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Saturday, September 17, 2011


The 2011 History Conference will be held in Alumni Hall at the U.S. Naval Academy, which is located in Annapolis, MD.

Personal vehicles will not be permitted on the U.S. Naval Academy campus.

All visitors over the age of 16 must have a valid government issued picture ID. 

PARKING

Please enter the Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium parking lot at Gate 5 (Blue Parking Lot) on Taylor Avenue. Parking is complimentary.

BUS

Free bus transportation will be provided by Annapolis Bus (Towne Transport) to Alumni Hall on the U.S. Naval Academy campus and returning to the Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium on a continuous loop.

The hours are as follows:
4 buses with continuous shuttle (6:45AM -9:00AM)
1 bus with a continuous shuttle (9:00AM -3:00PM)
5 buses with a continuous shuttle (3:00PM -4:30PM)

DIRECTIONS TO THE NAVY-MARINE CORPS MEMORIAL STADIUM

If you are using GPS or map search please use the following address:

511 Taylor Ave.
Annapolis, MD 21401

FROM POINTS NORTH:
From I-95-South exit onto I-695-East and then take the I-97-South exit. Follow I-97 south until it merges into Route 50 East toward Annapolis. Take Exit 24, Rowe Blvd, and bear right (south) at the bottom of the exit ramp. Follow directions "From Route 50" below.

FROM POINTS SOUTH:
Take I-95-North, MD Route 2 North or U.S. Route 301 North to Route 50. Travel east to Annapolis. Take Exit 24, Rowe Blvd, and bear right (south) at the bottom of the exit ramp and then follow directions "From Route 50" below.

FROM POINTS WEST:
Follow Route 50 East from Washington, D.C. towards Annapolis. Take Exit 24, Rowe Blvd, and bear right (south) at the bottom of the exit ramp. Then follow directions "From Route 50" below.

FROM POINTS EAST:
Follow Route 50 West toward Annapolis to Exit 24B, Rowe Blvd and follow the directions "From Route 50" below.

FROM ROUTE 50:
From Route 50, follow Rowe Blvd to a right turn at the second stop light onto Taylor Ave and follow the signs to a right turn into the Blue Parking Lot.

By Jeff Poor and Caroline May

This year marks the centennial of the U.S. Navy’s aviation program. From the early craft used in World War I all the way up through space exploration and the unmanned aircraft used by the modern military, there is a legacy of naval aviation the nation can be proud of. 

However, what can be learned from its history going forward through examining the progress made? On Sept. 17, 2011 on the ground of the U.S. Naval Academy, leading experts convened and addressed those subjects.

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles vs. Manned Aircraft: What Will Today's Midshipmen Be Flying?

Though focused on the history of naval aviation, the conference took a look at what today’s midshipmen would be flying in the future. Will they be flying like their courageous predecessors or will their engagement be behind the scenes, operating unmanned vehicles from afar?

Professor Robert "Barney" Rubel, dean of the Center for Naval Warfare Studies at the U.S. Naval War College told the audience that to date there has been a tendency to create unmanned versions of manned vehicles. According to Rubel it will be important to avoid pigeonholing these technologies into the manned categories that may soon become obsolete.

“One of my concerns is that we not fail to take advantage of new technologies because we try to fit and put them into categories that we’re comfortable with,” Rubel said explaining that his latest focus is how to use ships to increase the efficiency of UAV. “I think there is a new/old role that the carrier can perform because of the capabilities of UAVs, and that is as the eyes of the fleet.”

Former Top Gun instructor and commander of an F-14 Tomcat fighter squadron, Dave “Bio” Baranek, was less optimistic about the prospect of UAV taking over where pilots-dependent vehicles currently dominate. According to Baranek, UAV likely will not be the main fighting force for at least another generation.

“Virtually all new systems have an Achilles heel and will have a rocky development process,” he said recalling the flawed design of the F-4 Phantom, which did not have guns in its basic design. “There are going to be dead ends, things that are envisioned – go back and look in the past 20 and 30 years at the artists concepts of new weapons systems and how many of those either don’t happen or don’t do what they expected. But then look at those systems that do get fielded and after a few years they are used in ways that were not conceived. ”

Barakek likened the UAV to how flight simulators and noted that such inactive “flying” is not as effective – noting the fact that without skin in the game operators could experience less accuracy and efficiency. Barakek warned that the Navy should proceed with “cautious progress.”

LtCol Mikel Huber, USMC, commanding officer, Marine Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Squadron Two, MCAS Cherry Point provided a unique perspective having seen both sides of the manned/unmanned issue first hand as a pilot in command of a UAV squad.

Huber told the audience that the progress the technology is and has been making has been rapid. Currently, UAV are only being used in low-risk situations, as the technology is not yet trusted enough for the more sensitive operations.

“I think there are a number of areas where UAVs can be effective, but it is certainly in a complimentary role in the world of manned aviation right now, rather than a one or the other,” Huber said. “The other thing that is really interesting or exciting about where UAVs are right now is the pace of change. Dave [Barakek] mentioned that there are certainly times when we have to be cautious moving forward but the pace of the technology is changing right now in the world of aviation. I think there are wonderful opportunities that allow us to bring capability to the battlefield in the unmanned world much quicker than we get it to the battlefield in the manned world.” 

To date Huber says the UAVs are best in a complimentary role, with the manned vehicles. 

Mr. Hill Goodspeed, historian and artifact collections manager at the National Naval Aviation Museum, moderated the panel and pointed out that a lot of the impetus behind moves to brining more UAVs into the Navy’s arsenal is money and public opinion. UAV’s are less expensive and public opinion is in favor of them.

Naval Aviation in Space

The general public might not first think of the U.S. Navy when it comes to space. However, naval aviators were instrumental to the early stages of manned space flight – indeed, space exploration makes up a significant part of naval aviation history and certainly will be a part going forward.

One of the instrumental figures in the American space exploration is CAPT James A. Lovell, USN (Ret.), a naval aviator, perhaps best known as the former Commander of Apollo 13.

Lovell, speaking on a panel with MajGen Charles F. Bolden Jr., USMC (Ret.) and CAPT Wendy B. Lawrence, USN (Ret.), offered the audience at the 2011 U.S. Naval Institute’s History Conference some thoughts about the evolution of naval aviation space over the years and what to expect going forward.

Lovell explained how the so-called “naval aviator bug” bit him and how he got involved. According to the former Apollo 13 commander, Lovell got involved at the end of World War II, a time when the Navy was shedding pilots. Lovell, who already had two years of college, entered the U.S. Naval Academy, graduated in 1952 and went directly into naval aviation.

Lovell eventually  found himself at Cape Canaveral and despite failing a physical during his first attempt, two years later reapplied and found himself in the Gemini group, making two flights – Gemini 7 and 12. Lovell spent two weeks in space, setting the stage for a future moon visit.

“The Gemini program was an R&D program looking toward going to the moon,” he said. “After all, President Kennedy had already announced going in 1961 but we had to do things in earth orbit first to make sure we could accomplish those objectives before we ever go all the way to the moon.”

Lovell explained how the Gemini missions demonstrated that bodily functions could operate at zero gravity – which was essential for moon mission approval. Other obstacles the early astronauts had to overcome he said were working in a zero gravity environment, where he said they had to learn how to keep astronauts from working against themselves with space walks and working on the space modules.

But eventually Lovell made it to the moon and described the experience.

“I’ll never forget coming around the first time and looking up – and even though the moon was awe-inspiring as sort of forbidden, and nothing but craters and gray mass – what really inspired me and I think the greatest impression that I had was coming out of the lunar horizon was the earth,” Lovell said. “And the earth was the only color you could see – blue, blue oceans, the white clouds, the tans, the browns, the salmon colors of the deserts. You could not see green because that frequency is absorbed in the atmosphere coming through. Really a beautiful site, 240,000 miles away.” 

He added that the earth seemed so small from his perch near the moon and described his thoughts.

“I could put up my thumb, I do this all the time but it’s kind of – you have to think about it, putting the earth behind your thumb – everything that you’ve ever known, your loved ones, the school, your country, all the countries, all the problems that they’re having at that particular time underneath your thumb – disappear.” 

He added that it put the world’s calamities in perspective and meanwhile it also made him appreciate how the earth operates.

“It gave you kind of two thoughts, number one – how insignificant we really all – that I can put my thumb on something and make everything disappear,” he continued. “And the second thing I thought is how glad that we are, how fortunate that we are that we have what we have here on earth. The earth in reality is a spacecraft, whether you like it or not – you’re all astronauts. We have limited supplies and we have to learn to live and work together. And that’s the thoughts I had from Apollo 8.”

Lovell added on the way back, which happened to be Christmas Eve, the crew read the first 10 verses of Genesis from the Old Testament.

Lovell also talked his about his experiences from the Apollo 13 mission, a failed mission in which he led his crew back safely to earth. He said that although it technically was a failure, it was a triumph as well because there was a lesson to be learned from it.

“Things don’t always go the way they’re planned,” he said. “You’ll see that on your cruises. You’ll see that on your various assignments. You‘ve got to regroup. You’ve got to change the plan. You’ve got to determine how to get out of crisis and what you have to work for, do the job and get your solution. These are the things that I think [Apollo] 13 brought home to a lot of people – not just in the space program or not just in the military but a lot of people in business and government.”

