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Today@NPS - March 2012

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 MC1 Rob Rubio 

Submarine Forces Commander Highlights Winter Graduation
By MC1 Rob Rubio

Vice Adm. John M. Richardson, currently serving as Commander, Submarine Forces as well as Commander, Submarine Force Atlantic and Commander, Allied Submarine Command, presents the graduation address during the Winter Quarter commencement ceremony, Mar. 30.  

Vice Adm. Richardson opened his remarks by thanking the NPS community for the invitation to be guest speaker, and paid the graduating class a high complement by noting that they "both individually and collectively represent a tremendous addition to the strategic arsenal of our nation.”  

A total of 307 students graduated today, earning 308 degrees. The graduating class was composed of 196 military, 81 civilians and 30 international students.

U.S.Navy photo by Javier Chagoya 

NWC President Honors Latest Round of Graduates

The 50th graduating class of the Naval War College (NWC) Monterey partnership with NPS for Joint Professional Military Education (JPME) stands for a group portrait on the steps of Herrmann Hall, Mar. 21.

NWC President Rear Adm. John N. Christenson flew in from Newport, R.I., to give inspirational comments to graduates as they wrapped up their final quarter in the NWC Monterey partnership. A total of 63 U.S. Navy, Army and Marine Corps officers earned additional military education credits, in addition to their NWC Command and Staff diploma with JPME Phase I certification.

NWC Monterey Chairman, Prof. Fred Drake, accompanied Christenson on the stage as the diplomas were delivered to the select group. Through the partnership's 12-plus years, a total of 2,825 officers have earned this certification since the program’s inception in September 1999.

U.S.Navy photo by Javier Chagoya 

Marine Corps Students Earn Command & Staff College Credit
By Javier Chagoya

A collective of Marine Corps and international students put in the extra hard work on top of their normal quarterly programs in order to gain the knowledge and experience of the Marine Corps College of Distance Education Command and Staff course work.  A total of 13 students, including officers from Sri Lanka, The Netherlands and Norway, received their Command and Staff Diplomas during an informal ceremony, Mar. 21.

The Marine Corps Professional Military Education (PME) Program at NPS currently supports over 45 Marine Corps officers and is managed by the Marine Corps Air Station Miramar campus of the Marine Corps College of Distance Education (CDET.)  

The Command and Staff College Seminar Program has been developed by the Marine Corps University and CDET.  In addition to meeting Marine Corps field grade officer PME requirements, it is accredited by the Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff as meeting U.S. Joint PME Phase I education requirements.   The curriculum is derived from the resident Command and Staff College (CSC) curriculum and is considered equivalent to the resident courses for purposes of promotion and assignment and is an institutional expectation for Marine Majors and CWO4s.  The program currently supports over 40 Marine Officers as well as over 12 International Officers assigned to NPS.

U.S.Navy photo by Javier Chagoya 

Physics Professor Honored With Annual Hamming Award
By MC1 Leonardo Carrillo

Physics Professor R. Christopher Olsen lectures to a packed classroom, including students in the dedicated remote sensing intelligence program he played a key role in developing. Olsen was recently honored with the 2012 Richard W. Hamming Annual Faculty Award for Interdisciplinary Achievement.

“I feel like it is a welcome recognition of a number of years of hard work, including a lot of effort in connecting with my peers across the campus,” said Olsen. “I've been building the remote sensing program for some years now, and the award comes at a time when that effort is starting to bear fruit. It's been particularly gratifying to hear that my colleagues feel the award was well earned.”

Olsen’s primary research is focused on remote sensing, with an emphasis on the general problem of target detection. He has worked with optical and radar data from a variety of civilian and national systems, and in the last few years, has been working in the area of spectral imagery, utilizing the visible to short-wave infrared HYDICE sensor, and the mid- to long-wave infrared SEBASS sensor. Olsen was also instrumental in creating the Remote Sensing Intelligence Master's degree program with students in the first cohort now completing the second quarter of classes.

The annual Hamming award is named after NPS professor emeritus Dr. Richard W. Hamming, and highlights a faculty member annually for their commitment to interdisciplinary achievement.

U.S.Navy photo by MC1 Grant Ammon 

EMBA Students Participate in Program Orientation
By MC1 Grant Ammon

Houda Tarabishi, far right, Deputy Director for NPS' Executive Master's of Business Administration (EMBA) program, meets with students from NASA's Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center during orientation week for incoming students of the most recent EMBA distance learning program.

The 54 civilian and military students representing the program's Eastern and Western cohorts were on campus to take part in a week-long orientation and initial class meeting held on campus Mar. 19 - 23. EMBA cohorts are taught via Video Tele-Education (VTE) in fleet concentration areas throughout the United States. 

