On Sept. 19, Cindy Simmons traveled to San Diego to attend the Naval Information Warfare Training Group Change of Command Ceremony where her son, Commander Brad Melichar, was Relieving Officer for Captain Robert Cadena.
Commander Melichar will advance in rank to captain after assuming command of the group. He will be the 12th Commanding Officer since 1998 when it was the Fleet Information Warfare Center and Naval Security Group. He will serve a two-year stint as Commanding Officer.
The Change of Command Ceremony is one of the oldest traditions in the U.S. Navy with its origins from ancient customs and laws of the sea begun in historic times by seafaring men and gradually merged into the British Naval Regulations that were in effect at the time of the American Revolution.
The Naval Information Warfare Training Group in San Diego was established on April 3, 2018 with a new focus providing improved Cyber Operations and Electronic Warfare readiness through fleet training and augmentation to Naval and Joint Forces. The command’s history dates back to the Beach Jumpers, the oldest practitioners of Naval Information Operations and served as the Navy’s tactical cover and deception units. The concept for Beach Jumpers came about during WWII as a result of Lt. Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., the Hollywood actor turned Naval officer, while serving with British Admiral Lord Mountbatten’s Combined Operations (Commandos) in England.
Commander Melichar enlisted in the Navy in 1991 as an Aviation Electronics Technician, serving as an A-6 Intruder plane captain flying out of Virginia Beach, Va., Brunswick, Maine and Roosevelt Roads, Puerto Rico.
Following graduation from the U.S. Naval Academy, he began his career in the Information Warfare community as a cryptologist at Naval Security Group Activity in Misawa, Japan, served at Fort Meade, Maryland in Naval Information Operations Command, made several deployments during Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom and was selected for duty in Interrogation Operations for detainee operations in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
He joined the Expeditionary Strike Group in Manama, Bahrain, serving as an information operations planner, was Cryptologic Resource Coordinator and Senior Battle Watch Commander and was selected to serve as military aide to Rear Admiral Michael Brown detailed with the Department of Homeland Security. His work included strengthening federal government security, private sector information systems against nation state cyber threats and vulnerabilities.
He moved on to a post in the United Kingdom serving as an Executive Officer. Following that tour he joined Naval forces in Africa and served in Naples, Italy as Senior Staff Cryptologist. His most recent post was at U.S. Indo-Pacific Command in Hawaii, serving as Director of Operations, Director of intelligence Reconnaissance Surveillance and Collections and Director for Cyber Analysis.
He is a Joint Qualified Officer, attended the Naval Academy Preparatory School, holds a bachelor of science degree from the U.S. Naval Academy, and a Masters of Business Administration from the Naval Post Graduate School.