MajGen Charles F. Bolden Jr., USMC (Ret.), now the NASA Administrator is the former pilot of the Columbia (1986) and Discovery (1990) missions and was also the commander of Atlantis (1992) and Discovery (1994). Nominated in 2009 by President Barack Obama and confirmed by the U.S. Senate, Bolden is the 12th Administrator o NASA and talked about the present state of space exploration in the United States.

According to Bolden, with the current shift of NASA to more commercialized space flight, there will be improvements compared to NASA’s shuttle program, but it won’t be a walk in the park.

“I always try to caution people,” Bolden said. “It is going to be better than having NASA own and try to operate the space shuttle. But don’t be fooled into thinking it’s going to be like going to buy a ticket you know on Continental Airlines and go from D.C. to San Diego. That is not the case. Space flight is dangerous, expensive, very demanding. Normal people can and should do it.”

Bolden told the audience to expect some significant announcements from NASA to be forthcoming, but admitted it has been a struggle, particularly with the political climate in the country. He said he expected man would set foot on Mar in the future and said he was looking to work with the international community, except for one nation: China.

 “We can’t work with the Chinese right now,” Bolden said. “But I’m rooting for them. They’re probably going to put a spacecraft called Shenzhou into orbit here, hopefully by the end of the year. It’s going to be the first capsule of their space station. And the reason they are doing that is that we are not allowing them to be partners right now. So they’re going alone. They need to be successful to drive us.”

CAPT Wendy B. Lawrence, USN (Ret.), the third member of the panel, expressed a similar sentiment. Lawrence, an adjunct faculty member in the space studies program at American Military University logged more than 1,225 hours in space on four space shuttle flights and crew member on six shuttle flights Endeavour  (1995), Atlantis (1997) and Discovery (1998, 2005), told the audience it was time to root on the Chinese.

“I think we’re in a very interesting period right now as Charlie Bolden has alluded to,” she said. “We are divided but if you look at the history of the space program and history very clearly shows what we can do when we are united. What will it take to get us united again? I have to agree with Charlie – it’s time to root for the Chinese because it just may be that we need a good swift kick in the pants to realize that if you want to maintain your position of prominence in the world, you know it’s like being a world class athlete. You got to train. You got to practice. You got to work hard. We have to continue to work hard, focus on technology development and the space program is a laudable place to do that.”

Naval Aviation in World War I, Dr. William ‘Bill’ Trimble

Dr. William “Bill” Trimble, professor and the former Chair of the Department of History at Auburn University in Auburn, Ala., and author of Hero of the Air: Glenn Curtiss and the Birth of Naval Aviation (Naval Institute Press, May 2010), addressed the conference on the evolution of naval aviation during World War I.

According to Trimble, World War I provided the impetus for aviation in the U.S. Navy and laid the groundwork for many of modern-day processes in the U.S. military including: appropriations, manufacturing and defense acquisitions - since establishing naval air-power for combat was such a massive undertaking.

“Generally speaking, people thought this war would go through 1918 and well into 1919,” Trimble explained. “That there would have to be 12,000 military aircraft procured – 12,000 of these aircraft. So we’re not talking about scores of aircraft. We’re not talking about hundreds of aircraft. We’re talking about thousands of aircraft.”

Trimble added the need for naval airpower, or “flying boats” as he called them, stemmed from the threat of the German U-boats interfering with maritime commerce. According to Trimble aircraft were considered the best way to combat the German submarines.

The Auburn professor further noted that the creation of naval aviation during World War I had implications for the workforce.

“Just to give you an idea of the scale of this – by 1919, the early part of 1919 – after the war was over, the Curtis Company had 18,000 workers in various factories and the produced something on the order of 1,200 airplanes of various kinds by the early part of 1911,” he said. “The Naval Aircraft Factory had nearly 3,700 workers and produced something like 250 airplanes of various sizes, mostly large flying boats during the war.”

The creation of an aircraft suitable for the U.S. Navy has social implications as well, providing advances for women in the workforce.

“One other point too was that women came into the aircraft industry in large numbers during World War I,” he added. “You think of ‘Rosie the Riveter’ in World War II, right? But large numbers of women came into the aircraft industry in World War I. About a third of the workforce at the Naval Aircraft Factory in Philadelphia were women and I’d be willing to bet that something like that was the equivalent in other manufacturing facilities as well. Not ‘Rosie the Riveter’ as much as ‘Sally Seamstress’ because a lot of this was fabric – not only sewing fabric, but also preparing the fabric for installation in aircraft at that time.”

Fmr. Secretary of the Navy John F. Lehman: How Naval Aviation won the Cold War

After World War II, the national defense posture of the United States was uncertain. Without the threat of the Japanese or the German regimes many thought the country would no longer need a massive naval fleet with airpower. Or would it?

At the conference, former Secretary of the Navy John F. Lehman, the honorary chairman of USNI, spoke of the evolution of naval aviation post-World War II and how it played an integral role in eventually winning the Cold War – but not without some challenges.

“Naval aviation and the Marine Corps came under major sustained policy attack, and during those post-war years, from ’45 to ’49, ’50 – the very existence of naval aviation and the Marine Corp was very much in doubt,” Lehman said. 

Lehman explained that former President Franklin Delano Roosevelt had been a big proponent of the U.S. Navy and naval aviation, but with his death of and the eventual presidency of Harry Truman, naval aviation faced specific threats.

“So Truman put in [Secretary of Defense] Louis Johnson with a mandate to gut the defense and especially the Navy department,” he explained. 

He said the Truman administration had plans in the works to end naval aviation and make it a part of the new emerging U.S. Air Force. Johnson intended to decommission all but six of the U.S. Navy’s 106 aircraft carriers. But the Korean War changed that.

“There’s no question that our unilateral disarmament in the Pacific was a major, major factor,” Lehman said. “And so it looked like the end of naval aviation, but of course the Soviets saved the Navy by allowing North Korea to attack, suddenly they took over all of the peninsula except for the tiny enclave in the south – the Air Force, other than B-29s, which were no use for air superiority or close air support, there was only one carrier, the Valley Forge that was in the area.”

Once it was realized that naval aviation was indeed a needed component of the U.S. military, Truman fired Johnson and replaced him with George Marshall – who immediately changed the course of the U.S. Navy.

 “Marshall was not an enemy of naval aviation and so carriers were brought back into commission,” Lehman explained. “All World War II aviators were called up from the reserves because there was a great many of them that had stayed in reserve.”

Lehman said ultimately it was the Navy that maintained the nuclear balance with the Russia until the advent of the ICBMs.

“Nobody knows this and nobody writes about it, but the fact is naval aviation carried the weight of the nuclear deterrent,” he said. 

After the Korean War and leading up to and through the Vietnam conflict, naval aviation underwent growing pains with the implementation of jet-propulsion. Landing on carriers without modern technology proved problematic, according to Lehman. 

But beyond that and after Vietnam, the Navy fought political fights on its home turf as well under the direction of former President Jimmy Carter. However, he noted one of the early lobbyists to act on behalf of the Navy was John McCain, now the senior senator from Arizona.

He went on to explain the Navy weathered that storm, and under former President Ronald Reagan, it played a role in the bipartisan plan for the United States to win the Cold War. 

“We knew we were kicking [the Soviets] ass,” Lehman said. “And President Reagan knew. And that ladies and gentleman is how naval aviation won the Cold War.”

What is the Future of Naval Aviation?

With the introduction of new technology chaffing against a penny-pinching a government there is uncertainty ahead for the U.S. Navy’s airpower. Some of those concerns were address at the U.S. Naval Institute’s History Conference.

Up first was the president of the Naval Historical Foundation, VADM Robert F. Dunn, USN (Ret.), also an aviation consultant, chairman of the board of UT-Services - a research and development company-, and a contributor to the Washington Times. Dunn emphasized the need for power on the seas, which constitutes a large portion of the earth – not just on the water but also the air. 

“So 70 percent of the earth is covered by water,” Dunn explained. “Most of that water is international space. The air above it is international airspace and is capable of supporting all kinds of operations, whether it be combat operations – offensive, defensive, humanitarian. The list goes on.”

Dunn explained that most of the country’s “potential adversaries” are in the other hemisphere and while the Pacific Ocean presents a barrier, the country needs to ensure it keeps the ocean under its thumb. 

“We have to have the capability of defending our interests somewhere away from our shores, rather than waiting for any potential enemy to come to us,” he said. 

In Dunn’s estimation, the best way to defend against that enemy is with airpower supported by aircraft carriers. 

Dunn speculated that there would still be naval aviation in the year 2061, consisting of carrier-based and land-based operations - as would fixed-wing and rotary-wing craft. Nonetheless, he explained the occasional Ivy League or think tank study would attempt to explain away the necessity of such weapon systems. Still, ultimately he said the future’s U.S. Navy would be led by unmanned aerial vehicles on carriers stabilized electronically.

VADM David Architzel, USN, who currently serves as commander of the Naval Air Systems Command, headquartered in Patuxent River, Md., followed.

Architzel shared a particular interest in the transitory phase of the U.S. Navy, where capability is a goal, but overcoming the cost challenges remains an obstacle.

“The biggest challenge I face is this transition piece,” Architzel said. “It’s how we continue to bring on a very difficult capacity and capability and when we also have to keep our legacy until that capability is there. And the one of the one things we do struggle with is we have an appetite for capability and we want to have the best there is and the best there always will be. And there’s appoint where capability if we did a very simple x and y diagram – you have a capability that you can deliver across the x-axis but there’s a cost factor on the -axis but there’s a cost factor on the y-axis.”

