By MC2 Shawn J. Stewart
NPS students, faculty and staff show off the buttons they'll be wearing while helping prep and serve hot meals to those in need at the 44th Annual Monterey County Community Thanksgiving Dinner held at the Monterey County Fairgrounds, Nov. 27. The Kiwanis Club of Monterey and the Monterey County Food Bank sponsor the dinner.
"This dinner is for the local community, specifically those who do not have the means to enjoy a warm holiday meal," said President's Student Council (PSC) Chair, U.S. Marine Corps Capt. Alex Beachy, pictured center. "The PSC's mission is to provide student and community outreach. This is just one of many new endeavors we are undertaking."
Beachy's efforts with the PSC to organize more than 20 volunteers from NPS are just one example of the university community reaching out this holiday season. Staff from the Monterey branch of the Navy Federal Credit Union (NFCU) also pitched in, putting together nearly 200 bags of groceries at the Salinas Food Bank.
"It's our small way of giving back to the community and there is always a need to feed the hungry, especially during the Holiday," said NFCU branch Team Leader Veronica Pettit.
Naval War College Workshop Showcases Faculty Expertise
By MC2 Chablis J. Torrence
NPS Department of Operations Research (OR) Professor of Practice retired Navy Capt. Wayne Hughes addresses NPS students, staff and faculty during the Naval War College Faculty Workshop in Glasgow Hall, Nov. 21. The discussion of Hughes' East Asia strategy focused on influencing China, retaining faith with U.S. allies, and keeping the peace throughout the region.
One element of the strategy proposed by Hughes suggests giving mid-level naval officers a chance to command smaller vessels.
"By giving junior officers command of our [small boys], we would have more people volunteering for surface warfare," said Hughes. "We have to give these [officers] a chance to lead."
Hughes also discussed building lower cost vessels that are both smaller and more nimble than traditional naval platforms. "We need to build faster ships, so that we have the most efficient platforms delivering air [and sea] power," he continued.
An iconic naval strategist, Hughes is the author of the legendary "Fleet Tactics: Theory and Practice," and more recently, "Fleet Tactics and Coastal Combat."
By Javier Chagoya
NPS alumnus U.S. Army Maj. Joshua Thiel, right, walks outside Root Hall with his mentor Associate Professor Douglas Borer, Nov. 20. Thiel is Aide de Camp to Commander, U.S. Army Pacific Gen. Vincent Brooks, who traveled to NPS for meetings with students and faculty in the Graduate School of Operational and Information Sciences (GSOIS).
Thiel is plenty familiar with GSOIS, graduating with honors in 2010 from the defense analysis (DA) program. He made time to catch up with some his former professors, especially those with whom he continues to collaborate in the Common Operational Research Environment (CORE) Lab.
"[After graduation] Professor Borer and I co-authored two publications, along with other experts, on counter-insurgency operations," said Thiel.
In addition to collaborating with NPS faculty, Thiel has also periodically served as a guest lecturer within the DA department, maintaining strong ties to NPS' academic community in spite of his demanding work schedule as an aide de camp.
"We're working 16-hour days, in the air or on the ground in an AOR [Area of Responsibility] that covers the Asia-Pacific Region – a total of 36 countries," explained Thiel, who credits his ability to meet both professional and academic goals to a commitment to three pillars.
"The first pillar is to take time to prepare for future events. Second, one must decompress or reset while maintaining a soldier-warrior ethic," noted Thiel. "[Finally] always seek mentors with senior leaders in the military and civilian communities."
By Javier Chagoya
Commanding General, U.S. Army Pacific (USARPAC) Gen. Vincent K. Brooks, left, talks candidly to a panel of faculty in NPS' Graduate School of Operational and Information Sciences about solving challenges in his area of responsibility (AOR).
Brooks was plenty familiar with NPS' long history of testing, evaluating and assessing plans and equipment in the region, and was interested in what students and faculty can bring to the table as student theses are consistently focused on cracking critical problems.
During the briefing, operations research Associate Professor Dr. David Alderson spoke on improving the resilience of the energy supply chain in the Pacific. Information sciences Lecturer Brian Steckler explained to Brooks how NPS' Hastily Formed Networks Research Group can quickly deploy communications capabilities in disaster zones, most recently in the Philippines.
