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SMWDC Breaks Ground on Surface Advanced Warfighting School

by Petty Officer 1st Class Devin Lowe
19 July 2022 Naval Surface and Mine Warfighting Development Center’s (SMWDC’s) Surface Advanced Warfighting School (SAWS) broke ground Tuesday onboard Naval Base San Diego (NBSD) for the refurbishment of two buildings (3303 and 3292) to collocate all Warfare Tactics Instructor (WTI) courses of instruction (COI), Tactics, Techniques and Procedures (TTP) development, and Advanced COI classroom training.

SAWS achieved initial operational capability January 2022 and anticipates achieving full operational capability in 2026.

“Once the construction is complete, the separate, redundant, administrative and classroom-instruction functions from four separate WTI COIs will be replaced by one consolidated schoolhouse where cross-domain warfighting innovation is improved, and we are making more WTIs available to the Fleet,” said SAWS Director, Capt. Steven McDowell.

At full capability, all WTI candidates will complete their training in San Diego, becoming warfighting experts in one of the four surface WTI warfare areas – amphibious warfare (AMW), anti-submarine warfare / surface warfare (ASW/SUW), integrated air and missile defense (IAMD), and mine warfare (MIW).

“SAWS is an important element of SMWDC’s reorganization, we needed to become a more efficient and functional organization,” said McDowell. “All of the WTI and TTP production was given to SAWS for efficiency. It gives us the ability to do more with what we have and strengthen our WTIs and our organization.”

One change SAWS is making in TTP development is standing up communities of focus - focus groups made up of subject matter experts throughout SMWDC designed to tackle specific problems. All WTIs that graduate from SAWS will be assigned a community of focus alongside civilian experts.

“So much thought and effort has been put toward the future of SMWDC and the WTI program, we want to ensure we are making the schoolhouse the best it can be,” said McDowell. “Growing WTIs is at the forefront of this operation, and we hope that we will not only see a great increase in WTI production, but an increase in the strength and camaraderie of the WTI cadre as a whole.”

Plans for the construction include a total of six classrooms designed to hold approximately 25 students each, two modular classrooms designed to hold a total of 36 students each and state of the art trainers. In addition to the classrooms, there will be several conference rooms, workstations and office spaces to accommodate instructors and staff.

Top-talented SWOs interested in joining the SMWDC team and becoming WTIs can send an email to for more information. For more information about SMWDC visit or

Commander, Naval Surface Forces, U.S. Pacific Fleet, 2841 Rendova Rd. San Diego, CA 92155-5490
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Commander, Naval Surface Forces, U.S. Pacific Fleet, 2841 Rendova Rd. San Diego, CA 92155-5490

This is an official
U.S. Navy website

U.S. Pacific Fleet
2841 Rendova Rd
San Diego, CA

Public Affairs Officer

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