Ultimately, he said, you would reach a point where the return would diminish, but the cost would escalate.

“You’re going to get as much for a very small increase in capability, you’re going to pay a substantial cost increase,” he said. 

VADM John P. Currier, USCG, the Coast Guard's first Deputy Commandant for Mission Support spoke after Architzel. Currier is responsible for all facets of support of the Coast Guard’s diverse mission set through oversight of human capital, lifecycle engineering, acquisition, telecommunications, and information technology.

Currier summed up the need for carrier-based naval airpower as part of the future’s U.S. Navy simply by explaining there are not presently any other options.

“There is no other way to place sustainable strike power near anybody else’s shore,” Currier said. “If you were allowed to use nuclear weapons, you might could do with a submarine or Tomahawks, or something like that, but nuclear weapons don’t seem to be that much in the cards.”

As far as the use of UAVs to combat a threat, Currier said that while there may be benefits, eliminating the human element takes away a target identification ability machines don’t always necessarily have.

Finally, the panel’s moderator Thomas J. Cutler, the director of professional publishing for USNI, reminded the audience that although there is a focus on tactics, there is also a political component that remains to be addressed.

“I see a lot of nodding heads in here, which means we’re all pretty much in agreement on most of these issues, which is preaching to the choir,” Cutler said. “What we really need to do is figure out how to convince the rest of the nation and the Congress of these things. That’s where the real challenge lies.”

The Transition from Props to Jets

Growing pains are a natural consequence of technological innovation, but the transition of U.S. Navy’s air fleet from propeller engines to jet engines was and is a tough evolution.

During a lecture on the topic at the 2011 Naval Institute History Conference, CAPT E. T. Wooldridge, USN (Ret.), explained that change wasn’t easy. Wooldridge, who commanded a carrier fighter squadron and served on strategic plans and policy staffs overseas in the Navy Department and the Joint Staff of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, offered his thoughts on the transition. 

According to the author of The Golden Age Remembered: U.S. Naval Aviation, 1919-1941 and Night Fighters Over Korea and the U.S. Naval Institute Author of the Year in 1998, the process has been interesting. 

“The progress was amazing up to this point and obviously will be in the future,” he said. “But that progress might be difficult for modern-day pilots to understand.”

It is difficult for carrier pilots of later generations to appreciate the paths that faced many of the pilots of the late-1940s and 1950s, Wooldridge added. 

“Many were often inadequately trained and the jet squadron sometimes led by pilots who did not understand what jet aviation was all about and they often placed their pilots in situations for which there was no safe way out,” he said.

It took this type of trial-and-error process to reach modernity Wooldridge said – one that took a decade.

“But the changes did come,” Wooldridge said. “The late-50s and the early 1960s, naval aviation was moving into its fourth generation of naval aircraft.”

Aircraft carriers were modernized for jet aircraft and that set stage for the next in naval aviation history.

Naval Air Power in Vietnam and the Gulf War: What Did We Learn?

After naval aviation made its transition from World War II class weapons systems, to the conflict in Korea to a modern-day air fleet, there were still lessons to be learned from the conflicts in which naval aviation was utilized - particularly Vietnam in the 1960s and the Gulf War in the 1990s.

According to 38-year U.S. Navy veteran ADM Stanley R. Arthur (Ret.), the lessons from conflicts were carried forward. He explained in his lecture to the 2011 U.S. Naval Institute History Conference that there were benefits from the past entering this phase of naval aviation history.

“When one looks at Vietnam, we had the benefit of the lessons learned from World War II and Korea,” he said. “We enjoyed a fleet of modern aircraft, as was just mentioned and all the aircraft had passed their initial introduction. So all of them had known aircraft capabilities.”

One achievement the U.S. military obtained and enjoyed in this phase was the introduction of laser-guided bombs into aviation. Although the U.S. Air Force had more sophisticated technology Arthur explained, eventually the U.S. Navy caught up.

“We learned a lot from that experience,” he said. “But sadly, the Air Force learned that lesson better than the Navy.”

The experiences from Vietnam and the use of this technology set naval aviators up for success in the early 1990s conflicts in the Persian Gulf against Iraq.

“Vietnam provided a great training ground that we were able to utilize in Desert Storm,” he said - which included the rules of engagement that, in Vietnam, didn’t allow naval fighters to shoot beyond their visual range, and the Navy’s ability to assess battle damage he said. 

Almost all of the component commanders in Desert Shield and Desert Storm had served in Vietnam and were aware these lessons.

“There was a shared agreement among us that we were not going to screw this up,” he said. “There were plenty of parochial issues that came up, but in the end we made that the execution of the plan was best as possible.”

That execution was simple according to Arthur. Among the components were to get Iraq out of Kuwait and defend Saudi Arabia.

Arthur explained that though the country did not remember one of the many lessons from Vietnam, during Desert Storm, they eventually overcame the resulting problems.

“The other problem that started was the same thing that happened in Vietnam,” he said. “The campaign was starting to be planned in Washington.”

This changed under General Norman Schwarzkopf, the commander of the coalition forces in the Persian Gulf and gave the Navy more input than they would have had otherwise.

“We made it work,” Arthur said.

One particular success Arthur added, in the Persian Gulf conflicts, included the Tomahawk missile strikes in downtown Baghdad, which proved the Navy could participate from day one – in having missiles launched from submarines and ships.

“In the first 24 hours, Tomahawks hit 29 targets to the F-117’s 14,” Arthur said. “In the second 24 hours, the Tomahawks hit 18 and the F-117 one.” 

The lesson Arthur took away from this: Stealth aircraft have trouble with weather.

To see the complete gallery of images from the 2011 History Conference, visit our Flickr set.

General Registration Information

Advanced registration for the 2011 History Conference is now closed.

Full-day registration is at capacity. Guests may still attend the conference for half-day and register at the conference.

To expedite on-site registration, we ask that that you please print and fill out a registration form and bring it with you to the conference.

Shuttle service will be offered to and from the Naval Academy and Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium to Alumni Hall on the U.S. Naval Academy campus.

Personal vehicles will not be permitted on the U.S. Naval Academy campus.

Please contact Karen Kaufman for registration questions.

On-Site Registration Form - General

On-Site Registration Form - Midshipman

Aviation Events

Printer Friendly Schedule

Connecting Naval Aviation's Past with the Challenges and Opportunities of Tomorrow

Saturday, September 17, 2011
TimeTitle
7:00AM - 8:00AM Continental Breakfast
7:00AM - 10:00AM Registration
8:00AM - 8:05AM Welcome Remarks - VADM Peter H. Daly, USN (Ret.), CEO, U.S. Naval Institute
8:05AM - 8:15AM Welcome Video - President George H.W. Bush, 41st President of the United States and former TBM Avenger Pilot
8:15AM - 8:45AM Morning Keynote
8:45AM - 9:45AM Panel: Unmanned Aerial Vehicles vs. Manned Aircraft: What Will Today's Midshipmen Be Flying?
  • Moderator: Mr. Hill Goodspeed, Historian and Artifact Collections Manager, National Naval Aviation Museum (Confirmed)
  • Panelist: Mr. Dave "Bio" Baranek, former Topgun instructor and commander of a F-14 Tomcat fighter squadron; served on the Joint Staff and the U.S. 7th Fleet; author of the book Topgun Days, and articles in five national magazines (Confirmed)
  • Panelist: LtCol Mikel Huber, USMC, Commanding Officer, Marine Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Squadron Two, MCAS Cherry Point (Confirmed)
  • Panelist: Professor Robert "Barney" Rubel, Dean, Center for Naval Warfare Studies, U.S. Naval War College (Confirmed)
9:45AM - 10:00AM Break
10:00AM - 11:00AM Panel: Naval Aviation in Space
11:00AM - 11:15AM Break
11:15AM - 11:45AM Lecture: Naval Aviation in World War I
  • Keynote Speaker: Dr. William "Bill" Trimble, PhD, 2011 recipient of the "Admiral Arthur W. Radford Award for Excellence in Naval Aviation History and Literature" (Confirmed)
11:45AM - 1:00PM Lunch Keynote
  • Keynote Speaker: The Honorable John F. Lehman, Naval Aviator; 65th Secretary of the Navy; and Honorary Chairman of the Board, U.S. Naval Institute (Confirmed)
1:00PM - 2:00PM Panel: What is the Future of Naval Aviation?
  • Moderator: Professor Douglas V. Smith, Strategy and Policy Professor and Head of the Strategy and Policy Division of the College of Distance Education, United States Naval War College; and Editor of One Hundred Years of U.S. Navy Air Power (Confirmed)
  • Panelist: VADM David Architzel, USN, Commander, Naval Air Systems Command (Confirmed)
  • Panelist: VADM John P. Currier, USCG, Deputy Commandant for Mission Support (Confirmed)
  • Panelist: VADM Robert F. Dunn, USN (Ret.), former Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Air (Confirmed)
  • Panelist: Dr. Norman Friedman, Author, Unmanned Combat Air Systems: A New Kind of Carrier Aviation (Confirmed)
2:00PM - 2:30PM Lecture: The Transition from Props to Jets
  • Keynote Speaker: CAPT E. T. Wooldridge, USN (Ret.), former Chairman Aeronautics Department, Assistant Director for Museum Operations and The Admiral DeWitt C. Ramsey Fellow for the National Air and Space Museum (Confirmed)
2:30PM - 3:00PM Lecture: Naval Air Power in Vietnam and the Gulf War: What Did We Learn?
  • Keynote Speaker: ADM Stanley R. Arthur, USN (Ret.), former Vice Chief of Naval Operations and Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command during Operation DESERT STORM in 1990-91 (Confirmed)
3:00PM - 3:15PM Closing Remarks - VADM Peter H. Daly, USN (Ret.), CEO, U.S. Naval Institute

The Honorable John F. Lehman
The Honorable John F. Lehman

Keynote Speaker

Naval Aviator; 65th Secretary of the Navy; and Honorary Chairman of the Board, U.S. Naval Institute

(Confirmed)

John Lehman is Chairman of J.F. Lehman & Company, a private equity investment firm. He is a director of Ball Corporation, Verisk, Inc and EnerSys Corporation. Dr. Lehman was formerly an investment banker with PaineWebber Inc. Prior to joining PaineWebber, he served for six years as Secretary of the Navy. He was President of Abington Corporation between 1977 and 1981. He served 25 years in the naval reserve.