"These are tools I can see us all benefiting from, and I want to hear more from you … especially how we can get a better handle on the challenge of the distribution of oil to the interior of our operational areas," noted Brooks.
Brooks traveled from his base at Ft. Shafter, Hawaii to learn firsthand how NPS research can further enable his Pacific forces to respond to future battle environments, especially in the cyber arena. Brooks assumed command of USARPAC in July 2013, and is administratively responsible for all U.S. Army forces in the PACOM area of responsibility.
By MC3 Michael Ehrlich and Brian Seals
NPS Center for Homeland Defense and Security (CHDS) Associate Director for Executive Education Ellen Gordon was officially inducted into the International Network of Women in Emergency Management and Homeland Security Hall of Fame, Nov. 15.
"CHDS is incredibly fortunate to have Ellen Gordon leading our executive leaders programs," said CHDS Director Glen Woodbury. "She clearly embodies the principle of the 'academic-practitioner' and continues to push for excellence in homeland security education. Her insights and critical inquiry serve our students exceptionally well."
A CHDS graduate herself, Gordon has nearly 30 years of experience in emergency management and homeland security. She has been a member of the Homeland Security Advisory Council, director of Iowa's Emergency Management and Homeland Security agencies, and served as the first female president of the National Emergency Management Association.
"Each of those decades had a new emphasis, but you did not lose the responsibilities from the previous years, you added to them," said Gordon. "Being involved on the statewide and national levels is important because you learn from what others are thinking and doing. You're there at the cusp, helping frame policy and a positive future."
For more information on Gordon's trailblazing career, check out the full story on the CHDS website.
By Javier Chagoya
A delegation of high-ranking Indonesian officers pose follow-up questions to NPS President retired Vice Adm. Ronald A. Route, following the command brief by Assistant Dean of the School of International Graduate Studies retired Marine Corps Col. Gary Roser in the Elster Conference Room, Nov. 10.
Two separate delegations, one from Indonesia and another from Taiwan, visited NPS to explore specific curricula of particular interest to their respective defense organizations.
The Indonesian delegation of six admirals and one Army brigadier general spent time with Professor and Chair, NPS Department of Defense Analysis (DA), Dr. John Arquilla and colleagues to discuss the DA program and its benefits to the Indonesian National Armed Forces. There are currently 15 Indonesian students at the university, with five now attending the DA program.
"The DA department is encouraging more Navy and Marine Corps officers, along with international naval officers, to study in our program," said Arquilla. "Defense analysis is about producing better strategic thinkers. We have areas of focus in irregular warfare and information operations because we live in an era of irregular wars, and a time when the information revolution is having a profound effect upon military and security affairs. In DA we focus on big ideas, current and coming, as we pursue our mission."
Operations Research (OR) Senior Lecturer and Army Liaison retired Army Col. Jeff Appleget met with the Taiwan delegation on simulation capabilities the OR department has developed. Taiwan's top Modeling and Simulation Officer, Army Col. Peng-Wen Lai, was especially interested in Appleget's knowledge of wargaming and combat modeling.
"Our discussion [with the Taiwan Ministry of Defense] focused on how NPS and other U.S. DOD expertise could assist Taiwan in developing a training strategy that includes Live-Virtual-Constructive modeling and simulation capabilities," explained Appleget.
There are currently eight students from Taiwan attending NPS, with two of them studying in the OR department.
By MC2 Danica M. Sirmans
The Navy's top Surface Warfare Officer (SWO) spoke to a group of approximately 200 student and staff SWOs during a visit to the Naval Postgraduate School, Nov. 14. Vice Adm. Thomas S. Rowden, Commander, Naval Surface Forces, assumed his current command in early August, and said he immediately had one priority in mind—warfighting.
"I had the opportunity to be on CNO Greenert's transition team when I was with Strike Group 11," said Rowden. "I went back to the Washington Navy Yard for a couple of weeks to work on the Warfighting Team, where we came up with the tenants, 'Warfighting First, Operate Forward, and Be Ready.'"
Rowden shared stories emphasizing the importance of choice, especially with those placed in leadership positions. There are leaders who are willing to roll the dice and hope they get lucky, he explained, and then there are those who demand excellence from themselves, who ensure they are making "good" choices.
"We could try to assess that in a lot of different ways," Rowden said, "But really, it just comes down to whether we're trying to be lucky or if we want to be good."
