Jun 30, 2016

TAPS: RADM Edward D. "Ted" Sheafer

Former DNI Rick Porterfield passed this sad news last night, from Admiral Sheafer's daughter, Elizabeth. She said that he passed on Monday, 27 June, in Pennsylvania. His formal obituary will be in the newspapers this weekend, and we will publish here when they are available.

After graduating from the Naval Academy, Sheafer served as a surface warfare officer for a decade, commanding the minesweeper USS Persistent (MSO-491). Following a tour in Vietnam, Sheafer attended graduate school at Georgetown University, receiving a master of science degree in Foreign Service.

Sheafer's career included assignments as JCS J2 under Admiral William Crowe and General Colin Powell as well as Deputy Director of DIA during DESERT STORM. Sheafer served as Director of Naval Intelligence from August 1991 to September 1994, commanding a workforce of 2,500 people, with a budget of more than $2 billion. Sheafer pioneered a number of efforts which have become ubiquitous far beyond the Intelligence Community, including the Predator UAV and is known as the father of the Joint Worldwide Intelligence Communications System (JWICS) which has become the de facto national SCI messaging, bulk data transfer and teleconferencing capability.

Other positions Sheafer held in his impressive career included:

  • Fleet Intelligence Officer for Commander Seventh Fleet (Pacific/Indian Ocean)
  • Officer-in-Charge (OIC) Fleet Ocean Surveillance Information Center (Hawaii)
  • OIC Fleet Ocean Surveillance Information Facility (Japan)
  • Soviet Submarine Analyst, Commander US Naval Forces Europe (London)

Retiring after 35 years active service, he retired from the Navy in 1995 and relocated to Pennsylvania where he acted as an adviser to senior levels in the defense and intelligence communities and continued his pioneering work in advanced wireless communications capabilities, and explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) product development.

No funeral or internment details are available at this time, though we will pass them along as they are made available.

As Rick noted, "Ted was a friend and mentor to many of us, and I am saddened by his passing." Please pass along this note to any contacts you have that may have served with RADM Sheafer.