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Today@NPS
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 pao@nps.edu. 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 MC3 Danica M. Sirmans 

NPS Hosts Nimble Titan Tabletop Exercise
MC3 Danica M. Sirmans

Nimble Titan Missile Defense War Game Director, Army Col. Michael Derrick, leads the Nimble Titan 14 campaign overview in Ingersoll Hall, June 27.  International ivilian and military leaders attended the exercise in an attempt to foster collaboration in the missile defense arena.

“We want to maximize cooperation and improve information-sharing across national borders,” said Derrick. “The Nimble Titan Tabletop Exercise is one moving part to accomplish this goal.”

Nimble Titan is comprised, in part, of several tabletop exercises addressing the missile defense needs and concerns of different regions across the globe. “We’re shaping what we in the U.S. can and should be doing in regards to missile defense,” said Derrick. “Nimble Titan gives our leaders an opportunity to take a step out of the office to think about decisions that they may face in the future.”

U.S. Navy photo by Javier Chagoya 

NPS Welcomes Its Latest International Delegation of Students
Javier Chagoya

Pakistani Army Lt. Col. Hassan Farooq, left, and Mexican Navy Cmdr. Andreas Galeana, right, look over a campus map to find their next check-in location, June 24. The two officers, both in the defense analysis program, are part of the newest contingent of nearly 70 international officers from around the world set to begin classes on July 8.

"We had nearly 70 officers from 28 nations around the world arrive on campus over this past week, preparing to begin their studies in a broad range of curricula here at NPS. Returning countries with a break in representation at the institution include Denmark, Indonesia, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Mauritius and the Netherlands," said Assistant Dean of the School of International Graduate Studies, retired Marine Corps Col. Gary Roser.

In addition to many of the same check-in requirements for NPS' traditional U.S. service students, Roser, who leads the International Graduate Programs Office (IGPO), notes that the university's international students face many additional layers of complexity as they begin their respective degree programs. "These first few weeks are a critical time for these students as they adjust to living in a foreign country, not only for themselves but for those who have family-members with them as well," Roser said.

U.S. Navy photo by MC3 Shawn J. Stewart 

NPS Alumnus Returns to Lecture on Climate Change at DRMI Workshop
MC3 Shawn J. Stewart

Director of the Center for Solutions and Climate Risk at Pennsylvania State University, Dr. David Titley lectures to the latest class of the Senior International Defense Management Course, June 26. A master and doctoral alumnus of NPS and retired two-star admiral, Titley spoke on climate change and its impact on national security.

Titley’s five-part lecture posed many issues, ranging from why climate change is a national security issue, to what the defense establishment is doing in opposition to the problem.

“I’m not sure how many of you have thought about climate change as a national security issue,” said Titley. “But the first thing is that climate change is about people … It’s about how it will effect us, and not just the environment.”

U.S. Navy photo by MC3 Shawn J. Stewart 

OR Professor Selected for Leadership Post in Professional Organization
MC3 Shawn J. Stewart

NPS Department of Operations Research Visiting Professor Daniel Nussbaum is pictured during NPS’ Spring Graduation ceremony, June 21. Nussbaum was recently selected as a director on the Board of the International Cost Estimating and Analysis Association (ICEAA).

“It is always an honor to be nominated by your peers for leadership positions, and I have every hope that I can live up to their expectations,” said Nussbaum.

The ICEAA is a non-profit that was formed after the recent merger of two professional organizations, the Society of Cost Estimating and Analysis (SCEA) and the International Society of Parametric Analysis (ISPA). Nussbaum says he looks forward to helping the ICEAA achieve its goal of advancing, encouraging, promoting and enhancing the profession of cost estimating and analysis through education and training.

U.S. Navy photo by Javier Chagoya 

Fallen Marine Honored During Spring Graduation Ceremony
Kenneth Stewart

Keynote speaker U.S. Army Gen. Keith B. Alexander and NPS Interim President Rear Adm. Jan E. Tighe present the daughters of U.S. Marine Corps Maj. Francisco Rodriguez with the degree earned by their father during Spring Quarter graduation, June 21. Rodriguez completed his graduation requirements prior to his passing earlier this year after a long battle with cancer.