He has served as staff member to Dr. Henry Kissinger on the National Security Council, as delegate to the Force Reductions Negotiations in Vienna and as Deputy Director of the U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency.

Dr. Lehman served as a member of the 9/11 Commission, and the National Defense Commission.

Dr. Lehman holds a B.S. from St. Joseph’s University, a B.A. and M.A. from Cambridge University and a Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania. He is currently a Fellow of Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge University.

Dr. Lehman has written numerous books, including On Seas of Glory, Command of the Seas and Making War.

He is Chairman of the Princess Grace Foundation USA and is a member of the Board of Overseers of the School of Engineering at the University of Pennsylvania. 

ADM Joseph W. Prueher, USN (Ret.)
ADM Joseph W. Prueher, USN (Ret.)

Keynote Speaker

former Ambassador to the People’s Republic of China and Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Pacific Command

(Confirmed)

Admiral Prueher is the James R. Schlesinger Distinguished Professor at the Miller Center of the University of Virginia, as well as Senior Advisor to the Stanford-Harvard   Preventive Defense Project, working on dialogue for US-China security matters. He is a former Director of Merrill Lynch, Bank of America, and Dyncorps international.  He is currently a Director of Emerson, New York Life, Fluor Corporation, and Amerigroup. A member of The Council on Foreign Relations, he is also Vice Chairman of the National Committee on U.S.- China Relations.

Admiral Prueher served two Presidents as Ambassador to the People’s Republic of China from 1999 to 2001.

He completed thirty-five years in the United States Navy in 1999.  His last command was Commander-in-Chief of the U.S. Pacific Command (CINCPAC); the largest military command in the world CINCPAC spanned over half the earth’s surface and included over 300,000 people.

From 1989 through 1995, Admiral Prueher served as Commandant at the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis; Commander of Carrier Battle Group ONE based in San Diego; Commander of the U.S. Mediterranean Sixth Fleet and of NATO Striking Forces based in Italy; and as Vice Chief of Naval Operations in the Pentagon.

Foremost a carrier based attack pilot for his first 24 years of service, he also spent three years as a Navy Test Pilot at Patuxent River, MD.  He has extensive flight and combat experience, with over 5600 flight hours and over 1000 carrier landings.  He was qualified in 52 types of aircraft, held numerous senior operational commands, including two carrier air wings, and led the formation of the Naval Strike Warfare Center in Fallon, NV.

From Nashville, TN, Admiral Prueher graduated from Montgomery Bell Academy, and then graduated with distinction in 1964 from the U.S. Naval Academy, later receiving an M.S. in International Relations from George Washington University.   In addition to co-authoring the Performance Testing manual used by naval test pilots for many years, he has published numerous articles on leadership, military readiness, and Pacific region security issues.

Admiral Prueher has received multiple military awards for combat flying as well as naval and Joint Service.  The governments of Singapore, Thailand, Japan, Korea, the Philippines, Indonesia, and Australia have formally honored him with induction into their highest military Orders.

VADM David Architzel, USN
VADM David Architzel, USN

Panelist

Commander, Naval Air Systems Command

(Confirmed)


Vice Admiral Architzel currently serves as commander, Naval Air Systems Command, headquartered in Patuxent River, Md. He assumed his duties in May 2010, after serving as the principal military deputy to the assistant secretary of the Navy (Research, Development, and Acquisition).  

Previous flag assignments included program executive officer for Aircraft Carriers; commander of Operational Test and Evaluation Force, Norfolk; commander, Navy Region Mid-Atlantic; commander, Naval Safety Center, Norfolk; commander, Iceland Defense Force; and commander, Fleet Air Keflavik.

At sea, Architzel served as the executive officer, USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) and Pre-Commissioning Unit John C. Stennis (CVN 74). He served as the commanding officer, USS Guam (LPH 9); flagship for commander Amphibious Squadron (CPR) 2; and the sixth commanding officer of USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71).

A career naval aviator, Architzel has accumulated more than 5,000 flight hours, 4,300 of those hours in the S-3, and the remainder in some 30 other aircraft types in his role as a test pilot at NAS Patuxent River. He served in Sea Control Squadron (VS) 30, deploying aboard USS Forrestal (CV 59), and as maintenance officer in VS-28, deploying aboard USS Independence (CV 62). He later returned to VS-30 as the executive officer and subsequently as commanding officer.

Architzel was born in Ogdensburg, N.Y., and raised in Merrick, Long Island. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics at the U.S. Naval Academy in June 1973 and also holds a Master of Science degree in aeronautical systems from the University of West Florida. He enjoys major league baseball, model trains and is a really average golfer.

His decorations include two Navy Distinguished Service Medals, the Defense Superior Service Medal, four Legions of Merit, three Meritorious Service Medals, the Navy Achievement Medal and various service related awards and campaign ribbons. He was also awarded the Spanish Naval Cross of Merit from His Majesty, King Juan Carlos of Spain, the Navy League's John Paul Jones Leadership Award for 1998, and the Commander's Cross with Star of the Icelandic Order of the Falcon presented by the president of Iceland.
 

ADM Stanley R. Arthur, USN (Ret.)
ADM Stanley R. Arthur, USN (Ret.)

Keynote Speaker

former Vice Chief of Naval Operations and Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command during Operation DESERT STORM in 1990-91

(Confirmed)

Stanley R. Arthur was born in San Diego, California.  He attended Miami University in Oxford, Ohio on a Navy Reserve Officer Training Corps scholarship.  Upon graduation in 1957, he entered flight training and was designated a Naval Aviator in 1958.  During his 38 years of active duty service he had the opportunity to command at several levels.  As Commanding Officer of Attack Squadron One Sixty Four on board USS Hancock (CVA 19) he completed over 500 combat missions during the Vietnam conflict.  He Commanded the Combat Stores ship SAN JOSE (AFS-7), the aircraft carrier USS CORAL SEA (CV-43) and Commander Carrier Group Seven.  Arthur’s staff tours included assignments with Commander in Chief of the Pacific Fleet in Hawaii, the Rapid Deployment Joint Task Force, Commander in Chief Central Command (twice) and the Bureau of Naval Personnel.  He served as the Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Logistics prior to being selected to command the U.S. Seventh Fleet based in Yokosuka, Japan.  During this tour, he also served as the Navy Component Commander to Central Command for the conduct of combat operations for Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm.  During this period he was responsible for the conduct of combat operations of the largest armada of warships assembled since World War II from his flagship, USS BLUE RIDGE. Arthur’s final assignment was Vice Chief of Naval Operations.

Upon retirement from the Navy in 1995, Arthur entered the private sector and served as Vice President for Naval Systems with Loral Corporation and then as Vice President for Washington Operations with Lockheed Martin Corporation’s Electronics Sector.  In 1999 he became President of Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control in Orlando, Florida.  This operation designs, produces and supports some of the most advanced combat systems in use by our armed forces.  In addition to the facility in Orlando, he was responsible for the operations in Ocala, Florida; Troy, Alabama and Archbald, Pennsylvania.   In June 2005, he retired from Lockheed Martin.

In addition to his BA degree from Miami University, Arthur has earned a BS degree in Aeronautical Engineering from the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School and a Master’s degree in Administration from George Washington University.  He also has been recognized with honorary doctor’s degrees from Miami University and The Citadel.  In 1996 he received the Admiral Arleigh A. Burke Leadership Award from the Navy League.

Mr. Dave "Bio"  Baranek
Mr. Dave "Bio" Baranek

Panelist

former Topgun instructor and commander of a F-14 Tomcat fighter squadron; served on the Joint Staff and the U.S. 7th Fleet; author of the book Topgun Days, and articles in five national magazines

(Confirmed)

Dave Baranek was born and raised in Jacksonville, Florida, where he grew up drawing airplanes and putting together scale models from kits. In his early teens he set his sights on flying Navy jet fighters. He attended Georgia Tech and participated in the ROTC to qualify for officer training, and then entered the Navy in 1979. 

His eyesight had deteriorated so instead of becoming a pilot, he became a radar intercept officer (RIO), operating the weapons system in the Navy's F-14 Tomcat fighter. Shortly after he joined his first squadron he received the callsign “Bio,” which many of his former squadronmates still call him.

