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Kohler relieved as commander

By George Bieber

NAVIFOR Public Affairs

Vice Adm. Matthew J. Kohler, commander, Naval Information Forces, was relieved by Vice Adm. Brian B. Brown in a ceremony June 15 at the Department of Defense complex in Suffolk.

“The synergy of intelligence, information and weapons systems in order to realize the full potential of our capabilities as a fleet is paramount to our warfighters operating forward, executing the missions across all domains and in contested and denied environments around the globe,” said Adm. Christopher Grady, commander, U.S. Fleet Forces, while addressing the team. “NAVIFOR is at the forefront of this effort.”

Kohler assumed command of Naval Information Forces in October 2014. He is credited with establishing the Navy as a leader in information warfighting within the Department of Defense.

“Our very existence as a command is due to the Navy’s foresight to position information as warfare to advance Navy warfighting,” Kohler said. “The Navy has instituted a more aggressive approach that harnesses the impressive talents of our information professionals and optimizes the readiness of our afloat platforms and operational shore organizations. With the standup of a Naval Information Warfighting Development Center and Naval Information Warfare Training Groups this past year and continuing improvements in manning, training and equipping the fleet, the Navy affirms its intentions and leadership in Information Warfare.”

Commissioned as a naval intelligence officer through Aviation Officer Candidate School in 1984, Kohler has served in fleet, interagency and combatant command leadership positions as an information warfare officer. He is the recipient of the Edwin T. Layton Leadership Award

In his next assignment, Kohler will serve as deputy chief of Naval Operations for Information Warfare and the 67th director of Naval Intelligence.

Brown earned his commission in 1986 from the U.S. Naval Academy and most recently served as director, Warfare Integration for Information Warfare.

Brown said he felt extraordinarily privileged to lead the Naval Information Forces team during the formidable challenges ahead.

“Our focus will be ensuring delivery of relevant, consequential and value-added Information Warfare capabilities to our fleet,” Brown said. “We will measure our success by the development of a highly skilled, adaptable and capable workforce, and in equipping those professionals with reliable, sustainable and fully interoperable networks, systems, capabilities and processes.”

“Understanding that the stakes have never been higher, the NAVIFOR team must ensure that our sailors and civilians are ready to fight and win in the global information domain,” he concluded.

Naval Information Forces’ mission is to provide combat-ready Information Warfare forces to operational commanders, ashore and afloat, that are forward deployable, fully trained, properly manned, capably equipped, always ready, well-maintained and combat sustainable.