Chairman's Update - June 2021

It's great to see summer weather and the return of "social" activities.  The many benefits of "virtual" communications are real, but they can never fully replace the need for personal contact. 

During the ONI change of command on 18 June the guest speaker, OPNAV N2/N6 VADM Trussler, noted how wonderful it was to have the auditorium nearly filled and most people not wearing masks. In that ceremony, RADM Gene Price, who had relieved RADM Kelly Aeschbach in early May, was relieved by RADM Curt Copley. A graduate of the USNA and a career Intelligence Officer, RADM Copley was AIO for an HSM squadron aboard USS Midway, is a veteran of FOSIF Rota, Assistant N2 for CARGRU 2, N2 of Naval Special Warfare Group and was previously at Suitland as Commanding Officer of the Kennedy Irregular Warfare Center.  He reports as COMONI after serving as J2 at STRATCOM and as Deputy Assistant for Operations at the NSA.  RADM Copley also takes over the role of Naval Intelligence Community Manager.  It was clear from RADM Copley's change of command speech that he has a sense of urgency about the ONI mission and will build on his predecessor’s good work.  We're also pleased to report that VADM Aeschbach was promoted on 9 May and has assumed command of the Navy Information Warfare Command in Suffolk, VA - the "type" command for IW.  In other Flag moves, RADM Mike Brookes has departed Omaha as the STRATCOM J2 and is reporting to Miami as the SOUTHCOM J2.  The newest Intelligence flag pick, Rear Admiral Russ Smith, has detached from Tenth Fleet and reported as the JCS Vice J2 supporting RADM Trey Whitworth who continues to lead current intelligence for the Joint Staff.  

NIP held a Red Tie Reception at the Army-Navy Country club in Arlington, VA on 14 May with 75 people attending the outdoor event with a great mix of old shipmates and new NIP members. The 2020 Red Tie award, which we were unable to present last year, was presented, posthumously, to Melissa Drisko and was received by her husband, Phil Kosmacki, himself an ONI alumnus. RADM (Ret) Sam Cox received the 2021 Red Tie award and provided an eloquent acceptance speech in which he focused on the many opportunities and challenges of his career. 

Please note on your calendars, our fall General Membership Meeting and Luncheon is scheduled for 29 October at the Army-Navy Country Club in Arlington, VA.  Also, for the Washington area members, the fall golf tournament will be held on 17 September at Joint Base Andrews. 

We are continuing our very successful virtual speaker series. On 24 June our speaker is the junior officer detailer, LCDR Chris George.  Previous speakers included RDML Mike Vernazza of Navy Information Warfare Development Command, RADM (Ret) Tom Brooks with a talk on the history of Intelligence Officer community, and Mr. Anthony Wells on the history of the 5-Eyes community.  Our July speaker will be RDML Russ Smith with a focus on Cyber Intelligence. Neil Wiley (CDR, USN, Ret.), who recently left government service after serving as the Principal Deputy Director of National Intelligence, will be our guest speaker on 19 August.  

The NIP and USNI Intelligence Essay contest for 2021 remains open for entries until 31 July.  Details are on the NIP and USNI website.  Top three selections will all receive a cash prize, 1-year USNI membership, 1-year NIP membership and publication of their essays in Proceedings and on by NIP. 

We completed selection of our scholarship recipients this past month with five outstanding young students getting $5,000 scholarships to further their educational goals.  Also this year, NIP provided a $3,000 grant for a graduating USNA Intelligence Officer to attend a one month national security studies program in the UK jointly conducted by Cambridge University and Kings College.   Special thanks to CAPT (Ret) Jim Everett for his leadership the past several years of the Scholarship committee which included Holly Vaughn, Ken Pierce, Mike Ortwein and Graham Jackson.  Jim has turned over his duties as Committee Chair to Ken Pierce.  

 Your donations and membership dues are critical to NIP's many efforts to support the people carrying out the vital mission of Naval Intelligence. Thanks for thinking of and supporting NIP!

Very respectfully,

Tony Cothron, Rear Admiral, USN, Retired
Chairman and CEO, Naval Intelligence Professionals