“He was a Marine – a Marine with an affable, vibrant personality beloved by all who knew him,” said NPS Senior Marine Corps Representative, Col. Mitchell McCarthy.

Rodriguez completed his studies in electrical engineering at NPS, maintaining a 4.0 grade point average in spite of the illness he faced, and the rigors of his course work. Prior to attending NPS, he served as an EA-6B pilot and completed a combat tour in Iraq, as well as a deployment to Japan. Rodriguez is survived by his wife Rosy and his daughters, Isabella and Alyssa.

U.S. Navy photo by MC3 Shawn J. Stewart 

Spring Quarter Graduation Includes Latest Inductee Into NPS Hall of Fame
Kenneth Stewart

Army Gen. Keith B. Alexander, Commander, U.S. Cyber Command and Director, National Security Agency/Chief, Central Security Service, is officially inducted into NPS’ Hall of Fame during Spring Quarter Graduation ceremonies in King Auditorium, June 21.

A rare occasion during the quarterly graduation ceremony, one of NPS’ most notable graduates was also inducted into the university’s Hall of Fame during the ceremony. Army Gen. Keith B. Alexander, Commander, U.S. Cyber Command and Director, National Security Agency/Chief, Central Security Service, holds two advanced degrees from NPS.

“Today, we have the privilege of welcoming back one of NPS’ most distinguished alumni, not only in service as our keynote speaker for today’s ceremony, but for induction into our prestigious Hall of Fame as well,” said Interim President Rear Adm. Jan E. Tighe. “I can tell you from personal experience, Gen. Keith Alexander serves our nation with incredible distinction, and he has personally influenced my career in a profound way.”

U.S. Navy photo by MC3 Shawn J. Stewart 

NPS Leadership Participate in Annual Panetta Institute Leadership Seminar
MC3 Shawn J. Stewart

Former Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, Marine Corps Maj. Gen. Lawrence Nicholson and NPS Interim President Rear Adm. Jan E. Tighe are pictured with a group of college students from across California following the annual Education for Leadership in Public Service Seminar at the Panetta Institute on the campus of California State University Monterey Bay, June 18. Tighe was invited to the seminar to present her own views on the challenges of leadership in public service.

"It was a privilege to share the stage with former Secretary Panetta and Major General Nicholson at the prestigious Panetta Institute to discuss leadership challenges and successes with these students,” said Tighe. “The work these students are conducting today is sure to pay dividends tomorrow – dividends from which we all will benefit.”

The Panetta Institute for Public Policy serves the California State University system in addition to several other schools and provides opportunities for students to study in government, politics and public policy.

U.S. Navy photo by MC2 Chablis J. Torrence 

NPS Holds Navy-wide Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Training
MC2 Chablis J. Torrence

NPS leadership conduct a Sexual Assault Prevention and Response (SAPR) stand-down for active duty service members and civilian personnel in King Auditorium, June 18. The training, required through a Secretary of Defense mandate that all services conduct a SAPR stand-down no later then July 1, focused on the undeterred creation and maintenance of a working environment culturally grounded in respect and dignity.

“We owe our Sailors, Marines and the American people a solution to the sexual assault problem in our ranks,” noted Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus in an all hands message earlier this month. “This is a very real problem and it presents a clear danger to the very foundation of our naval culture.”

NPS Acting Chief of Staff Capt. Deidre McLay reiterated the message, calling for action that all Sailors agreed to when they put the uniform on. “We conformed, we agreed. Everyone of us volunteered to uphold the standards of the Navy, and the standard of the Navy is that sexual assault is wrong,” said McLay.

U.S. Navy photo by Javier Chagoya 

NWC Monterey Celebrates 55th Graduating Class
Javier Chagoya

Graduates from the Naval War College stand for a group portrait on the steps of Herrmann Hall, June 13. A total of 94 U.S. Navy, Army and Marine Corps officers earned their NWC Command and Staff diploma with phase one Joint Professional Military Education (JPME) certification.

