Surface Warfare Magazine
Sharing stories and news from Sailors across the U.S. Navy’s Surface Forces
 
1/1/2016
On the Cutting Edge
SWO Students at Naval Postgraduate School
Prepare for, Create the Future



For the past century, the Naval Postgraduate School (NPS) has been the engine driving the intellectual and professional development of the officer corps. The Surface Community has capitalized on NPS’ specialized academic programs since the school’s inception, and we are renewing this commitment as NPS begins its’ second century of academic excellence. According to the 2014 NPS Annual Report & Fact Book, Surface Warfare Officers comprise over 20% of the Navy resident student population, the single largest community presence at NPS.

Naval Postgraduate SchoolMore relevant than our numbers, the quality of our students makes our community stand out on campus; all SWO students are proven performers, screened for Department Head Afloat and committed to future service. Integral to PERS-41’s Talent Management initiatives, NPS quota fills are screened via the biannual Junior Officer Talent Management Boards, where officers’ records of performance at sea as well as their undergraduate academic achievements are rigorously evaluated. These gifted Surface Warfare Officers (SWOs) on campus reflect almost a quarter of our pool of future Department Heads, a substantial investment in our community’s future.

To ensure the best rate of return on this investment, Vice Adm. Tom Rowden, commander, Naval Surface Forces Pacific (CNSP), has assigned a post-major command captain to serve as an on-campus advocate for Surface Warfare issues and as a mentor to SWO students. The CNSP Surface Warfare Chair was formally established on 10 September 2015 by Vice Rowden and retired Vice Adm. Ron Route, NPS president, to “ensure Surface Warfare Officer graduate level candidates receive the best possible interdisciplinary warfare education that identifies and spearheads research topics in direct support of surface warfighting.”

Working alongside students and faculty, the Chair is a conduit for bringing current Fleet issues, requirements and practices into the academic program as well as connecting on-campus research with the staffs and operating units who can benefit from NPS’ intellectual capital. The NPS faculty and students alike share a deep desire to make meaningful contributions to the Fleet, and in the last decade, the school has completed its transformation into a full-fledged research university delivering cutting-edge knowledge to the warfighter across all academic disciplines.

An hour from Silicon Valley, NPS’s internationally-renowned faculty are at the forefront of technological innovation in Unmanned and Autonomous Systems, robotics, cyber warfare, C4I systems, and network analysis. As well, the school boasts the nation’s only business school focused on government-distinctive practices and processes, to include concentrations on acquisition and financial management. The NPS School of International Graduate Studies not only sits at the epicenter of foreign affairs expertise the greater Bay Area, which includes the Defense Language Institute, Stanford University, and the Middlebury Institute of International Studies but also exports that expertise to deploying Strike Groups via the Regional Security Education Program. The Operations Research and Systems Engineering Analysis programs have long been renowned in naval circles as providing the underpinning skills and techniques which drive the programmatic and operational analysis that accompany every budgetary cycle in the Pentagon. The school also boasts an Undersea Warfare Academic Group, which provides an interdisciplinary core curriculum of engineering, physics, oceanography and operations analysis to create a cadre of anti-submarine and mine warfare experts.

 

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The Surface Warfare students on campus are in the thick of it all. Lt. Donny Northrup in Financial Management is finishing off his thesis on “A Business Practice Analysis of the Surface Navy’s Depot Management Program,” and Lt. Megan Jamison of Operations Research is taking up the charge with “Modeling and Analysis of Surface Navy Availability Maintenance Processes.” In Network Operations, Lt. Matt Maupin is pursuing an innovative “Tactical Mobile Ad-Hoc Networking in Support of Littoral Operations.” Across campus, there are four separate research efforts ongoing which support the Distributed Lethality concept that Rowden is championing. Among them, Lt. Kristen Eriksen is pursuing “Creating a Simulation Model to Assess Options for Distributed Lethality.”

These are just a few examples of the many contributions that our motivated and intellectually gifted SWO graduate students are making; if we reviewed them all, it would fill this edition of Surface Warfare! For all Surface Warriors reading this issue, please keep in mind the ongoing contributions that the NPS is making to our community writ large, as well as to the individual students passing through our historic halls. With the addition of a dedicated Chair to channel these efforts, NPS is poised to deliver a torrent of innovative solutions to some of our most vexing challenges. Surface Warfare Magazine

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