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NPS Chair for Undersea Warfare Named to CNO's Task Force Ocean
U.S. Navy photo by MC2 Michael Ehrlich

NPS Chair for Undersea Warfare Named to CNO's Task Force Ocean

By MC2 Michael Ehrlich

Retired Rear Adm. Jerry Ellis, NPS Chair for Undersea Warfare and Director of the Undersea Warfare Research Center, has been appointed to Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. John M. Richardson's Task Force Ocean. The task force is part of an overarching effort to assess the state of ocean science in the Navy, which encompasses its oceanographic infrastructure, technologies, technical workforce, and how they are applied to naval operations.

"We have always been considered as the top country in the world in ocean sciences, but that competitive advantage is eroding and the CNO is concerned with that," said Ellis. "We haven't lost it, but how do we return to where we once were."

Ellis points to several indicators, such as the Navy's own fleet of research vessels at its highest in 1993 with 14, but now stands at six vessels. Similar trends can be found in the number of research ships used by universities, he says.

The task force will be asked to develop a roadmap to increase interest in the ocean sciences, Ellis adds, while implementing new understandings of the ocean, and incorporating new technology into future mission capabilities.

"It's a challenge, and I think the CNO is right-on for directing this study," said Ellis. "We hope that our knowledge of ocean sciences continues to grow, that young people become interested and learn from the older experts, and that we are always pushing the limits of knowing what's going on in the oceans. Our nation must continue to always have a significant competitive advantage in this vitally important area."

Ellis has already begun to reach out to NPS faculty in preparation for the next Task Force Ocean meeting with the CNO.

"I want to be able to tap into all the expertise we have at NPS and ensure all of their comments, recommendations and advice is considered in this study," said Ellis. "I'm working with the oceanography and meteorology departments, which includes a big part of ocean sciences, especially in the atmosphere/ocean interfaces. I want to make sure that NPS is a major player in this study."

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May 2017

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