“Students at NPS have the advantage of being able to use their skills and knowledge from their degree programs while studying their profession of arms from several different military services,” said Naval War College Monterey Chairmen Fred P. Drake.

Through the NPS/NWC partnership, 3,296 officers have earned their JPME phase one certification since the program’s inception in September 1999.

U.S. Navy photo by MC2 Chablis J. Torrence 

Final Cyber Security and Privacy Training Session This Week
MC2 Chablis J. Torrence

A packed house attends one of several Information Technology and Communications Services (ITACS) cyber security and privacy training sessions for students, faculty and staff in Glasgow Hall, June 13.

“This isn’t just about your security here, but at home as well,” said ITACS Information Systems Security Manager Terrence Welliver, emphasizing the value of the information presented beyond the workplace.

Attending the live two-hour training session meets several annual training requirements for all users of the NPS Educational Research Network (ERN), or .edu.  ITACS officials note that although it is a DOD directive that mandates all personnel receive annual information assurance training, it’s also a sensible requirement for safe access to valuable NPS computer systems.

U.S. Navy photo by MC1 Grant P. Ammon 

University President Addresses Local Kiwanis Club
MC1 Grant P. Ammon

Interim President Rear Adm. Jan E. Tighe delivers an overview of the Naval Postgraduate School and its current operations to members of the Kiwanis Club of Monterey during a monthly meeting of the organization, June 12. During the hour-long meeting, Tighe provided attendees with a comprehensive review of the university, its impact on the local community, and answered questions from the gathered Kiwanians.

"We are proud to be good neighbors within the Monterey community,” said Tighe in her address. “We have received a lot of support from the region, and from our Navy leadership. The school is looking forward, and we are proud to connect our research to the needs of the Navy and the Department of Defense.”

The Kiwanis Club of Monterey was chartered on October 23, 1926. Forty-one public-service-minded citizens, representing a diverse array of businesses and professions, claim the honor of being charter members of the Kiwanis Club of Monterey.

U.S. Navy photo by Javier Chagoya 

Spring Grad Awards Ceremony Honors Top NPS Students, Faculty
Javier Chagoya

Select award winners and participants from the Spring Graduation Awards Ceremony gather for a group photo following the celebration in Watkins Hall Auditorium, June 11. A jubilant Lt. Cmdr. Autumn Daniel received four academic awards and a long list of accolades for her work in the Graduate School of Business and Public Policy.

“It’s an honor to be considered for the awards because there is so much talent in both the student body and faculty, and really I should be thanking my classmates and professors who I learned from,” said Daniel. “I think the analytical tools learned in the financial management and acquisition courses here will certainly help me solve problems in my next assignment,” she added. A Supply Corps Officer, Daniel’s follow on assignment will be serving aboard USS Carl Vinson as the principal assistant for services.

In addition to the Navy League Award, Daniel was also recognized with the Naval Supply Systems Command Award for Academic Excellence in Management; the Commander Philip A. Murphy-Sweet Memorial Award for Excellence in Acquisition; and, the Louis D. Liskin Award for Excellence in Business and Public Policy.

U.S. Navy photo by MC2 Chablis J. Torrence 

Air Force Chief Scientist Keynotes Adaptive Optics Workshop
MC2 Chablis J. Torrence

Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Distinguished Professor Dr. Brij Agrawal introduces Air Force Research Lab Chief Scientist Dr. Jim Riker as keynote speaker for the third Adaptive Optics Workshop hosted by NPS’ Adaptive Optics Center of Excellence for National Security in Glasgow Hall, June 11. The workshop explores applications in imaging satellites and high-energy laser beam control.

NPS Interim President Rear Adm. Jan E. Tighe welcomed attendees to the event, but AOCOE Director and NPS Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Distinguished Professor Dr. Brij Agrawal noted her participation went beyond greeting the workshop’s participants. “I really appreciate and want to thank Admiral Tighe for being here,” said Agrawal. “Without her taking a personal interest in the program and in getting this workshop approved, because of the sequestration, it would have been quite a challenge.”