While serving as a Topgun air-to-air combat instructor in 1985, he had the unusual experience of flying aerial sequences used in the film “Top Gun,” starring Tom Cruise and produced by Jerry Bruckheimer. He also served as a dialogue advisor on the project, and took some of the few available photographs of the movie's black F-5 fighters in flight.

He enjoyed a successful and satisfying 20-year career in the Navy, starting with assignments to F-14 Tomcat squadrons and the elite Topgun training program, and later assignment to the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the US 7th Fleet. At one point, he commanded an F-14 Tomcat fighter squadron, responsible for nearly 300 people and 14 aircraft worth about $700 million.

He retired from the Navy in 1999, and now works as a defense contractor in the Washington DC area. His website is:www.TopgunBio.com

MajGen Charles F. Bolden Jr., USMC (Ret.)
MajGen Charles F. Bolden Jr., USMC (Ret.)

Panelist

NASA Administrator; former pilot of Columbia (1986) and Discovery (1990); Commander of Atlantis (1992) and Discovery (1994)

(Confirmed)

Nominated by President Barack Obama and confirmed by the U.S. Senate, retired Marine Corps Maj. Gen. Charles Frank Bolden, Jr., began his duties as the twelfth Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration on July 17, 2009. As Administrator, he leads the NASA team and manages its resources to advance the agency’s missions and goals.

Bolden’s confirmation marks the beginning of his second stint with the nation’s space agency. His 34-year career with the Marine Corps included 14 years as a member of NASA’s Astronaut Office. After joining the office in 1980, he traveled to orbit four times aboard the space shuttle between 1986 and 1994, commanding two of the missions. His flights included deployment of the Hubble Space Telescope and the first joint U.S.-Russian shuttle mission, which featured a cosmonaut as a member of his crew. Prior to Bolden’s nomination for the NASA Administrator’s job, he was employed as the Chief Executive Officer of JACKandPANTHER LLC, a small business enterprise providing leadership, military and aerospace consulting, and motivational speaking.

A resident of Houston, Bolden was born Aug. 19, 1946, in Columbia, S.C. He graduated from C. A. Johnson High School in 1964 and received an appointment to the U.S. Naval Academy. Bolden earned a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical science in 1968 and was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Marine Corps. After completing flight training in 1970, he became a naval aviator. Bolden flew more than 100 combat missions in North and South Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia, while stationed in Namphong, Thailand, from 1972-1973.

After returning to the U.S., Bolden served in a variety of positions in the Marine Corps in California and earned a Master of Science degree in systems management from the University of Southern California in 1977. Following graduation, he was assigned to the Naval Test Pilot School at Patuxent River, Md., and completed his training in 1979. While working at the Naval Air Test Center’s Systems Engineering and Strike Aircraft Test Directorates, he tested a variety of ground attack aircraft until his selection as an astronaut candidate in 1980.

Bolden’s NASA astronaut career included technical assignments as the Astronaut Office Safety Officer; Technical Assistant to the director of Flight Crew Operations; Special Assistant to the Director of the Johnson Space Center; Chief of the Safety Division at Johnson (overseeing safety efforts for the return to flight after the 1986 Challenger accident); lead astronaut for vehicle test and checkout at the Kennedy Space Center; and Assistant Deputy Administrator at NASA Headquarters. After his final space shuttle flight in 1994, he left the agency to return to active duty with the operating forces in the Marine Corps as the Deputy Commandant of Midshipmen at the U.S. Naval Academy.

Bolden was assigned as the Deputy Commanding General of the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force in the Pacific in 1997. During the first half of 1998, he served as Commanding General of the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force Forward in support of Operation Desert Thunder in Kuwait. Bolden was promoted to his final rank of major general in July 1998 and named Deputy Commander of U.S. Forces in Japan. He later served as the Commanding General of the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in San Diego, Calif., from 2000 until 2002, before retiring from the Marine Corps in 2003. Bolden’s many military decorations include the Defense Superior Service Medal and the Distinguished Flying Cross. He was inducted into the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame in May 2006.

VADM John P. Currier, USCG
VADM John P. Currier, USCG

Panelist

Deputy Commandant for Mission Support

(Confirmed)

 Vice Admiral John P. Currier transitioned from Chief of Staff to duties as the Coast Guard's first Deputy Commandant for Mission Support (DCMS). He is responsible for all facets of support of the Coast Guard’s diverse mission set through oversight of human capital, lifecycle engineering, acquisition, telecommunications, and information technology.

 VADM Currier hails from Westbrook, Maine and was commissioned in the U. S. Coast Guard after graduating from Officers' Candidate School in 1976. Upon completion of Naval Flight Training, he was designated a Coast Guard Aviator in 1977. A graduate of the University of Southern Maine, he holds a Masters in Business from Embry-Riddle University. He is a 1996 graduate of the U. S. Air Force Air War College in Montgomery, Alabama. He holds Level III Acquisition Program Manager Certification.

 VADM Currier’s previous assignments have included duty at six Coast Guard Air Stations. He was designated an Aeronautical Engineer in 1982 and served as Engineering Officer at three units. Other assignments have included Deputy Program Manager (Engineering) for the U. S. Coast Guard HH-60J and Navy HH-60H joint helicopter acquisition at the Naval Air Systems Command. VADM Currier commanded Air Station Detroit, Michigan from 1996 through 1998. He served as Chief of Search and Rescue Operations and Director of Auxiliary for the Ninth Coast Guard District (Great Lakes) from 1998 through 2001. He then commanded Air Station Miami, the world’s busiest air-sea search and rescue unit, from August 2001 through June 2003. Subsequently, he served as Pacific Area Chief of Operations, and then as Area Chief of Staff.

 Promoted to Flag rank in 2005 VADM Currier served as Assistant Commandant for Acquisition at Coast Guard Headquarters, then as Commander of the Coast Guard’s Thirteenth District in the Pacific Northwest. He assumed the duties of the Coast Guard’s Chief of Staff in 2009.

 VADM Currier's awards include the Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal, Commendation Medal, Achievement Medal and others.

 VADM Currier is a veteran aviator with over 6000 flight hours in Coast Guard and Navy fixed and rotary wing aircraft. His professional recognition includes the Harmon International Aviation Trophy, the Alaska Air Command SAR Pilot of the Year Award, American Helicopter Society, Fredrick L. Feinberg Award and the Naval Helicopter Association SAR Aircrew of the Year, all awarded for rescue operations.

VADM Robert F. Dunn, USN (Ret.)
VADM Robert F. Dunn, USN (Ret.)

Panelist

former Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Air

(Confirmed)

 


Vice Admiral Dunn left active service as the top naval aviator, responsible for establishing materiel requirements and setting policies for the training, operations, management and personnel throughout the navy’s aviation establishment. He is currently the president of the Naval Historical Foundation, serves as an aviation consultant, chairman of the board of UT-Services, a research and development company, and is a contributor to the Washington Times.  In the past he served on several aerospace company boards, as Chair of GSA’s Aviation Policy Management Board in a review of safety as pertains to non-DOD government aircraft, as Deputy Chairman of the NASA Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel and president of the National Consortium for Aviation Mobility (NCAM).  NCAM was the private partner in a public/private partnership with NASA aimed at development of technologies which would enhance small aircraft transportation.  The culmination of that partnership was a large, successful, publicly acclaimed, demonstration of those technologies in 2005.

During his navy career VADM Dunn commanded a large number of organizations, large and small, with extensive time airborne including combat in Vietnam.  Most of his flying was in carrier based jet attack and fighter aircraft but he is also a designated helicopter pilot and has flown single and multiengine props and turboprops and sailplanes.  He has commanded a carrier squadron, a carrier air wing, a large amphibious ship, the aircraft carrier Saratoga and a carrier battle group. 

Later in his Navy career he commanded all Naval Air Forces of the U.S. Atlantic Fleet preceded by command of the worldwide forces of the Naval Reserve and before that the Naval Military Personnel Command: in charge of personnel management and assignment of all uniformed navy people.

VADM Dunn writes for publication and is an experienced public speaker.  He has been a commentator on various news programs and has been called upon to testify before Congress as an active officer, in his retired capacity and as a NASA safety panel member.  His hobbies are flying, golf, travel, reading and the study of naval history.
 

Dr. Norman Friedman
Dr. Norman Friedman

Panelist

Author, Unmanned Combat Air Systems: A New Kind of Carrier Aviation

(Confirmed)

Dr. Friedman has been concerned throughout his career with the way in which policy and technology intersect, in fields as disparate as national missile defence, nuclear strategy, and mobilization policy. He has published five editions of the Naval Institute Guide to World Naval Weapon Systems, an encyclopedia of naval (including air) weapons which includes many current sensors. An internationally known strategist, he spent more than a decade at a major US think-tank, and another decade as consultant to the secretary of the navy. He has consulted for many major defense corporations. Dr Friedman has written more than 35 books on naval strategy and technology, including an award-winning account of the US Cold War Strategy. He contributes a monthly column on world naval developments to the Naval Institute's Proceeding magazine and writes articles for journals worldwide. Dr. Friedman holds a PhD. from Columbia University, New York. He lectures widely on defence issues in forums such as the National Defence University, the Naval War College and the Royal United Services Institute. His current focus is on network-centric warfare, about which he has recently published Network Centric Warfare: How Navies Learned to Fight Smarter in Three World Wars. Last year he published Unmanned Combat Air Vehicles: A New Kind of Carrier Aviation, which he sees as a natural extension of network-centric operations. He recently published a history of British destroyers and cruisers which examine, among other things, the way in which the Royal Navy reacted to the transformation of naval warfare by the advent and development of the torpedo.  His next book, for publication this fall, is an encyclopedia of World War I naval weapons which examines the tactical and strategic consequences of the very rapid development of naval weapons before and during that war.

