NEWPORT, R.I. - The GRAVELY Naval Warfare Research Group
plans to leverage the strong tradition of its predecessor, Halsey CHARLIE, in conducting innovative research projects involving integrated air and missile defense and undersea warfare for the Naval War College (NWC).
The research group was renamed this summer for the late Vice Adm. Samuel L. Gravely, who graduated from NWC, served as Commander of the Third Fleet and distinguished himself as an innovator in communications and networks throughout his 38-year active duty career in the U.S. Navy. GRAVELY advanced research projects will continue to be conducted by NWC graduate students under the mentorship of Dr. William F. Bundy, Ph.D
, and other NWC faculty.
“This decision represents the evolution of a learning organization to advance a shared vision of excellence and innovation while promoting professional development,” said Bundy, who is a professor in the Warfare Analysis and Research Department at NWC. “In addition to exhibiting strength and an innovative spirit, Gravely’s capacity to exercise wisdom and the courage of his convictions made him the ideal model we envisioned for our warrior scholars.”
Established in 2005, this advanced program provides an opportunity for a select group of graduate students to pursue individual and collaborative research involving specific areas of interest such as ballistic missile defense, anti-submarine warfare and undersea unmanned undersea vehicles. The elective course encourages students to interact with warfighters, planners and acquisition professionals to directly initiate concept development and inform warfare centers of excellence on efforts to improve mission areas.
“Our charter is the education and development of officers that will contribute to the global naval warfare in the 21st Century,” Bundy said. “Going forward, I believe our efforts will enrich the experience for our students and continue to bring new concepts and technologies to joint and naval operations.”
There are a variety of reasons for choosing to join the GRAVELY Group at NWC. These include working collaboratively with classmates on real-world military assessments, engaging and interacting with national defense industry professionals and applying warfare experience to ongoing research at the college.
“I previously served as the Combat Systems Officer aboard the USS Vicksburg as part of the Air Defense Command for the Eisenhower Strike Group,” said NWC student, Lt. Cmdr. John Gaines. “I worked with Air Force and Army personnel in ballistic missile doctrine development. This experience gave me a personal connection to my GRAVELY coursework involving cutting-edge technologies in air and missile defense—which is also one of the Navy’s genuine career growth areas.”
Students often work on joint projects involving current military scenarios that apply to our deployed fleets.
“During the fall semester, our group developed an end-to-end assessment involving possible missile launchings in forward areas,” Lt. M. Kathryn Devine said. “We analyzed the inherent problems of a battle in a forward theater of operations as well as the limited time that leadership has to respond to missile threats.”
Lt. Chon Dareing explained what the 10-month participation in GRAVELY meant to his career in the Navy. His advanced research project involved a study on the Sea-Based X-Band Radar (SBX). The SBX is the world’s largest phased-array X-band radar carried aboard an ocean-going semi-submersible oil platform.
“The experience furthered my interest in ballistic missile defense,” Dareing said. “The biggest take-away is that the coursework and instruction from NWC has helped me understand the whole system and process at the operational level.”
These officers believe that GRAVELY students often take on problems that others might consider unsolvable. The research group is also distinctive because of the advanced methods of research used by its officers.
“Our research group distinguishes itself by undertaking challenging class projects and real-world situations while striving to find the best solution,” Devine said. “This includes talking to outside experts, researching current innovations and learning what technologies are being developed to solve any problem or scenario presented to us.”
Many of the eighty-four graduates of the program have already established themselves as innovators and problem solvers in the Navy.
“There’s a strong sense of pride when you give inspiration and instruction to an officer who eventually makes critical decisions and significant contributions for OPNAV, Pacific Command Staff, fleet staffs, and government agencies,” Bundy said. “That’s when we recognize the value of the education provided by our committed faculty and leaders at NWC.”
The formal announcement of the name-change that recognizes the spirit and accomplishments of Vice Adm. Gravely was made by Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. Gary Roughead during the 2010 Joint National Naval Officers Association (NNOA) and Association of Naval Services Officers (ANSO) Symposium
held in Portsmouth, Va., from July 26 to July 30. NWC President Rear Adm. Phil Wisecup and Dr. Bundy also attended the conference that presented important issues relevant to a successful military career and provided updates on the latest diversity issues and programs in the sea services.