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Today@NPS - October 2015

Today@NPS showcases some of the speakers, conferences, experiments, lectures, and other events that take place at the Naval Postgraduate School on a daily basis.  If you would like more information about any of the highlighted activities please contact the public affairs office at To view more stories visit the Today at NPS archive. NPS' photo galleries and graduation pictures can be found on the Photo Gallery - Collections page.


U.S. Navy photo by MC2 Michael Ehrlich
Director of Naval History Details Sinking of South Korean Corvette
By MC2 Michael Ehrlich

Director of Naval History retired Rear Adm. Samuel Cox discusses his investigation of the sinking of the South Korean vessel Cheonan (PCC-722) during the latest Secretary of the Navy Guest Lecture in King Auditorium, Oct. 6. Cox earned the National Intelligence Exceptional Achievement Medal for leading the multinational investigation into the incident.

"History is incredibly valuable to understanding what is going to happen in the future," said Cox. "But don't hang everything on it, because there's a first time for everything. In fact, those things that you're not expecting are what you should be looking for."

Cox described the process by which he and his fellow investigators determined the truth behind who sunk the Cheonan.

"We ruled out every submarine in the world except for one," said Cox. "Only one submarine that exists on the planet, that we know of, could have been at the scene of the crime."

According to Cox, that submarine was one of the North Korean Reconnaissance General Bureau's (RGB) Yono Class midget submarines. The RGB is responsible for covert operations involving reconnaissance, technology and cyber, overseas intelligence and inter-Korean talks.

"The [RGB] does traces, intelligence gathering, abductions of people around the world, assassinations and terrorist attacks," said Cox, who added that the RGB's resume didn't include torpedo attacks against their rival to the South, until the sinking of the Cheonan.

October 8, 2015

U.S. Navy photo by Javier Chagoya
LDOs in Rare Company in NPS' Student Ranks
By Javier Chagoya

Lt. Joseph Hake, left, pictured in the Glasgow Hall courtyard with Dr. Daniel Nussbaum of the Operations Research Department, is in rare company on the NPS campus. When the Fall quarter began, Hake was the only LDO out of the incoming class of 155 fellow students, and is one of just two LDO students onboard out of a population of 720 resident Naval officers.

An LDO is an officer promoted from the Navy enlisted ranks with no interruption in their active duty status. Hake is a cryptologist by trade and now serves as an Information Warfare Officer. Starting out as an E-1 himself, Hake believes that it's important to encourage and support Sailors to climb the ladder of success in the Navy's ranks and beyond.

"I enjoy helping others to advance in their careers while in the Navy … I helped mentor one of my chiefs back at [the National Security Agency], who is now a student at NPS," said Hake. "She submitted a request to attend NPS' Master of Science in Applied Cyber Operations (MACO) and was promptly accepted."

October 7, 2015

Photo courtesy Lt. Jeffrey Miller
Homeland Security Students Observe Alameda's Urban Shield Exercise
By MC3 Brian H. Abel

Officers from the Alameda County Sheriff's Department prepare to conduct a boarding exercise at San Pablo Bay, Calif.., Sept. 13, part of Urban Shield 2015. Navy students enrolled in NPS' homeland security and defense curriculum were on site, offered the opportunity to observe the real-world scenarios first hand.

"When we signed up for the event we had no idea what we were getting into," said Lt. Jeffrey Miller. "They had about 35 to 37 scenarios in the Pleasanton and surrounding Oakland areas."

Miller said he was impressed by the realism of the scenarios, and the coordination that occurred between both U.S. and foreign law enforcement professionals at the event.

"They had SWAT teams from not only the U.S., but from all over the world," said Miller "The interoperability between the SWAT teams and seeing them learn from each other was great to watch."

The Alameda County Sherriff's Department's annual Urban Shield training exercise is designed to ensure local law enforcement agencies are prepared to respond to a domestic threat or terrorist attack. Urban Shield improves regional disaster response capabilities, while also providing a platform for national and international first responders, as well as the private sector, to work efficiently and effectively together when critical incidents occur.