Closing his session with NPS SWOs, Rowden answered questions on a variety of surface warfare topics before challenging the group to take what they've learned back to their classrooms, and ultimately back to the fleet.
By Kenneth A. Stewart
A group of active duty and veteran Airmen, led by NPS student Air Force Maj. Graydon Muller, ascend to the peak of California's Mt. Whitney, Nov. 6. The climb is part of the 50 Summits Challenge, an effort to promote outdoor fitness as well as physical and mental resiliency by climbing the highest mountain in each of the 50 states.
When not making his way up massive mountains, Muller is completing his graduate education through the NPS Department of National Security Affairs in Latin America studies, a pre-requisite toward his goal of becoming an Air Force Regional Affairs Strategist (RAS). He got the idea for participation in the 50 Summits Challenge while joining in a similar endeavor during pilot training.
"I went through helicopter pilot training with two of the founders of the Seven Summits Challenge," said Muller. "I was invited to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro and said, 'heck yeah.'"
The Seven Summits Challenge was an unofficial effort by several Airmen to put the Air Force in the record books by tackling the famous "7 Summits" … the highest peak on each of the seven continents. In May 2013, the Seven Summits Challenge was completed, turning the organizers' eyes toward a new endeavor.
"[Our organizers] decided to start the 50 Summits Challenge, with an idea that we could open the program up and get more Airmen involved in an effort to make them more physically and mentally healthy," said Muller. "We also want to incorporate wounded warriors into our climbs to the greatest extent possible … The more people we can get out there experiencing the outdoors, the better."
To date, participants have scaled 10 of the nation's highest peaks through the 50 Summits Challenge.
By MC3 Michael Ehrlich
Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan W. Greenert made a point to visit the Naval Postgraduate School campus, Nov. 14, during a packed travel schedule to the West Coast. During his visit, Greenert held meetings with university President retired Vice Adm. Ronald A. Route and Provost Dr. Douglas A. Hensler, as well as Commander, Naval Surface Forces Vice Adm. Thomas S. Rowden, who was on campus to deliver an All Hands with NPS Surface Warfare Officers.
"I am grateful that Adm. Greenert set aside valuable time during his demanding travel schedule to pay a visit to our campus. The CNO has been a longtime supporter of the institution and its unique mission, and his time in Monterey is a direct reflection of that," said Route.
"It isn't often that we have two senior Navy leaders here on campus at the same time, with CNO Greenert and Vice Adm. Rowden both visiting today," he added. "We have been provided with an excellent opportunity to showcase our value, and I believe we took full advantage of it."
In spite of his busy schedule, Greenert dedicated a significant portion of his visit to discussions on the university's unique and relevant education and research programs, including a detailed tour of the Cyber Academic Group, as well as comprehensive briefs with NPS deans and senior administration.
"CNO Greenert is well-versed on the intricate manpower and end-strength issues our university faces, and he expressed his support for our efforts. While there is much work to be done on this issue, I can think of no better advocate to have in our corner than Admiral Greenert," said Route.
By MC3 Michael Ehrlich
Faculty and researchers in the NPS Department of Operations Research, from left, Senior Lecturer Paul J. Sanchez, Professor Susan M. Sanchez, Research Associate Mary McDonald, and Research Associate Stephen Upton, are pictured in the Glasgow Hall courtyard with their NATO Science and Technology Organization Scientific Achievement Award, Nov. 13, recognizing the group for their contributions to NATO through data farming research.
“Data farming is an extremely effective method of exploring new tactics and abilities, and a way of looking at a huge variety of ‘what if’ questions in a structured manner,” said Susan Sanchez.
“[Our group] was very excited to get this recognition,” she continued. “But in addition to those who won the award, there are a lot of NPS faculty and students that participated in the workshops.”
The group was formed by NPS’ Simulation, Experiments and Efficient Design (SEED) Center for Data Farming to assess data farming capabilities worldwide in an effort to provide improved decision support to NATO forces. The Advisory Group for Aerospace Research and Development (AGARD) initiated the NATO Scientific Achievement Award in 1989 to recognize outstanding contributions in the areas of aerospace science, technology and systems applications.
By Javier Chagoya
Macedonia Ministry of Defense (MOD) Procurement advisor Plamenka Makedonska-Popovska, right, responds to questions posed by Maj. Kelley Poree, left, a contracting officer with the U.S. Air Force, during an NPS International Defense Acquisition Resource Management (IDARM) lecture on post-award considerations in inspection and acceptance of services, Nov. 12.
