Mar 26, 2019

Chairman’s Update

Spring is the best time of the year - it’s about baseball, warmer weather and, of course, the birthday of Naval Intelligence. This year’s March 23rd will mark our 137th anniversary since the founding in 1882. Rear Admiral (Ret) Liz Train, NIP Foundation Committee Chair, will represent NIP in Suitland on the 22nd of March to join RDML Gene Price, COMONI, to celebrate the founding, accomplishments and continuing impact of Naval Intelligence.

NIP events and activities are well underway for 2019! Our annual scholarship program for academic year 2019-2020 is currently open for application submissions. You can all help in spreading the word to get more applicants for the six $5,000 scholarships. Find more information about application requirements on the NIP website: The web site is also where you can update your contact information to help sustain your NIP network.

This spring’s annual Red Tie luncheon will be held on Friday, 3 May at the Army Navy Country Club. We hope you can join us as we present the Red Tie award to an exceptionally deserving leader, the Deputy Director of Naval Intelligence, Ms. Lynn Wright. Invited as our guest speaker for the luncheon is Neil Wiley, (CDR, Ret) the DIA Director of Intelligence Analysis. Both these Naval Intelligence professionals have a long history of dedication, service and exceptional contribution to the integrity and analytical core of our profession. Don’t miss the opportunity to hear from and to honor them and, of course, the opportunity to reconnect with NIP shipmates!

The announcement for the Naval Intelligence Professionals essay contest sponsored with the US Naval Institute will appear in the April issue of Proceedings. This year’s theme, approved by Navy DNI VADM Matt Kohler, asks authors to explore what Naval Intelligence and Information Warfare should do or prioritize in the current strategic environment to achieve the high-velocity outcomes across the lines of effort called for in CNO Richardson’s new Design for Maintaining Maritime Superiority 2.0.

We’ve had two superb “3rd Thursday” events so far this year here in northern Virginia. Last month we had the pleasure of getting a perspective on the challenges of Cyber intelligence from RDML Trey Whitworth who is currently serving at NSA after having led intelligence as the J2 for USAFRICOM. Our January event featured RDML Mike Brookes talking about his experience as the 06 Information Warfare Commander aboard the USS Stennis for a WestPac cruise early last year. For those who want to hear more about this new fleet concept, click on the link below to the US Naval Institute to hear NIP Member and Proceedings Editor Bill Hamblett (CAPT, Ret) moderate a debate between CAPT Cliff Bean and CAPT Henry Stephenson on the IW Warfare Officer afloat concept. For another perspective on the Navy’s threat challenges in the Cyber domain, you can read the SECNAV report, “Cyber Readiness Review released on 12 March at

Our upcoming 3rd Thursday event on March 21st features Bill Bray, (CAPT, Ret) Deputy Editor-in-Chief of USNI Proceedings who will talk about writing for Proceedings, a topic that should prove of interest to many including those considering entering the NIP Naval Intelligence Essay contest. For our April event, we have scheduled LCDR Chris Ferrante, N2 Department Head at Navy Cyber Defense Operations Command, to discuss his experience as a SECNAV Industry Fellow with USAA Cyber Threat Operations Center. We are eager to get your ideas on future speakers and locations and also want to hear from NIP chapters on their leadership discussions. Bob Allen ( is our NIP 3rd Thursday coordinator.

Congratulations to:
VADM Bob Sharp who was promoted during his change of command ceremony at Suitland in January and who assumed command of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) in February. VADM Sharp is the second Naval Intelligence Flag Officer (after VADM Bob Murrett) and third NIP leader (Ms. Tish Long also led NGA) to serve as the Director of NGA.

Rear Admiral Trey Whitworth and Rear Admiral Kelly Aeshbach have been nominated for their second star. Whitworth is currently serving at the NSA and is slated for the Joint Staff to serve as the Director of Intelligence (J2). RDML Aeshbach is currently serving as the J2 at USSTRATCOM and will be heading to Suitland, MD later this spring to take command of ONI.
RDML Gene Price relieved VADM Bob Sharp as Commander of ONI in January and is holding down that job for RDML Aeshbach while he continues to serve as the Commander Naval Information Force Reserve.

Rear Admiral (lower half) Mike Brookes, currently serving as the Deputy Commander at 10th Fleet, is headed to Omaha where he will take over duties as the USSTRATCOM J2.

Captain Mike Vernazza and Captain Nick Homan were both selected for flag rank this year. Mike is currently serving as the Chief of Staff for the 10th Fleet after serving as senior detailer and as CO of the Navy Information Operations Command in Georgia while Nick is currently the Information Warfare Commander with CSG11 after serving as ONI Chief of Staff and having had command of the ONI Nimitz Operational Intelligence Center.

Our Navy Information Warfare Industry Day with N2/N6 and jointly sponsored with AFCEA will be held on 21 June at the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency in Springfield, VA. This is a classified event. See the AFCEA website to sign up and to sponsor.

Our fall NIP annual open board meeting and luncheon is scheduled for 18 October at the Army Navy Country Club.
To help with the rising costs of maintaining our web site and administrative activities, as of 1 April, the cost for NIP membership will be $45 dollars for one year for LCDRs/GS-13s and contractors. For junior officers and enlisted, the one-year cost will be $35. A five-year membership is available for $200. NIP membership gives a reduced charge for the annual luncheon and provides the ability to get to additional data and information at our web site. Also, our mailing address has changed. The new one is:

P.O. Box 90461
Washington, DC 20090

Thanks to all for your continued support to the NIP!

Tony L. Cothron
Rear Admiral, USN, Retired
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Naval Intelligence Professionals