Mr. Hill Goodspeed
Mr. Hill Goodspeed

Moderator

Historian and Artifact Collections Manager, National Naval Aviation Museum

(Confirmed)

Hill Goodspeed is a native of Pensacola, Florida, and comes from a naval family.  His grandfather trained at NAS Pensacola as a naval aviator during World War II, his father was a Vietnam War-era Marine officer, and a great uncle served as a PT-Boat skipper in the South Pacific during World War II.

He received his undergraduate degree at Washington and Lee University, majoring in history and journalism and receiving the honor of being selected as a George C. Marshall Undergraduate Scholar.  He received his M.A. in history from the University of West Florida.  Since 1994, he has worked at the National Naval Aviation Museum in Pensacola, where he serves as Historian and Artifact Collection Manager.  He is also an adjunct professor for the Naval War College Distance Education Program lecturing in the field of Strategy and Policy.  

Hill is the author or editor of five books and has contributed to two others, among his works the book U.S. Naval Aviation, which Proceedings named one of the notable naval books of 2001.  He has also appeared frequently as an historical commentary on PBS, Discovery Channel, and History Channel programs. 

Mr. David Hartman
Mr. David Hartman

Moderator

original Host of Good Morning America

(Confirmed)


For more than 35 years, David Hartman has produced, written and hosted scores of award winning documentaries for the networks, public television, and cable television. He has created numerous programs about aviation and space for EAA at Oshkosh; the Naval Air Museum, Pensacola; the Flight Test Historical Foundation at Edwards AFB; the Aviation Hall of Fame in Dayton and the Naval Institute at Annapolis.

His profile of test pilots following the tragic crash of a B-1 bomber at Edwards AFB in 1984 earned him the Aviation and Space Journalism Award and a National News and Documentary Emmy for writing. As the original host of Good Morning America, for over 11 years, he conducted more than 12,000 interviews with subjects ranging from world leaders to families in the American heartland. In March, 2010, as panel moderator, he accompanied Neil Armstrong, Jim Lovell, Gene Cernan, Bob Gilliland and Steve Ritchie on a morale boosting tour visiting our troops in Southwest Asia and the Northern Arabian Sea. In October, 2010 he accompanied the same three naval aviator/ astronauts on another tour of SW Asia bases. In addition to his work in television, Hartman is a nationally and internationally published photojournalist. He holds a BA in Economics and served three years active duty as an officer in the USAF, Strategic Air Command.
 

LtCol Mikel Huber, USMC
LtCol Mikel Huber, USMC

Panelist

Commanding Officer, Marine Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Squadron Two, MCAS Cherry Point

(Confirmed)

Mikel Huber was born in Idaho Falls, Idaho.  The son of a career Naval Officer, he grew up in Idaho Falls Idaho, Groton Connecticut, Monterey California, York Maine, Sardinia Italy, and Annapolis Maryland.  A graduate of the United States Naval Academy, he was commissioned a 2ndLt in May 1993.  2ndLt Huber subsequently reported to Marine Corps Combat Development Command Quantico, VA for initial officer training at the Basic School.  Following graduation in December 1993, he reported to Naval Air Station Pensacola, FL for initial flight training. 2ndLt Huber attended Intermediate Jet Training at Naval Air Station Meridian, MS and Advanced Jet Training at Naval Air Station Kingsville, TX.  1stLt Huber was designated a Naval Aviator in March 1996, and reported to Cherry Point, NC for initial training in the AV-8B in August, 1996.    

In July 1997, 1stLt Huber reported to Marine Aircraft Group 14, Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, and was subsequently assigned to VMA-542.  From November 1998 –May 1999, Capt Huber deployed with HMM-266 (Rein) to the Mediterranean.  During this deployment, Capt Huber flew combat missions in support of Operation ALLIED FORCE.  Capt Huber then returned to VMA-542 and attended WTI in the spring of 2000.  Upon his return from WTI, Capt Huber was transferred to VMA-231 to immediately deploy with HMM-264 (Rein) from May-December 2000. 

In March 2001, Capt Huber was transferred to Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics Squadron One where he was assigned as an AV-8B instructor.  In January 2003, Capt Huber deployed with MAG-13 (Rein) aboard the USS Bataan.  Capt Huber augmented the MAG staff as a weapons and tactics instructor.  Promoted in March, Maj Huber flew combat missions in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM from March-May 2003.  Upon returning to MAWTS-1, Maj Huber became the fixed wing OAS Specialist in the Aviation Development Tactics and Evaluation Shop.  In June 2004, Maj Huber reported to VMAT-203 at Cherry Point, NC as an instructor at the Fleet Replacement Squadron and served as the Operations Officer.  Maj Huber reported to HQMC in March, 2006 as the AV-8B Coordinator in the Aviation Weapon Systems Requirements Branch (APW-22). 

Promoted in February 2009, LtCol Huber reported to MAG-14 in June, 2009 and served as the Operations Officer.  In October 2010, he reported to MACG-28 and briefly served as the Operations Officer before joining VMU-2 in Afghanistan in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM.  LtCol Huber assumed command of VMU-2 in April 2011 while forward deployed.

LtCol Huber has logged over 1700 total mishap-free flight hours.  His personal decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal, the Air Medal with strike/flight numeral “1”, the Navy/Marine Corps Commendation Medal (three Gold Stars), and the Navy/Marine Corps Achievement Medal (Gold Star). 
 

CAPT Wendy B. Lawrence, USN (Ret.)
CAPT Wendy B. Lawrence, USN (Ret.)

Panelist

former mission specialist, Endeavour (1995), Atlantis (1997), Discovery (1998, 2005)

(Confirmed)

Captain Wendy Lawrence was born in Jacksonville, Florida. She received a Bachelor of Science in ocean engineering from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1981, and a Master of Science in ocean engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in 1988.

A distinguished flight school graduate, CAPT Lawrence was designated as a naval aviator in July 1982. She has more than 1,500 hours of flight time in six different types of helicopters and has made more than 800 shipboard landings. While stationed at Helicopter Combat Support Squadron SIX (HC-6), she was one of the first two female helicopter pilots to make a long deployment to the Indian Ocean as part of a carrier battle group.

CAPT Lawrence reported for astronaut candidate training at the Johnson Space Center in August 1992. She completed one year of training and was qualified for flight assignment as a mission specialist. Before retiring from NASA in June 2006, CAPT Lawrence logged more than 1,225 hours in space on four space shuttle flights.  She was a crewmember on the following missions:

  • STS-67(March 2-18, 1995):  A 16-day mission on Endeavour that was the second flight of the ASTRO Observatory. The crew studied the far ultraviolet spectra of faint astronomical objects and the polarization of ultraviolet light coming from hot stars and distant galaxies.
  • STS-86(September 25-October 6, 1997):  A 10-day mission on Atlantis that was the seventh mission to rendezvous and dock with the Russian Space Station Mir. The mission included an exchange of U.S. crewmembers on Mir and a spacewalk to retrieve four technology experiments.
  • STS-91(June 2-12, 1998):  A 11-day mission on Discovery that was the ninth and final shuttle-Mir docking mission and marked the conclusion of the joint U.S./Russian Phase I Program.
  • STS-114(July 26-August 9, 2005):  A 14-day mission on Discovery that was the “Shuttle Return to Flight” mission after the Columbia accident. The crew evaluated new procedures for shuttle inspection and repair, and resupplied the International Space Station.

Currently, CAPT Lawrence is an adjunct faculty member in the space studies program at American Military University. She also works part-time at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, educating the public about NASA’s spaceflight programs. 

CAPT James A. Lovell, USN (Ret.)
CAPT James A. Lovell, USN (Ret.)

Panelist

Naval Aviator, former Commander, Apollo 13

(Confirmed)

A 1952 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, Captain Lovell received his wings in 1954 and subsequently served with VC-3, a night fighter squadron where he flew the F2H Banshee. When the squadron became a Replacement Air Group, he introduced Navy squadrons to the F3H Demon.

After graduating from the Test Pilot School at the Test Center, NAS Patuxent River, he was Program Manager introducing the F4H Phantom to the fleet.  In September 1962 he was chosen for the space program.   He executed various commands in the Gemini mission program, including; backup pilot for the Gemini 4 flight, and backup commander for Gemini 9 flight.  He was the pilot on the history making Gemini 7 flight, which saw the first rendezvous of two manned spacecraft in 1965, and the commander of the Gemini 12 mission in 1966 that perfected astronaut extra vehicular operations. 

At the close of the Gemini program, Lovell became command Module Pilot and Navigator for the epic 6 day journey on Apollo 8 -- man’s maiden voyage to the moon where he and fellow crewman were the first humans to leave the earth’s gravitational influence.  He was backup commander to Neil Armstrong for the Apollo 11 lunar landing mission.  Lovell’s fourth and final flight was on the perilous Apollo 13 mission in 1970.  As spacecraft commander, Lovell and his crew successfully modified their lunar module into an effective lifeboat when their cryogenic oxygen system failed.   Their emergency activation and operation of the lunar module systems conserved both electrical power and water in sufficient supply to assure their survival in space and their safe return to earth. 