Among the topics being covered at this three-day event are Deep Turbulence and Counter-Propagating Waves in Deep Atmospheric Turbulence for DE and Laser Communication, Beam Control in Deep Turbulence, HEL Beam Control Test-beds, Challenges Related to Ground Telescopes, AOCOE Research Progress, and a two-part session on Challenges in Large Aperture Imaging Satellites.

U.S. Navy photo by MC3 Shawn J. Stewart 

Marine Corps Students, Mentors Congratulate Local Graduates
MC3 Shawn J. Stewart

NPS National Security Affairs student Marine Corps Capt. Brett McCormick congratulates Jose Ojeda-Vasquez after a graduation ceremony held for the Central Coast High School (CCHS) Class of 2013 in Seaside, June 7.

McCormick is a mentor to Ojeda-Vasquez through the Motivating Others Through Outreach (MOTO) program, a Marine-led community outreach initiative designed to match troubled students with experienced Marine Corps officers in an effort to give back to the local community. “Upon arriving in Monterey, I began searching for a way to give back to the people who have, and continue to show, the military and their families unwavering support,” said Marine Corps Capt. Kimberly Julka, developer of the MOTO program. “Motivating Others Through Outreach is only one opportunity that we as students at NPS can use to contribute positively to the lives of local youth.”

MOTO members receive specialized training before being paired with students at CCHS. The training prepares the Marines to work with at-risk teens on building and sustaining healthy student-mentor relationships.

U.S. Navy photo by Javier Chagoya 

Military Faculty Shares Conquests of the “Seven Summits”
MC2 Chablis J. Torrence

Military Associate Professor Cmdr. Michael Hsu of the NPS Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering offers insights into his experiences climbing seven of the world’s highest mountains over a period of 10 years, known in mountaineering circles as the “Seven Summits,” during a special guest lecture in Spanagel Hall, June 5.

The Seven Summits refer to the collective of the highest peaks on each of the seven continents … Mount Everest in Nepal being the tallest of the seven.

Would Hsu do it again? "Yes,” he emphasized. “Mountaineering has been a fun hobby, but it pales in comparison to our service in the military. I have had the chance to do even more interesting things in the Navy!”

Having spent 20-plus years in the Navy, Hsu is looking forward to retirement and a new career in the medical field. He retires in September and plans to enter medical school thereafter.

U.S. Navy photo by Javier Chagoya 

NPS Alumnus Recounts Efforts to Defeat Piracy
Kenneth A. Stewart

Former Expeditionary Strike Group 2 Commander, retired Rear Adm. Terrence E. McKnight fields a student’s question on East African piracy in NPS’ King Auditorium, June 4. McKnight’s anti-piracy efforts are documented in his book, “Pirate Alley,” and were recounted during the latest installment of the Secretary of the Navy Guest Lecture series.

McKnight, an NPS alumnus, returned to a packed auditorium where he recounted his sometimes humorous and often frustrating efforts to defeat Somali pirates. “We were like the dog that chases down a car. He catches it, then doesn’t know what to do with it,” quipped McKnight.

Humor aside, McKnight recalled the numerous issues that arose during early attempts to quell piracy off the Somali coast. Lawyers were tasked with determining the status of pirates, where they were to be prosecuted and if convicted, where they should be jailed. "We caught pirates, but there were questions about what to do with them once we caught them,” said McKnight.

Despite the legal ambiguities that plagued early piracy efforts, McKnight insists that progress has been made. He points to a 64 percent drop in pirate attacks between 2011 and 2012. McKnight attributes this drop to increased international anti-piracy operations in the region and several seemingly basic anti-piracy measures including the presence of security teams, lookouts, alarms and safe rooms.