Makedonska-Popovska is attending the two-week IDARM program given its direct application to her mission at the Macedonia MOD as she advises leadership on major contracts for medical supplies.
"I've been with Macedonia's [MOD] procurement department for 15 years, and the course work that is being taught here is directly related to my responsibilities and adds a great deal to my skills," said Makedonska-Popovska.
Latvia Ministry of Defense Logistics Officer Laura Rimcane's role with her agency is a bit different, but says she sees very relevant value in the coursework.
"I normally deal with setting up requirements and planning, and this course gives me some vital information about the structure of contracting," explained Rimcane. "It's important to me to have this overview of the pre-award phase, and to further understand acquisition."
The modules covered over the 12-day period provide participants with an understanding of the fundamental concepts and challenges associated with national and global defense contracting. The participants examine all phases of the contracting process with an emphasis on the pre-award phase. Participants in this latest IDARM course came from Argentina, Brazil, India, South Korea, Latvia, Malaysia, Macedonia, Pakistan and Zambia.
By MC2 Danica M. Sirmans
NPS Graduate Writing Center (GWC) Technical Writer Marianne Taflinger, left, chats with a student during the GWC Open House in the Dudley Knox Library, Nov. 6. Center Director Dr. Sandra Leavitt and her staff hosted the event in honor of the center's one-year anniversary, offering attendees the opportunity to learn more about GWC programs and workshops, and the staff members supporting them.
"[The GWC] primarily works with students on their academic papers," said Leavitt. "Getting it all on paper is the first step, then we assist with revisions after. That could mean working through ideas … ensuring the student is addressing his or her research questions as laid out, and assisting with writer's block."
Leavitt and the writing coaches at the GWC offer a neutral sounding board for students – a function that Leavitt says helps students effectively communicate the knowledge they have learned through their coursework.
"What the students are thinking, and the information they possess, isn't always easily translated on paper," Leavitt explained. "The student may understand the process or the topic of their research, but that knowledge is not always apparent to the audience. We're here to help them get their ideas across."
The Graduate Writing Center is available for walk-ins Monday – Friday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Appointments are available from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., and the GWC offers hours on the weekends as well. For more information visit the Graduate Writing Center website.
By Javier Chagoya
NPS Provost Dr. Douglas Hensler, left, presents Equal Employment Manager and Command Deputy Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Officer Deborah Baity, right, with her 35-year length of service award and pin during a surprise ceremony in the Human Resources (HR) Conference Room, Nov. 6.
"I look back on the day I started working at NPS in 1982 as a clerk typist and see where I am today, and it's been a tremendous ride," said Baity.
Climbing up the ranks through several NPS jobs and academic departments, Baity broke into the HR field after accepting an internship in the 80s. From that time forward, she has worked to resolve disputes and improve the work environment at NPS.
Human Resources Specialist Dawn Diaz received her 30-year pin at the ceremony, although her award came with the bittersweet news that she will be leaving NPS due to a promotion that will take her to the Pacific Northwest.
"I'm excited about this new job … And working in Portland is even more exciting," said Diaz.
Director, Human Resources Ermelinda Rodriguez-Heffner was also honored, receiving her 25-year federal service pin. Rodriguez-Heffner is relatively new to NPS, but brings years of seasoned experience to the HR department.
"My 25 years have been entirely in federal civilian service. Although I have only been here for a short time, I enjoy working for the Navy and NPS. It's been a challenging yet rewarding experience," said Rodriguez-Heffner.
By Javier Chagoya
Oceanographer and Navigator of the Navy and NPS alumnus Rear Adm. Jonathan W. White, right, listens to a panel of faculty and student research briefings with Commander, Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command Rear Adm. Timothy C. Gallaudet. Both traveled to NPS as part of the curriculum review for the meteorology and oceanography (METOC) programs.
"I think the curriculum review went very well," said White. "The value of … expertise in meteorology and oceanography has become even more important to the Navy and DOD because of changes ongoing in our climate, and with the Arctic being one of the CNO's focus areas."
METOC Program Officer Cmdr. William Sommer added that the curriculum review went exactly as planned and intended, given the extremely close relationship between NPS and Navy's METOC community.