CAPT Lovell’s education prepared him for the change from explorer to businessman.  He attended the University of Wisconsin, graduated from the United States Naval Academy, the University of Southern California - Aviation Safety School, and the Harvard Business School’s Advance Management Program.  He has received honorary doctorates from Blackburn University, Mary Hardin - Baylor College, Milwaukee School of Engineering, Rockhurst College, Susquehanna University, Washington & Jefferson College, Western Michigan University, William Patterson College and Lake Forest College.

He has garnered an impressive share of honors and awards, a few listed: the Harmon, Collier & Goddard Aerospace Trophies, the Presidential Medal for Freedom, the French Legion of Honor, NASA Distinguished Service Medal, NASA Exceptional Service Medal, the Navy Distinguished Service Medal, the Naval Astronauts Wings, two Navy Distinguished Flying Crosses, FAI De Laval & Gold Space Medals; National Geographic Society’s Hubbard Medal; and most recently the Congressional Space Medal of Honor.

CAPT Lovell is a Fellow in the Society of Experimental Test Pilots and a member of the Navy’s prestigious Golden Eagles.

In 1994, Lovell and Jeff Kluger wrote Lost Moon, the story of the courageous mission of Apollo 13.  In 1995, the film version of the bestseller, “Apollo 13” was released to rave reviews.  

Professor Robert "Barney" Rubel
Professor Robert "Barney" Rubel

Panelist

Dean, Center for Naval Warfare Studies, U.S. Naval War College

(Confirmed)


Professor Rubel, a retired Navy captain, is currently Dean of the Center for Naval Warfare Studies.  Prior to assuming this position, he was Chairman of the Wargaming Department of the Naval War College.  A thirty-year Navy veteran, he received his commission through the Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps at the University of Illinois.  He subsequently became a light attack naval aviator, flying the A-7 Corsair II and later the F/A-18 Hornet.  He commanded Strike Fighter Squadron 131 and also served as the Inspector General at U.S. Southern Command.

Professor Rubel’s shore assignments were principally involved with professional military education.  He is a graduate of the Spanish Naval War College in Madrid and the U.S. Naval War College in Newport, RI.  He completed three separate faculty tours at the U.S. Naval War College as a joint military operations instructor and ultimately as the Deputy Dean of the Center for Naval Warfare Studies.  During these tours he served as the William F. Halsey Chair of Air Strike Warfare and later the Colin Powell Chair of Joint Warfare.  In addition, he has been a visiting lecturer at a number of international professional military education institutions, including the German Armed Forces Staff College, the Mexican Naval War College, the British Joint Services Staff College and the Colombian Senior War College. 

He gained extensive experience with service and joint education policy through his participation as an accreditation team member on the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Process for the Accreditation of Joint Education (PAJE) Team.  He also served as the special assistant for joint education to the Dean of Academics.  After retiring from the Navy, he became director of the Research and Analysis Division within the Naval War College’s Wargaming Department, and in 2004 became Chairman of the Department.  In 2006 he became Dean of the Center for Naval Warfare Studies, the research arm of the Naval War College.  His first project in that position was to lead the research and gaming effort that underpinned the development of the current U.S. maritime strategy, A Cooperative Strategy for 21st Century Seapower.

Professor Rubel has earned master’s degrees from Salve Regina University and the Naval War College.  He has published a number of articles on a variety of subjects including naval strategy, security engagement strategy, joint operational art, advanced wargaming and air warfare.
 

Professor Douglas V. Smith
Professor Douglas V. Smith

Moderator

Strategy and Policy Professor and Head of the Strategy and Policy Division of the College of Distance Education, United States Naval War College; and Editor of One Hundred Years of U.S. Navy Air Power

(Confirmed)

Professor Douglas V. Smith is a Professor of Strategy and Policy and Head of the Strategy and Policy Division of the College of Distance Education, United States Naval War College. In that position he supervises seven Historians who offer courses on Strategy and Policy to approximately 1,250 students each year. He is a graduate of the United States Naval Academy, Class of 1970, with a Bachelor of Science degree in Naval Engineering. After completing Naval Flight Officer training in Pensacola, Florida, in 1971, he served as a Tactical Coordinator and Mission Commander in P-3 Orion anti-submarine aircraft for the rest of his career.  He also graduated with a Master of Arts Degree in National Security Affairs from the Naval Postgraduate School in 1981 and a Master of Arts Degree in National Security and Strategic Studies from the United States Naval War College in 1993, from which institution he is a graduate “With Highest Distinction.”  After retirement from the Navy Professor Smith earned his Ph.D. in Military History from The Florida State University.

A career naval officer, Douglas was Head of War Planning and Long-Range Planning for Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Naval Forces, Europe and United States Commander, Eastern Atlantic, as well as Long-Range Planner for both. In that assignment he was responsible for all conventional force war plans for the Navy and Marine Corps in Europe including naval component planning for Operation ELDORADO CANYON, the Egypt Air interception, and the Achille Largo hijacking recovery. Following that assignment, he served as a Military Professor on the Strategy and Policy Faculty of the United States Naval War College. In both these assignments he was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal. 

Douglas is the author of Carrier Battles: Command Decision in Harm’s Way, which is now used by the Stockdale Scholars and in the Distance Education Strategy and Policy course. He has completed a book titled One Hundred Years of U.S. Navy Air Power, which appeared on the shelves in November, 2010, to coincide with the centennial carrier launch and recovery of a Navy aircraft in 2011He has served as both a Military Professor and Civilian Professor with the Strategy and Policy Department.

Professor Smith is also the Commander of the Newport Commandery of the Naval Order of the United States, the oldest naval society in the country.
 

Dr. William "Bill" Trimble, PhD
Dr. William "Bill" Trimble, PhD

Keynote Speaker

2011 recipient of the "Admiral Arthur W. Radford Award for Excellence in Naval Aviation History and Literature"

(Confirmed)

Bill Trimble is Professor and former Chair of the Department of History (2000-2006) at Auburn University in Alabama.  He received his Ph.D. from the University of Colorado, Boulder, in 1974.  His most recent book is Hero of the Air: Glenn Curtiss and the Birth of Naval Aviation (Naval Institute Press, May 2010).  His book Jerome C. Hunsaker and the Rise of American Aeronautics was the winner of the 2003 Gardner-Lasser Award presented by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics for the best book in the history of aeronautics over a five-year period.  He is also the author of High Frontier: A History of Aeronautics in Pennsylvania, Wings for the Navy: A History of the Naval Aircraft Factory,  Admiral William A. Moffett: Architect of Naval Aviation, and Attack from the Sea: A History of the U.S. Navy’s Seaplane Striking Force, among other books and articles.  In 2011, he won the Admiral Arthur W. Radford Award for Excellence in Naval Aviation History and Literature from the Naval Aviation Museum Foundation.

In 1993-1994 and 1998-1999, Trimble was visiting professor at the Air War College, Maxwell Air Force Base, and from 1999 to 2000 he held the Charles A. Lindbergh Chair of Aerospace History at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C.

CAPT E. T. Wooldridge, USN (Ret.)
CAPT E. T. Wooldridge, USN (Ret.)

Keynote Speaker

former Chairman Aeronautics Department, Assistant Director for Museum Operations and The Admiral DeWitt C. Ramsey Fellow for the National Air and Space Museum

(Confirmed)

Graduated U.S. Naval Academy, U.S. Navy Test Pilot School, the National War College, and received an MS International Affairs from The George Washington University. Commanded carrier fighter squadron and served on strategic plans and policy staffs overseas in the Navy Department, and the Joint Staff of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. After retirement from the Navy in July 1976, Captain Wooldridge joined the staff of the National Air and Space Museum, where he subsequently became Chairman Aeronautics Department, Assistant Director for Museum Operations, and later served as the Admiral DeWitt C. Ramsey Fellow, with duties involving research and writing in the field of U.S. naval aviation.  He is the author of a number of books on aviation subjects, including The Golden Age Remembered: U.S. Naval Aviation, 1919-1941 and Night Fighters Over Korea, for which works he was selected as the U.S. Naval Institute Author of the Year in 1998.

The U.S. Naval Institute would like to thank

The William M. Wood Foundation

for its generous support of the 2011 History Conference!

The U.S. Naval Institute would like to thank

The William M. Wood Foundation

for its generous support of the 2011 History Conference!

By Jeff Poor and Caroline May

This year marks the centennial of the U.S. Navy’s aviation program. From the early craft used in World War I all the way up through space exploration and the unmanned aircraft used by the modern military, there is a legacy of naval aviation the nation can be proud of. 

However, what can be learned from its history going forward through examining the progress made? On Sept. 17, 2011 on the ground of the U.S. Naval Academy, leading experts convened and addressed those subjects.

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles vs. Manned Aircraft: What Will Today's Midshipmen Be Flying?

Though focused on the history of naval aviation, the conference took a look at what today’s midshipmen would be flying in the future. Will they be flying like their courageous predecessors or will their engagement be behind the scenes, operating unmanned vehicles from afar?

Professor Robert "Barney" Rubel, dean of the Center for Naval Warfare Studies at the U.S. Naval War College told the audience that to date there has been a tendency to create unmanned versions of manned vehicles. According to Rubel it will be important to avoid pigeonholing these technologies into the manned categories that may soon become obsolete.

