The Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) said on Monday that Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWARSYSCOM) is changing its name to Naval Information Warfare Systems Command (NAVWARSYSCOM), highlighting its focus on information warfare beyond the space domain.
He announced the change during the Information Warfare Senior Leadership Symposium on Monday, with the change taking effect immediately.
“We have been on a steady drumbeat since the issuance of the Design for Maintaining Maritime Superiority to further normalize information warfare into the way we do operations and warfighting in the Navy. Today, we will take an important step in that direction as we rename the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command to the Naval Information Warfare Systems Command,” Adm. John Richardson said.
“This new name more accurately describes the full totality of the mission, supporting naval warfare — from seabed to space,” he added.
In a statement, the Navy said the change is meant “to recognize the power that information warfare brings to the fight.” It added this aligns the command name with the mission to identify, develop, deliver, and sustain information warfare services and capabilities enabling naval, joint, coalition, and other missions.
“This name change underscores the importance of information warfare in providing our fleet with an unfair advantage in today’s complex and increasingly competitive security environment,” NAVWARSYSCOM Commander Rear Adm. Christian Becker said in a statement. He underscored information is a “fundamental element of warfare” and “an essential concept of the Navy’s strategy” in the new era of great power competition.
The service said this name change also brings a renewed clarity of mission and purpose for the stakeholders throughout the Navy.
“We have been at the center of incorporating advanced information warfare technologies that enable new operational concepts for decades. Information Warfare has been and will continue to be our central focus, and now our name accurately reflects this focus,” the command’s executive director Patrick Sullivan said in a statement.
The change from SPAWAR to NAVWAR follows the February name change of its Echelon III systems centers into warfighting centers.
The SPAWAR Systems Center Atlantic in Charleston, S.C., and SPAWAR Systems Center Pacific in San Diego, Calif. were changed to Naval Information Warfare Centers (NIWS) Atlantic and Pacific, respectively (Defense Daily, Feb. 13).
At the time, Becker said the missions were staying the same but the name highlights the focus on information warfare.
“The missions will stay the same but a name’s important because it tells us the focus that we need to have on information warfare,” Becker said.
The Navy said these earlier changes also help align the naming convention with Naval Air Systems Command’s air warfare centers and Naval Sea Systems Command’s surface and undersea warfare centers.
The Navy first established the Naval Electronic Systems Command in 1966, one of five commands under Naval Material Command. Then in 1985, the Navy disestablished the material command and Naval Electronics Systems Command became the Echelon II command SPAWAR under the CNO.