U.S. Navy photo by MC1 Grant Ammon 

Republic of Korea Air Force Major General Visits NPS
MC3 Danica M. Sirmans

Republic of Korea Air Force Maj. Gen. Jae-Bock Park meets with National Security Affairs faculty members at NPS’ Peacock Room, June 4.  Park obtained a master’s degree from NPS in computer system management 26 years ago.

“I’ve been dreaming of coming back to NPS,” said Park.  “My dream came true this week.”

Park sat down with NPS professors for a round table discussion focused on relations between the U.S. and the Republic of Korea. Discussion also touched on China’s role in defusing tensions between the Republic of Korea and its reclusive, Stalinist neighbor to the North, The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

Associate Professor Chris Twomey took part in the discussion. Twomey is one of NPS’ leading Chinese military and foreign policy experts. "China is a key partner for North Korea and without Chinese support, North Korea would likely collapse,” said Twomey.  “Some of China’s interests are aligned with American interests … [China] ends up being the state that the U.S. and South Korea turn to leverage North Korea.”  

U.S. Navy photo by MC3 Shawn J. Stewart 

Defense Analysis Faculty Brief State Dept. Official on Anti-Gang Initiative
MC3 Shawn J. Stewart

Sam Farr, U.S. Representative for California’s 20th congressional district, speaks to NPS faculty during a campus visit, May 30. Farr brought Assistant Secretary of State for Conflict and Stabilization Operations, Ambassador Rick Barton, onto campus for an introductory look into NPS’ community advisory initiative designed to apply counterinsurgency strategy to combat gang activity in nearby Salinas, Calif.

“We are interested in how we can use your ideas in places where there is a wide range of violence … and help societies in crisis,” said Barton.

Barton leads a relatively new effort at the U.S. State Department designed to drive efforts in conflict prevention and stabilizing crises in key developing nations. He was especially interested in hearing how innovative initiatives are applied through locally-driven solutions.

“No matter what you call them, gangs or youth movements, they are part of an issue that we need to understand better,” continued Barton. “We are eager to hear your thoughts and have a conversation on this important topic.”

U.S. Navy photo by MC3 Shawn J. Stewart 

Students, Faculty Briefed on Advantages of Laser Peening
MC3 Shawn J. Stewart

Vice President for Advanced Technologies, Dr. Lloyd Hackel, with Curtiss-Wright Surface Technologies’ Metal Improvement Company, details how his company optimizes the performance of metal materials by utilizing “peening technology” during a guest lecture in NPS’ Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Auditorium, May 29. Hackel discussed how peening technology can improve efficiency, reduce replacement costs and mitigate corrosion.

“The basic idea is to use laser peening to engineer residual compressive stress where ever you would want it,” said Lloyd. “The laser creates a plasma that is covered by a thin layer of water shot in short pulses of 20 nanoseconds."

"The advantage of laser peening is the deep level of residual compressive stress I can push into the metal. This keeps cracks closed and its initiating properties keeps them from growing, ultimately improving the fatigue resistance of highly-stressed components,” added Hackel.

The lecture also featured Electric Power Research Institute Senior Engineer and Project Manager, Dr. Paul Crooker. Crooker works with the institute’s Pressurized Water Reactor Materials Reliability and Technology Innovation Program.

U.S. Navy photo by Javier Chagoya 

University Welcomes New Provost to Campus

Dr. Douglas A. Hensler, pictured in front of Herrmann Hall, began his tenure as the 14th provost of the Naval Postgraduate School today, June 3. Hensler joins NPS following five years as dean of the W. Frank Barton School of Business at Wichita State University, and a lengthy career in both academia and industry. Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus announced Hensler’s selection in mid-April following a diligent search led by the NPS Provost Search Committee.

Hensler hit the ground running with a packed schedule of commitments during his first full day on the job, but noted he has been eager to get started since accepting the position in April.

"I have been looking forward to this day for some time," Hensler said. "The Naval Postgraduate School has an outstanding academic reputation, and in combination with its mission to the Navy and Department of Defense, the university is truly a critical asset for our national security. Serving as Provost for this institution is a true honor for me professionally, and a wonderful opportunity for my family."

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