Oct 06, 2019

Chairman’s Update

Fall is here and not only is it football and baseball playoff season, it’s also time to sign up for the annual NIP Open Board meeting and luncheon. This year, it will be on Friday, 11 October at the Army-Navy Country Club in Arlington. The Board meeting starts at 1000 and is open to all members. There is a social hour from 1100-1155 and our lunch is from 12-1330. We’ll be announcing the winners of the NIP/USNI Intelligence essay contest during the lunch from the 30 essays received this year. VADM Kohler will be our guest speaker, and we’ll also have CDR (Ret.) Leah Bray there to give us a few comments and view on the State Department’s efforts across government to counter Chinese and Russian influence operations. CDR Bray, a career Intelligence Officer, was our first female attache in Beijing, served with the National Security Council and is now leading some very interesting work at the State Department in the Global Engagement Center.

We had a good turnout and very nice Red Tie luncheon this past May and presented the Red Tie award to the Deputy Director of Naval Intelligence, Ms. Lynn Wright, who is retiring from federal service this fall after 35 years. Having started as a young submarine analyst at the Navy Operational Intelligence Center (NAVOPINTCEN), Lynn’s contributions over her career and especially her six years as Deputy Navy DNI have been extraordinarily successful in refocusing Naval Intelligence on the threat from Great Power competition. Our guest speaker for the Red Tie luncheon, Neil Wiley, (CDR, Ret) the DIA Director of Intelligence Analysis, provided a stirring speech on the challenges and importance of ethics and integrity in the Intelligence profession. Neil’s speech and his impressive work throughout his career are truly impressive. We were only disappointed not to have taped his speech!

There is a new Midway movie coming to the theaters this fall. If you look at the trailer, you’ll see LCDR Eddie Layton, the N2 for Admiral Nimitz, loudly declaring “Washington is wrong!” on the analytical conflict over where the Japanese would attack next. Be sure to review RADM Layton’s book “And I Was There” before you head to the theater. The internal conflict in the Navy over the control of intelligence is history from which we can all learn. Perhaps in the background of the movie, we will see or can imagine glimpses of Ensign Mac Showers (RADM, USN, Ret) and Ensign John Stevens (Supreme Court Justice) who both worked in Station Hypo and would lunch together in the Makalapa O’Club. If you missed the news and the obituary, Justice Stevens passed away in July. Be sure to read the TAPS article on Justice Stevens on our website that was written by JR Reddig. Justice Stevens entered the Navy on 6 December 1941.

This year’s classified Navy Information Warfare Industry Day with N2/N6 and jointly sponsored by NIP with the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association (AFCEA) was held on 21 June at the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency. It was very successful with a substantial increase in attendance and an impressive agenda. VADM Kohler was joined at the event by the Navy N3/5, VADM Stu Munsch, and the Navy N9, VADM Bill Merz (now in command as C7F). The key presentations were the Navy’s new strategy and warfighting plans which reflect guidance from the National Defense Strategy’s focus on Great Power competition. The briefings were inspiring, much like our 1980s Maritime Strategy. It was easy to see the influence that Naval Intelligence has played in developing the new strategies and the clear demand for more “deep penetration” and insight on nation state adversaries.

RDML Gene Price, was relieved as the Commander of ONI and Director, National Maritime Intelligence-Integration Office (NMIO) in a ceremony at Suitland on 17 June by RADM Kelly Aeschbach. VADM Kohler presided. Attending were Principal Deputy Director of National Intelligence Sue Gordon and most of the former Navy DNIs and COMONIs. In August, RADM (Ret.) Liz Train and I met with the new COMONI to talk about NIP and Project 2032, the Naval Intelligence History effort. RADM Aeshbach is “all in,” and we are grateful for her support. We now have our first NIP volunteer doing research in the ONI archives to support Project 2032.

In June, our Scholarship committee completed their review, and we announced awards for the NIP Rear Admiral Sumner Shapiro Scholarship Program for academic year 2019-2020. We distributed six $5,000 scholarships. Congratulations to the following awardees:

- VADM Don Engen award to Ethan Hussman, Virginia Tech, Aerospace Engineering

- Captain George J. O’Donnell Jr. award to Chris Rielage, Stanford, East Asia Studies

- Commander Dan Shanower award to Catherine Woodward, Virginia Tech, National Security and Foreign Affairs

- Captain Richard Bates award to Jacob Ehret, UCLA, Physics with minor in French

- Captain (Select) Kurt William Juengling award to Matthew Coulter, Univ. of Virginia, Systems Engineering

- Captain Anthony D. Sesow award to IS2 Mikala Piazza, American Military University, Technical Management

We’ve continued to have great speakers and terrific networking at our “3rd Thursday” events in northern Virginia. Our 19 September event was held at Sine’s Irish pub in Pentagon Row and our speakers included members who helped CNO IP recovered from the attack on 9/11. Past “3rd Thursdays” have been professionally enlightening and well attended. CAPT Jim Bock, COS at Navy IW Development Command, spoke about the training and doctrine his team is putting together to support afloat tactical development. Keith Barber, retired IS Chief and former IC Senior Executive, spoke about how his intelligence career prepared him to lead in government and business. CAPT Matt Verich, COMSECONDFLT N2, provided an update on the re-establishment of his command and the operational demands for intelligence for US and NATO operations in the Atlantic (it sounded a lot like the 1980s!). LT William Murray spoke about Naval Intelligence Training. LCDR Chris Ferrante provided his experiences as a Naval Intelligence Officer working in an industry exchange tour with USAA’s cyber defense division, described how he improved their efforts with his OPINTEL skills, and how he’s now applying those skills at the Navy’s Cyber Defense Command. CAPT (ret) Bob Allen continues to coordinate these events and trying out new venues around town. The events are always fun and thought-provoking and, we hope to see more of you at our events this year.

Belay my last on a change in our mailing address. We’re keeping our long-standing Burke, VA address. So, send hard copy letters, other correspondence, or checks to:

P.O. Box 11579, Burke, Virginia 22009-1579. We’ve also deleted the NIP@aol.com address. Contact us through email at: naval.intelligence.pros@gmail.com, or send me a note at NIPChairman@gmail.com.

Thanks to all for your continued support to the NIP!

Very respectfully,

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