NPS' EMBA program has been in existence since 2002, and was designed to reach members of the aviation community which typically have been unable to attend resident programs due to career gates. In 2009, a civilian EMBA program was added to reach Financial Management professionals within the Department of the Navy. The course of instruction includes 17 courses taught over a two year period. Students attend classes one day a week, with two courses taught each quarter.

U.S.Navy photo by MC1 Rob Rubio 

FFSC Celebrates Improvement With Grand Opening
By MC1 Rob Rubio

Fleet & Family Support Center Site Director Jodi Pallett and Naval Support Activity Monterey (NSAM) Deputy Pete Dausen cut the celebratory ribbon at the grand re-opening of the Fleet & Family Support Center in the La Mesa housing area, Mar. 13.

The new FFSC showcases the facility's reconstruction, including new furnishings, new computers, printers and Wi-Fi thoughout the center – all to assist the center's staff with supporting the region's military community at NPS and beyond.

The services offered at FFSC include deployment support, family advocacy, family employment readiness, life skills education, personal financial management assistance, relocation assistance, Individual Augmentee family support, sexual assault prevention and response, transition assistance, command Ombudsman support, volunteer support and Internet access and fax service.

“The staff at FFSC is very proud to support our military members and their families,” noted Pallett, FFSC Site Director. “We are excited to bring forth a much improved facility that mirrors the quality and commitment that our staff provides for our customers.”

U.S.Navy photo by MC1 Grant Ammon 

Navy-wide Exercises Focus on Force Protection
By MC1 Grant Ammon

Naval Support Activity Monterey Police Officer Rey McCubbin interviews simulated detainees role-playing as members of a violent mob during the Fleet-wide exercise Solid Curtain-Citadel Shield 2012 (SCCS-12). The exercise is taking place on naval bases and installations throughout the United States from Mar. 19-24.

SCCS-12 is designed to enhance the training and readiness of the military and civilians that comprise the Navy’s Security Forces that respond to threats to installations and units. The exercise is not in response to any specific threat, but is a regularly-scheduled exercise occurring across the country.

Measures have been taken to minimize disruptions to normal base and station operations, but there may be times when the exercise causes increased traffic around bases or delays in base access. Area residents may also see increased security activity associated with the exercise. Members of the NPS community are invited to track local updates or get the latest news on the exercise via the NSAM website at

U.S.Navy photo by MC1 Leonardo Carrillo 

FAOAM Brings Former Chevron Executive to Share Insights on Saudi Arabia
By MC1 Leonardo Carrillo

Former Chief Executive Officer of the Arabian Chevron Oil Company, Hugh Renfro, speaks to an audience of Naval Postgraduate School students, faculty and staff before the presentation of an IMAX documentary entitled “Arabia 3D,” Mar. 15.

The Foreign Area Officer Association of Monterey (FAOAM) gave NPS students the opportunity to listen to Renfro share insights from his more than 20-years of experience working with high-ranking officials with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. He gave a brief history of the country and the development of its oil industry, along with his personal experiences while he lived there.

As part of his lecture, Renfro presented the IMAX documentary, “Arabia 3D,” which portrayed the culture and history of Saudi Arabia from its beginnings of frankincense trade and the Himyarite Kingdom to its sprawling cities and advanced education and technology of today. The film follows the story of a 22-year-old Arabian film student named Hamzah Jamjoom as he returns to Saudi Arabia after studying at Chicago’s De Paul University. Jamjoom decides he wants to make a film about his country, and embarks on a journey that takes him to the Bedouin tribes in the Arabian Desert, to historic and religious locations, and to modern cities across the Arabian Peninsula.

U.S.Navy photo by CENIC 

CENIC Presents Innovations in Networking Award to NPS and DLIFLC
By MC1 Rob Rubio

NPS information technology leadership join colleagues from the nearby Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center (DLIFLC) and the Corporation for Education Network Initiatives in California (CENIC) to accept the 2012 Innovations in Networking Award at the CENIC Annual Conference, Mar. 13. Pictured, from left to right, are Doug Hartline, Director of Core Technologies at UC Santa Cruz and 2012 CENIC Conference Chair; Doug Weismann, NPS Academic Network Engineer; Jon Russell, DLIFLC Chief Technology Officer; Joe LoPiccolo, NPS Executive Director for Information Technology and Communication Services; Dr. Christine Haska, NPS Vice President for Information Resources and Chief Information Officer; Louis Fox, CENIC President and Chief Executive Officer; and Col. Danial Pick, DLIFLC Commandant.

CENIC presented NPS and DLIFLC with the award for their partnership to establish a regional academic network along with the NPS-assisted migration of the Army language school from a traditional .MIL military network to an academic-based .EDU domain.

