June 4 (UPI) -- The U.S. Navy has removed "space" from the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command and added "information" in a rebranding effort that emphasizes information warfare.
The agency's new name is the Naval Information Warfare Systems Command. Adm. John Richardson, the Chief of Naval Operations, announced the immediate name change Monday at the Information Warfare Senior Leadership Symposium in Washington, D.C.
"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," Richardson said in a news release. "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. This new name more accurately describes the full totality of the mission, supporting naval warfare -- from seabed to space."
The name change better reflects the mission "to identify, develop, deliver and sustain information warfare capabilities and services that enable naval, joint, coalition and other national missions," according to the news release.
"In this era of great power competition, information is a fundamental element of warfare, an essential concept of the Navy's strategy, and a warfare area that transcends the traditional domains of air, sea, land and space," said NAVWARSYSCOM Commander Rear Adm. Christian Becker. "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."
The command consists of more than 11,000 active-duty military and civil service professionals around the world.
This past February, the two echelon III commands -- formerly "systems centers" -- changed names. In Charleston, S.C., the command became the Naval Information Warfare Center Atlantic and in San Diego it was changed to Naval Information Warfare Center Pacific.
In the last 53 years, the command has undergone two name changes, as well as structural ones.
In May 1966, the Department of the Navy established the Naval Electronic Systems Command, which was one of five systems commands placed under the cognizance of the Naval Material Command.
The Navy then disestablished the Naval Material Command in 1985, and the Naval Electronic Systems Command became Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command, an Echelon II command under the Chief of Naval Operations.
"We have been at the center of incorporating advanced information warfare technologies that enable new operational concepts for decades," NAVWARSYSCOM Executive Director Patrick Sullivan said. "Information Warfare has been and will continue to be our central focus, and now our name accurately reflects this focus."
SPAWAR officials this May discussed the shift to a digital Navy during the 2019 Sea-Air-Space Exposition in National Harbor, Md.
"The battlefield has changed. We are facing a culture shift where data is a vital strategic resource in warfare," Becker said in a news release at the time. "To maintain our advantage in the information domain we must excel across the scope of military operations. Networks, communication and data storage with the tools to access and maximize use of the data are all key to our overall mission effectiveness across the Navy from personnel management to logistics to kinetic operations."