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SUFFOLK, Va. – Vice Adm. Brian B. Brown, commander, Naval Information Forces (NAVIFOR), was relieved by Vice Adm. Kelly Aeschbach in a change of command ceremony May 7 at the Department of Homeland Security complex, Suffolk, Va.
“You did a phenomenal job leading the NAVIFOR team during a time of significant transition for our Navy and our nation,” said Adm. Christopher Grady, commander, U.S. Fleet Forces, who served as the presiding officer and the event’s guest speaker. “Your team made tremendous strides in improving the capabilities and readiness of the information warfare community while also positioning your forces to meet emerging challenges of the contested IW [Information Warfare], space, and cyber domains. Your vision, persistence, and dedication have truly set the bar for excellence, and have well positioned the force, and the fleet, for the challenges of the future."
Brown assumed command of NAVIFOR in June 2018. As the "iBoss" – or Information Boss – for the Navy, Brown further built on the foundation established by his predecessor, now retired Vice Adm. Matthew J. Kohler. Brown established and led the IW Enterprise, ensuring advancement of Naval IW capabilities. As commander of NAVIFOR, he matured the IW Type Command, improving fleet IW Readiness ashore and afloat.
Brown was responsible for leading a fleet-wide Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Combat Systems and Intelligence (C5I) wholeness campaign to include the establishment of an IW Readiness Continuum (IWRC) aligned to the Navy’s Optimized Fleet Response Plan. He instituted a first-ever IW platform shore modernization program and elevated the effectiveness of the TYCOM’s Warfighting Improvement Program that details needed requirements to ensure the Navy’s IW readiness well into the future.
As the Navy space lead, he spearheaded the approval for the formation of the Maritime Space Officer (MSO) Designator 187X within the IW community. MSO joins oceanography, cryptologic warfare, cyber warfare engineers, information professionals, and intelligence as a key specialty in the IW arsenal. The MSO community is critical to supporting Navy leadership and achieving national security objectives through the integration of space capabilities into maritime operations and plans.
For the last 15 months, Brown's superb leadership was instrumental in navigating the NAVIFOR domain through the COVID-19 pandemic. He quickly organized the staff to effectively respond to the crisis, sustain uninterrupted support to fleet commanders, and maintain steady and reassuring communication with domain personnel and their families. A Crisis Action Team and Operational Planning Team where established to ensure 100-percent readiness in critical strategic and operational mission areas while also protecting the health of the workforce.
“It has been my honor and pleasure to serve alongside the men and women of Naval Information Forces; any success noted during my tenure is a testament to their hard work and dedication to the Fleet and our mission,” said Brown. “Manning, training and equipping IW forces is truly a team sport, and as a leader in the broader IW Enterprise, I thank my partner fleet commanders, type commanders, resource sponsors, systems commands, and program executive offices for their teamwork, trust, and support. As the outgoing ‘iBoss,’ I leave Naval Information Forces with full confidence that this team is ready for the challenge ahead."
Commissioned as a naval intelligence officer through Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps in 1990, Aeschbach has served in various operational, overseas, ashore, and staff assignments. During her career, Aeschbach supported Operation Enduring Freedom attached to Carrier Strike Group NINE, served as deputy director of Intelligence at Headquarters, Resolute Support, Afghanistan, and as Director of Intelligence for U.S. Strategic Command at Offutt Air Force Base, Neb.
Her most recent assignment as a rear admiral upper half was Director, National Maritime Intelligence Integration Office / Commander, Office of Naval Intelligence. Just prior to the change of command ceremony, Aeschbach pinned on her third star and promoted to the rank of vice admiral. In his last official action before he relinquished command, Brown served as the promoting officer. Changing out her shoulder boards were Aeschbach's husband and sons.
"I am excited to return to Naval Information Forces and continue to build on the outstanding accomplishments of Vice Adm. Brown," Aeschbach said. "It is an honor to be asked to work in this role with the stellar men and women who make up Navy's Information Warfare Forces," Aeschbach concluded.
NAVIFOR’s mission is to generate, directly and through our leadership of the IW Enterprise, agile and technically superior manned, trained, equipped, and certified combat-ready IW forces to ensure our Navy will decisively DETER, COMPETE, and WIN.
For more information on NAVIFOR, visit the command Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/NavalInformationForces/ or the public web page at https://www.navifor.usff.navy.mil.
- USN -
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