U.S.Navy photo by MC1 Leonardo Carrillo 

Tomorrow's Scientists Tour NPS Facilities
By MC1 Leonardo Carrillo

Students from the Junior Science and Humanities Symposia (JSHS) observe a demonstration of a remotely-controlled quadrotor miniature helicopter in the Autonomous Systems Laboratory at NPS, Mar. 8. JSHS students from Northern California and Western Nevada got the opportunity to visit NPS, tour laboratories and facilities on campus, and meet some professors.

JSHS is a program designed to challenge and engage students from grades 9 – 12 in fields like science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Students conduct original research, and compete individually for scholarships before a panel of judges and before an audience. Visits to institutions like NPS give these students the opportunity to have a hands-on experience with real-world, scientific research conducted by professionals. The program is sponsored by the research arm of the Department of Defense and works in cooperation with colleges and universities across the nation.

The mission of the program is to promote interest in STEM fields, and support students in their dreams of becoming the professional scientists and engineers of the future. During their visit, students toured several laboratories at NPS, such as marine propulsion, structures and vibration, material science and others. 

U.S.Navy photo by MC1 Leonardo Carrillo 

Renowned Producer, Director Screens Latest Film with NSA Class
By MC1 Leonardo Carrillo

Students attend a screening of the film “Human Terrain” during a National Security Affairs (NSA) course in military history and post-conflict security building taught by Distinguished Professor Douglas Porch in Glasgow Hall, Mar. 5.

"Human Terrain" is documentary about a U.S. government program called Human Terrain Systems – an effort that attempted to promote cultural awareness in order to win over the hearts and minds of the local populations during conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. The film follows the story of a Brown University Ph.D. student that reluctantly volunteers to serve on a Human Terrain Team (HTT) in Afghanistan, and is tragically killed by an Improvised Explosive Device. The death of the student, along with a few other HTT members, sparks heated debate among academics and military officials about the ethical implications and overall effectiveness of the program.

Co-writer, producer and director of the film, Professor James Der Derian of Brown University, presented the work and answered questions from the audience following the screening.

U.S.Navy photo by MC1 Grant Ammon 

Commanding General of Marine Corps’ Warfighting Lab Explores NPS
By MC1 Grant Ammon

Brig. Gen. Mark R. Wise, right, Commanding General of Marine Corps Warfighting Lab, and Maj Gen. Melvin G. Spiese, Deputy Commanding General of I Marine Expeditionary Force, visited NPS as part of an exploratory visit.

The two leaders met with Executive Vice President and Provost Dr. Leonard Ferrari, and various members of faculty and staff during their time on campus. The generals also toured the CRUSER lab, the Common Operational Research Environment lab, viewed demonstrations in the autonomous systems lab, and received briefs on various NPS functions and research.

Wise recently assumed command of the Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory (MCWL) based in Quantico, Va. Through innovation and experimentation, the Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory produces solutions for the Corps’ operating forces. Established in 1995, MCWL creates technological and strategic advances in response to the needs of today’s warfighter, and works closely with the Office of Naval Research and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.

U.S.Navy photo by Javier Chagoya 

NPS Defense Analysis and Army’s Asymmetric Warfare Group to Establish Partnership
By MC1 Grant Ammon and Javier Chagoya

Representatives from the U.S. Army’s Asymmetric Warfare Group (AWG) along with members of NPS’ Department of Defense Analysis gather for a group photo following a meeting focused on establishing a partnership between the two organizations.

The U.S. Army established the AWG to focus on the current and future challenges presented by adversaries who employ adaptive, asymmetric strategies and tactics, and are effective in mitigating, countering and exploiting U.S. military capabilities and weaknesses. The Defense Analysis (DA) program at NPS is designed to select and teach military professionals, as well as interagency personnel, in the critical thinking skills and specialized knowledge needed for waging and prevailing in operations during complex conflicts. 

The relationship includes faculty and student research in support of AWG priorities, exchanges of faculty and AWG personnel between institutions as subject matter experts, and post graduation student internships.

U.S.Navy photo by MC1 Grant Ammon 

Former Head of NASA Offers SGL on Leadership
By Amanda D. Stein

Dr. Michael Griffin, Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and Director of the Center for System Studies at the University of Alabama, presented a Secretary of the Navy Guest Lecture to NPS students, faculty and staff, Mar. 8, in King Auditorium. Griffin spoke in detail about the value of strong leadership, especially in the government sector.

“In my opinion, the best compromise to relieve the tension between what I call the autocracy of expertise and the need to be open and transparent in the spending of federal tax dollars, occurs when leaders and managers are chosen, selected to be of demonstrated character and expertise,” said Griffin. “When that’s done, I think it’s the best hope the public will ever have that their tax dollars are well and wisely spent.”

Griffin previously served as the Administrator of NASA, as well as Chief Engineer and Associate Administrator for Exploration. He also has the industry perspective on aerospace engineering, having served in various capacities within the private sector.

