Photo provided PENSACOLA, Fla. – A 2016 Woodstock High School graduate is stationed with a command responsible for teaching future information warriors the skills required to defend America around the world.
Seaman Kieland Ballard works as a cryptologic technician and operates out of the Information Warfare Training Command Corry Station. A cryptologic technician is responsible for analyzing electronic communications, jamming enemy radar signals, deciphering information in foreign languages and maintaining equipment and networks used to generate top-secret intelligence.
Ballard credits success in the Navy with lessons learned growing up in Woodstock.
“I learned that making connections with people is a good thing, because you can always benefit from having multiple friends,” Ballard said.
IWTC Corry Station is only one component that makes up the Center for Information Warfare Training domain, headquartered at Naval Air Station Pensacola Corry Station in Florida.
Charged with developing the future technical cadre of the information warfare community, the CIWT domain leads, manages and delivers Navy and joint force training to 22,000 students annually. With 1,200 military, civilian and contracted staff members, CIWT oversees about 200 courses at four information warfare training commands, two detachments and additional learning sites throughout the U.S. and Japan.
CIWT is responsible for training enlisted cryptologic technicians, information systems technicians, intelligence specialists and electronics technicians. CIWT also provides training to cryptologic warfare, information professional, intelligence and foreign-area officers, which prepares them for wage battle and assures the nation’s success in this burgeoning warfare arena.
“Our sailors and staff are intentional about building trust, demonstrating teamwork, pursuing growth and instilling grit, which make our command thrive in training information warfare professionals for the Navy the nation needs,” said Cmdr. Chad Smith, commanding officer of IWTC Corry Station. “Each and every day, I’m extremely proud of how our sailors and staff readily adapt to achieve and maintain the highest of standards. They truly represent the spirit and character of America, and they are why we are the strongest military force in the world.”
Ballard has military ties with family members who have previously served, and he said he is honored to carry on the family tradition.
“My grandfather was in the Army,” he said.
As a member of one of the U.S. Navy’s most relied-upon assets, Ballard and other sailors and staff know they are part of a legacy that will last beyond their lifetimes, serving as a key part of the information warfare community in its mission to gain a deep understanding of the inner workings of adversaries and developing unmatched knowledge of the battle space during wartime.
These sailors and staff have a responsibility in creating war-fighting options for fleet commanders and advising decision-makers at all levels as they serve worldwide aboard ships, submarines and aircraft and from the National Security Agency to the Pentagon.
“I’m proud to be serving my country and helping other people,” Ballard said.