"The goals of the curriculum review were met," said Sommer. "Rear Adm. White is an NPS alumnus, and this was his second curriculum review. But Rear Adm. Gallaudet is one of the very few officers of the METOC community who is not an NPS alumnus, so this was an excellent opportunity to showcase the importance of the joint METOC program here at NPS.
"Just over 12 percent of all METOC officers in the community are onboard NPS at any one time, and a little over half of the approximately 350 officers in the community are graduates of the program," Sommer continued. "There is no other community in the Navy more closely tied to NPS than the METOC community. Our curriculum is very solid, a tried and tested program."
Chaplain's Office Launches Brown Bag Series Tackling Impactful Issues
By MC2 Chablis J. Torrence
Naval Support Activity Monterey (NSAM) Deputy Command Chaplain Lt. Cmdr. John Van Dyke kicks off the 2014-2015 Chapel Brown Bag Series, Oct. 30. The inaugural discussion, led by NPS Homeland Defense & Security Coordinator Wendy Walsh and Graduate School of Business and Public Policy Lecturer U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Bryan Hudgens, focused on the unique opportunities and challenges created by the integration of military and academic cultures at NPS.
Panelists and attendees discussed, among other things, the one-of-a-kind mission of NPS and the resulting blended military-academic environment it creates. According to Van Dyke, the series wants to take on impactful discussions on topics unique to the NPS community to advance communication across the campus.
"We are looking for a way to engage the campus," said Van Dyke. "The purpose of [the brown-bag series] is to promote interdisciplinary discussions and to foster greater communication on topics that impact our culture and community."
The NSAM chaplain's office plans to host a different discussion every few months. Discussion topics will be wide-ranging and designed to facilitate maximum participation. For more information, visit the Command Religious Program website.
By Javier Chagoya
Director, Strategic Systems Programs (SSP) Vice Adm. Terry J. Benedict, right, discusses details of the nuclear deterrent mission to systems engineering students at the Wayne E. Meyer Institute of Systems Engineering (SE), Oct. 30. NPS boasts one of the largest concentrations of Engineering Duty Officers (EDO) in the Navy, according to Professor of Practice and Naval Chair of SE, retired Navy Capt. Daniel Burns.
Benedict traveled to NPS' Monterey campus to participate in a curriculum review of the systems engineering program and toured newly constructed laboratories supported by Benedict's SSP office.
"SSP is, and has been for decades, a premier systems engineering organization that provides a model for conducting SE throughout their enterprise, and would like to see more support for meeting the increasing demand by our customers for the top notch defense systems engineering education we provide," said Dr. Cliff Whitcomb, chair of the NPS Department of Systems Engineering.
"Vice Adm. Benedict has a deep appreciation for all of the educational programs and how they are critical, and unique, in helping the Navy and Marine Corps educate their systems engineering workforce," Whitcomb added.
Besides meeting with faculty and nearly 40 EDOs and their spouses, Benedict also met with NPS students in private for a free exchange of ideas to help advance the curriculum. He also spoke on a personal level, sharing his own five core principals for leading a successful, balanced career and life – personal, professional, family, faith and outside interests. Physics student Lt. Ryan Johnson, pictured second from left, is a recent convert from nuclear submarines to EDO, and says his time with Benedict was appreciated.
"Our time was valuable … It was good to hear what the admiral expects from us, competence and intelligence, and that he also expects us to live a balanced life where work is just one of five dimensions of life," said Johnson.
By MC3 Michael Ehrlich
Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Aries Baluyot administers FluMist Quadrivalent Intranasal Spray to an officer at the NPS Fitness Center, Oct. 28. The seasonal influenza vaccination is mandatory for all non-exempt uniformed personnel.
"It is important to get vaccinated," said Chief of Environmental Health Army 1st Lt. Calvin Schoonover with the Presidio of Monterey's California Medical Detachment. "Getting vaccinated can help prevent someone from getting the flu. It can also help reduce the recovery time for someone who gets the flu."
Influenza or "the flu" has the potential to adversely impact Navy force readiness and mission execution. There are some 25 million influenza cases reported annually with an associated 150,000 hospitalizations for serious complications and approximately 24,000 deaths each year in the U.S.
Forced immunity though vaccination is the best way to reduce influenza. Maintaining a clean work environment, good hygiene practices, and managing workforce exposure are also effective methods of reducing the risk of spreading influenza.