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U.S. Fleet Forces Command (USFFC)

Information Warfare Training Command Virginia Beach Conducts Change of Command

by Lt. Jamie Miller
13 July 2022
Capt. Marc Ratkus, commanding officer, Center for Information Warfare Training Center, presented Cmdr. James Brennan, former commanding officer of Information Warfare Training Command Virginia Beach, with a Meritorious Service Medal earned during his time in command at the IWTC Virginia Beach change of command ceremony held at Naval Air Station Oceana Dam Neck Annex on June 30, 2022.
Capt. Marc Ratkus, commanding officer, Center for Information Warfare Training Center, presented Cmdr. James Brennan, former commanding officer of Information Warfare Training Command Virginia Beach, with a Meritorious Service Medal earned during his time in command at the IWTC Virginia Beach change of command ceremony held at Naval Air Station Oceana Dam Neck Annex on June 30, 2022.
Capt. Marc Ratkus, commanding officer, Center for Information Warfare Training Center, presented Cmdr. James Brennan, former commanding officer of Information Warfare Training Command Virginia Beach, with a Meritorious Service Medal earned during his time in command at the IWTC Virginia Beach change of command ceremony held at Naval Air Station Oceana Dam Neck Annex on June 30, 2022.
IWTC Virginia Beach Conducts Change of Command
Capt. Marc Ratkus, commanding officer, Center for Information Warfare Training Center, presented Cmdr. James Brennan, former commanding officer of Information Warfare Training Command Virginia Beach, with a Meritorious Service Medal earned during his time in command at the IWTC Virginia Beach change of command ceremony held at Naval Air Station Oceana Dam Neck Annex on June 30, 2022.
Photo By: Contact Info: Center for Information Warfare Training Public Affairs – CIWT_PAO@us.navy.mil
VIRIN: 220630-N-N0484-1001
VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – Cmdr. John Copeland relieved Cmdr. James Brennan as commanding officer of Information Warfare Training Command (IWTC) Virginia Beach, during a change of command ceremony at Naval Air Station (NAS) Oceana Dam Neck Annex, on June 30.

“Jim, you performed brilliantly and can be justifiably proud of your entire team in ensuring the mission of IWTC Virginia Beach was executed without fail…all while navigating the complexities of the COVID pandemic, and a resource constrained environment,” said presiding officer, Capt. Marc Ratkus, commanding officer, Center for Information Warfare Training Center (CIWT).

Brennan assumed command of IWTC Virginia Beach in July 2020. While serving as the commanding officer, he was responsible for all of the Navy’s basic, intermediate and advanced intelligence and information warfare training for new accession, mid-grade and senior naval officers and enlisted Sailors from both the active and reserve components.
 
During his time in command, Brennan guided the development, instruction, and management of 56 courses, including the piloting of some major courses, such as the Cyber Threat Intelligence Analyst Course (CTIAC) in Nov. 2020, and more recently the Integrated Fires Officer (IFO) course in June 2022. Under his leadership, IWTC Virginia Beach delivered nearly 30,000 instructional hours, ultimately resulting in the production or further education of more than 15,000 Navy, Joint, and Department of Defense information warfare professionals.
 
Brennan’s mentor, retired Navy Capt. John Coles, served as the guest speaker.

Brennan first met Coles while serving together onboard the USS Belleau Wood (LHA 3). Coles was the ship’s intelligence officer during Brennan’s tenure as senior watch officer. Their relationship today exemplifies the steadfast and enduring bond that occurs between service members, as well as a commitment to each other and excellence.

“He was my first exposure to the characteristics that a senior naval intelligence officer should have,” said Brennan. “He set the standard for my understanding of what makes a successful naval officer and an intelligence officer.”

Copeland, a native of Independence, Mo., is coming to IWTC Virginia Beach from his most recent assignment as the intelligence assistant chief of staff for Carrier Strike Group 4. While there, he provided mentorship, training, and assessment for information warfare Sailors assigned to Carrier Strike Group 8 and Amphibious Squadron 6.

Copeland expressed his utmost excitement for the opportunity to lead IWTC Virginia Beach. He reminisced about how in some ways it felt like coming home walking in to Layton Hall. Above all, he expressed his sincere gratitude for his wife and children, for their continuous love, support, patience, and guidance.

With four schoolhouse commands, two detachments, and training sites throughout the United States and Japan, Center for Information Warfare Training trains over 26,000 students every year, delivering trained information warfare professionals to the Navy and joint services. Center for Information Warfare Training also offers more than 200 courses for cryptologic technicians, intelligence specialists, information systems technicians, electronics technicians, and officers in the information warfare community.
 
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