domain.

IWO instructor Lieutenant Martin Anderson said the sphere of warfare has changed.

“The Navy’s mission to fight and win at sea begins long before we sail,” Lieutenant Anderson said.

“Achieving the information advantage is critical to ensure the best possible conditions of winning or even preventing a conflict.”

The new IWO trainees conducted level one initial employment training (IET) and were drilled in six key disciplines: electronic warfare; command, control and communication; cyberspace operations; space operations; information activities; and military public affairs.

Sub-Lieutenant Brandon Fletcher was a member of the inaugural class.

“IWOs don’t specialise at IET. Our main purpose is to be the conductor of information-related capabilities that fall under our six key disciplines,” Sub-Lieutenant Fletcher said.

“These disciplines help support our three lines of effort for information warfare at sea – that being assured C2 [command and control], battlespace awareness and integrated effects.

“IWOs will fight across all domains to ensure the dominance of the information environment and provide best IW posture for our ships to fight kinetically.”

Training has also included familiarisation visits in Sydney and Canberra to Information Warfare Force, Navy Intelligence and Information Warfare Branch, Defence Network Operations Centre and several Defence support industry organisations.

The inaugural IWOC class will graduate on August 3 and join the fleet for information warfare training consolidation.


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