U.S.Navy photo by Javier Chagoya 

Naval War College Monterey Professor's Lecture to Air on C-SPAN Television
By MC1 Leonardo Carrillo

A Naval Postgraduate School lecture by Naval War College (NWC) Monterey Professor Donald Stoker is scheduled to broadcast on C-SPAN this weekend, Mar. 10 and 11.

"My lecture is on North Vietnamese strategy and is part of the curriculum for the Strategy and War course we teach here in Monterey at the Naval Postgraduate School," Stoker said. "Our program here is administered by the Naval War College and is part of the College of Distance Education’s Joint Professional Military Education program."

The lecture was filmed at NPS on November 18, 2011, and is part of one of four courses required to complete the NWC Command & Staff diploma while attending degree studies at NPS. The broadcast is scheduled to run on Saturday, Mar. 10, at 5:00 and 9:00 p.m. (PST), and on Sunday, Mar. 11, at 10:00 a.m. PST on C-Span 3, also known as American History TV. After the broadcasts, the lecture will be available on the C-SPAN website.

U.S.Navy photo by MC1 Leonardo Carrillo 

Deputy National Intelligence Manager for Cyber Visits NPS
By MC1 Rob Rubio

Jim Richberg, Deputy National Intelligence Manager for Cyber, right, learns about NPS' Center for Cyber Warfare from center Director, John McEachen, during Richberg's visit to NPS on Mar. 5, 2012.

During his visit, Richberg spoke to faculty, staff and students on a variety of subjects including the Unified Intelligence Strategy for Cyberspace and the Comprehensive National Cybersecurity Initiative.  Following the discussion, he received a tour of CCW and several associated laboratories.

NPS has placed a renewed focus on cyber studies and research, as the field was singled-out by defense leadership as one of the DOD's areas of focus for the future. Richberg's visit not only helped NPS students and faculty better understand the needs of the defense community, but it also gave Richberg a look at the work being done at NPS in support of the DOD's cyber efforts.


U.S.Navy photo by MC1 Leonardo Carrillo 

SOUTHCOM Deputy Commander Talks Education, Collaboration
By MC1 Leonardo Carrillo

Vice Adm. Joseph Kernan, Deputy Commander, United States Southern Command (SOUTHCOM), left, speaks to Naval Postgraduate School students during a lecture in Ingersoll Hall on Feb. 29.

Students listened to the SOUTHCOM second-in-command speak about the progress and challenges facing the South and Central American area of responsibility (AOR) and of the importance of succeeding in the region.

As an example of the work being conducted in the SOUTHCOM AOR, Kernan touched briefly on Operation Martillo (a word that means hammer, in Spanish). Operation Martillo is a joint U.S., European, and Western Hemisphere partner-nation effort that targets illicit trafficking routes in coastal waters along Central America.

Kernan also emphasized the importance of graduate level education, the invaluable experiences students acquire while studying at NPS and the implications for their training to their future commitments.

U.S.Navy photo by MC1 Leonardo Carrillo 

Latest CRUSER Lecture Features DARPA Program Manager
By MC1 Leonardo Carrillo

Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Tactical Technology Office Program Manager Scott Littlefield speaks with Associate Professor of Information Sciences Don Brutzman after a Naval Postgraduate School Consortium for Robotics and Unmanned Systems Education and Research (CRUSER) guest lecture in the Mechanical Engineering Auditorium, Feb. 24.

Littlefield’s lecture focused on new technologies being explored by DARPA in the field of unmanned vehicles and presented potential areas of collaboration with NPS. He noted during his presentation that the university's mission of graduate level education and research, driven by operational relevance, presents many opportunities to combine efforts.

“I really view NPS as a great resource for developing new ideas,” said Littlefield. “The marriage of the technology focus with the operational focus creates a synergy that is very unique about NPS.”

U.S.Navy photo by Javier Chagoya 

Leader in Individual Rights Offers Unique Perspectives During Latest SGL
By MC1 Leonardo Carrillo

Dr. Yaron Brook, President of the Ayn Rand Center for Individual Rights, speaks to Naval Postgraduate School students, faculty and staff during a Secretary of the Navy Guest Lecture (SGL) in King Auditorium, Feb. 29.

During his lecture, Brook offered thought-provoking insights on his views of the importance of what he called true capitalism, and what the U.S. should do to become a true capitalist, or objectivist, nation.

The Center for Individual Rights is the policy and outreach division of the Ayn Rand Center, and its mission is "to advance individual rights (the rights of each person to life, liberty, property, and the pursuit of happiness) as the moral basis for a fully free, laissez-faire capitalist society," as noted on the organization's website.  Brooks, who was born in Israel and moved to the U.S. in the late 80s, is a strong proponent of the objectivist philosophy, started by organization's namesake, the late author Ayn Rand.

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