October 6, 2015

U.S. Navy photo by MC2 Michael Ehrlich
Robo Dojo Hosts First Meeting of the Robotics Club
By MC2 Michael Ehrlich

Associate Professor Timothy Chung and Lecturer Kristen Tsolis host the first meeting of NPS' Robotics Club in the Robo Dojo laboratory, Sept 30. The Robotics Club is looking to establish a community setting for students, faculty and staff to explore advancements in robotics and mechatronics.

"The Robo Dojo is an open community venue where people can gain real hands-on experiences, and collaborate with people from many different departments," said Tsolis. "So much research at NPS is stove-piped. We are providing a venue where people can meet, work together and learn from each other."

"We have had a lot of requests to work with schools and kids of all ages," added Chung. "There are already robotics clubs at several high schools; Monterey Peninsula College has begun a robotics curriculum, and CSUMB has a computer science club focused on robotics."

During his introduction to attendees, Chung described two goals he has high hopes for in the robotics club will create.

"I imagine this club could be a social opportunity to learn from their peers," said Chung. "The other area is to foster the mentality of tinkering and learning from the local hotspots we can touch base with.

"We are not that far from the biggest of tinker spaces, Silicon Valley. But, there are tech and space shops we have begun to establish really good relationships with, so we can look do those kinds of field trips as well."

October 5, 2015

U.S. Navy photo by Javier Chagoya
Intel Officer Assumes Command at Fleet Numerical
By Javier Chagoya

Capt. R. Russell Smith, left, renders a salute, accepting command of Fleet Numerical Meteorology and Oceanography Center from Capt. John A. Okon, right, during a Change of Command ceremony held at the Navy's weather forecasting center, Sept. 23. Commander, Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command Rear Adm. Timothy Gallaudet presided over the ceremony.

Okon, a 2003 graduate of NPS, served two years as FNMOC's commanding officer and was praised by Gallaudet for his leadership, innovation and accomplishments.

"During Captain Okon's watch, he spearheaded the FNMOC distributive processing or cloud computing project, and earned the gold standard of cyber security assurance during this past inspection," said Gallaudet.

"He transformed this unit's moral under his watch. He led my efforts of integrating our portion of the Information Dominance Corps in the support of our intelligence community's mission … keeping the fleet safe. He is my most trusted and effective CO," Gallaudet continued.

Incoming Commanding Officer Smith will be the first Intelligence Officer to take over the fleet's forecasting facility, as he brings a fresh view with his experience in the field of Information Dominance and intelligence.

"Every Navy ship that sails, every aircraft that launches from the deck of a carrier, relies on your tireless efforts … It is vital to the military's ability to fight and win our nation's wars when called upon to do so," said Smith. "The timely and accurate, and penetrating understanding you provide to the fleet of the battle space gives us a tremendous advantage over our potential adversaries from the bottom of the oceans to the reaches of space."

October 2, 2015

U.S. Navy photo by MC3 Brian H. Abel
NPS Student Demonstrates LSO Training Through Virtual Reality
By MC3 Brian H. Abel

NPS student Lt. Clay Greunke demonstrates the virtual environment training system he developed to prepare inexperienced Landing Signal Officers (LSO), deploying to aircraft carriers for the first time, during a presentation in the Modeling, Virtual Environments and Simulation (MOVES) Institute, Sept. 23.

"The first time you go to the aircraft carrier, you have no idea what's going on. Planes are going by, people are screaming, people are running across the flight deck … You don't know what to cross, when to cross, what you can and can't do, you are just holding on to the person who's leading you with dear life so you don't get hit," said Greunke. "This sort of environment can help train people to at least raise that awareness of what is going on and the procedural flow, so when they go to the carrier, they're useful."

Greunke chose the LSO for his training platform due to his personal knowledge of the position's responsibilities. He says the LSO environment is a perfect candidate for mainstream, virtual reality training in the Navy.

"The LSO was a good test bed because they have an intense task," said Greunke. "LSOs, before they actually see the landing platform themselves, can at least experience some sort of cognizance of what is going in this circus of the carrier environment. Once you have that higher cognizance, maybe you are able to see something that doesn't look right and point it out to one of the other LSOs for safety."

Greunke's thesis, "Development of a Lightweight, Virtual Reality Trainer for the LSO Community," was honored with the Gary Kildall Award for Computing Innovation this past quarter. He will be heading to the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center to continue developing his system.

October 1, 2015


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