The Surface Warfare Community is trained and primarily focused on the operation of Navy ships at sea and the management of various seaboard systems (i.e. the Verticial Launch System that fires surface-to-air and cruise missiles). The ultimate goal of a Surface Warfare Officer (SWO) is to command a Navy Surface ship.
A Surface Warfare Officer must develop experience and in-depth knowledge in specific line disciplines including operations, combat systems, or engineering.
A SWO’s knowledge of surface warfare must also include an understanding of the operations of the various ship types within the surface force including carriers, cruisers, destroyers, amphibious, mine warfare, littoral combat, and combat logistics force ships.
An appreciation of air and submarine warfare, as well as operations in a multi-threat environment are critical to succeed as a SWO.