“One of my concerns is that we not fail to take advantage of new technologies because we try to fit and put them into categories that we’re comfortable with,” Rubel said explaining that his latest focus is how to use ships to increase the efficiency of UAV. “I think there is a new/old role that the carrier can perform because of the capabilities of UAVs, and that is as the eyes of the fleet.”

Former Top Gun instructor and commander of an F-14 Tomcat fighter squadron, Dave “Bio” Baranek, was less optimistic about the prospect of UAV taking over where pilots-dependent vehicles currently dominate. According to Baranek, UAV likely will not be the main fighting force for at least another generation.

“Virtually all new systems have an Achilles heel and will have a rocky development process,” he said recalling the flawed design of the F-4 Phantom, which did not have guns in its basic design. “There are going to be dead ends, things that are envisioned – go back and look in the past 20 and 30 years at the artists concepts of new weapons systems and how many of those either don’t happen or don’t do what they expected. But then look at those systems that do get fielded and after a few years they are used in ways that were not conceived. ”

Barakek likened the UAV to how flight simulators and noted that such inactive “flying” is not as effective – noting the fact that without skin in the game operators could experience less accuracy and efficiency. Barakek warned that the Navy should proceed with “cautious progress.”

LtCol Mikel Huber, USMC, commanding officer, Marine Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Squadron Two, MCAS Cherry Point provided a unique perspective having seen both sides of the manned/unmanned issue first hand as a pilot in command of a UAV squad.

Huber told the audience that the progress the technology is and has been making has been rapid. Currently, UAV are only being used in low-risk situations, as the technology is not yet trusted enough for the more sensitive operations.

“I think there are a number of areas where UAVs can be effective, but it is certainly in a complimentary role in the world of manned aviation right now, rather than a one or the other,” Huber said. “The other thing that is really interesting or exciting about where UAVs are right now is the pace of change. Dave [Barakek] mentioned that there are certainly times when we have to be cautious moving forward but the pace of the technology is changing right now in the world of aviation. I think there are wonderful opportunities that allow us to bring capability to the battlefield in the unmanned world much quicker than we get it to the battlefield in the manned world.” 

To date Huber says the UAVs are best in a complimentary role, with the manned vehicles. 

Mr. Hill Goodspeed, historian and artifact collections manager at the National Naval Aviation Museum, moderated the panel and pointed out that a lot of the impetus behind moves to brining more UAVs into the Navy’s arsenal is money and public opinion. UAV’s are less expensive and public opinion is in favor of them.

Naval Aviation in Space

The general public might not first think of the U.S. Navy when it comes to space. However, naval aviators were instrumental to the early stages of manned space flight – indeed, space exploration makes up a significant part of naval aviation history and certainly will be a part going forward.

One of the instrumental figures in the American space exploration is CAPT James A. Lovell, USN (Ret.), a naval aviator, perhaps best known as the former Commander of Apollo 13.

Lovell, speaking on a panel with MajGen Charles F. Bolden Jr., USMC (Ret.) and CAPT Wendy B. Lawrence, USN (Ret.), offered the audience at the 2011 U.S. Naval Institute’s History Conference some thoughts about the evolution of naval aviation space over the years and what to expect going forward.

Lovell explained how the so-called “naval aviator bug” bit him and how he got involved. According to the former Apollo 13 commander, Lovell got involved at the end of World War II, a time when the Navy was shedding pilots. Lovell, who already had two years of college, entered the U.S. Naval Academy, graduated in 1952 and went directly into naval aviation.

Lovell eventually  found himself at Cape Canaveral and despite failing a physical during his first attempt, two years later reapplied and found himself in the Gemini group, making two flights – Gemini 7 and 12. Lovell spent two weeks in space, setting the stage for a future moon visit.

“The Gemini program was an R&D program looking toward going to the moon,” he said. “After all, President Kennedy had already announced going in 1961 but we had to do things in earth orbit first to make sure we could accomplish those objectives before we ever go all the way to the moon.”

Lovell explained how the Gemini missions demonstrated that bodily functions could operate at zero gravity – which was essential for moon mission approval. Other obstacles the early astronauts had to overcome he said were working in a zero gravity environment, where he said they had to learn how to keep astronauts from working against themselves with space walks and working on the space modules.

But eventually Lovell made it to the moon and described the experience.

“I’ll never forget coming around the first time and looking up – and even though the moon was awe-inspiring as sort of forbidden, and nothing but craters and gray mass – what really inspired me and I think the greatest impression that I had was coming out of the lunar horizon was the earth,” Lovell said. “And the earth was the only color you could see – blue, blue oceans, the white clouds, the tans, the browns, the salmon colors of the deserts. You could not see green because that frequency is absorbed in the atmosphere coming through. Really a beautiful site, 240,000 miles away.” 

He added that the earth seemed so small from his perch near the moon and described his thoughts.

“I could put up my thumb, I do this all the time but it’s kind of – you have to think about it, putting the earth behind your thumb – everything that you’ve ever known, your loved ones, the school, your country, all the countries, all the problems that they’re having at that particular time underneath your thumb – disappear.” 

He added that it put the world’s calamities in perspective and meanwhile it also made him appreciate how the earth operates.

“It gave you kind of two thoughts, number one – how insignificant we really all – that I can put my thumb on something and make everything disappear,” he continued. “And the second thing I thought is how glad that we are, how fortunate that we are that we have what we have here on earth. The earth in reality is a spacecraft, whether you like it or not – you’re all astronauts. We have limited supplies and we have to learn to live and work together. And that’s the thoughts I had from Apollo 8.”

Lovell added on the way back, which happened to be Christmas Eve, the crew read the first 10 verses of Genesis from the Old Testament.

Lovell also talked his about his experiences from the Apollo 13 mission, a failed mission in which he led his crew back safely to earth. He said that although it technically was a failure, it was a triumph as well because there was a lesson to be learned from it.

“Things don’t always go the way they’re planned,” he said. “You’ll see that on your cruises. You’ll see that on your various assignments. You‘ve got to regroup. You’ve got to change the plan. You’ve got to determine how to get out of crisis and what you have to work for, do the job and get your solution. These are the things that I think [Apollo] 13 brought home to a lot of people – not just in the space program or not just in the military but a lot of people in business and government.”

MajGen Charles F. Bolden Jr., USMC (Ret.), now the NASA Administrator is the former pilot of the Columbia (1986) and Discovery (1990) missions and was also the commander of Atlantis (1992) and Discovery (1994). Nominated in 2009 by President Barack Obama and confirmed by the U.S. Senate, Bolden is the 12th Administrator o NASA and talked about the present state of space exploration in the United States.

According to Bolden, with the current shift of NASA to more commercialized space flight, there will be improvements compared to NASA’s shuttle program, but it won’t be a walk in the park.

“I always try to caution people,” Bolden said. “It is going to be better than having NASA own and try to operate the space shuttle. But don’t be fooled into thinking it’s going to be like going to buy a ticket you know on Continental Airlines and go from D.C. to San Diego. That is not the case. Space flight is dangerous, expensive, very demanding. Normal people can and should do it.”

Bolden told the audience to expect some significant announcements from NASA to be forthcoming, but admitted it has been a struggle, particularly with the political climate in the country. He said he expected man would set foot on Mar in the future and said he was looking to work with the international community, except for one nation: China.

 “We can’t work with the Chinese right now,” Bolden said. “But I’m rooting for them. They’re probably going to put a spacecraft called Shenzhou into orbit here, hopefully by the end of the year. It’s going to be the first capsule of their space station. And the reason they are doing that is that we are not allowing them to be partners right now. So they’re going alone. They need to be successful to drive us.”

CAPT Wendy B. Lawrence, USN (Ret.), the third member of the panel, expressed a similar sentiment. Lawrence, an adjunct faculty member in the space studies program at American Military University logged more than 1,225 hours in space on four space shuttle flights and crew member on six shuttle flights Endeavour  (1995), Atlantis (1997) and Discovery (1998, 2005), told the audience it was time to root on the Chinese.

“I think we’re in a very interesting period right now as Charlie Bolden has alluded to,” she said. “We are divided but if you look at the history of the space program and history very clearly shows what we can do when we are united. What will it take to get us united again? I have to agree with Charlie – it’s time to root for the Chinese because it just may be that we need a good swift kick in the pants to realize that if you want to maintain your position of prominence in the world, you know it’s like being a world class athlete. You got to train. You got to practice. You got to work hard. We have to continue to work hard, focus on technology development and the space program is a laudable place to do that.”

Naval Aviation in World War I, Dr. William ‘Bill’ Trimble

Dr. William “Bill” Trimble, professor and the former Chair of the Department of History at Auburn University in Auburn, Ala., and author of Hero of the Air: Glenn Curtiss and the Birth of Naval Aviation (Naval Institute Press, May 2010), addressed the conference on the evolution of naval aviation during World War I.

According to Trimble, World War I provided the impetus for aviation in the U.S. Navy and laid the groundwork for many of modern-day processes in the U.S. military including: appropriations, manufacturing and defense acquisitions - since establishing naval air-power for combat was such a massive undertaking.

“Generally speaking, people thought this war would go through 1918 and well into 1919,” Trimble explained. “That there would have to be 12,000 military aircraft procured – 12,000 of these aircraft. So we’re not talking about scores of aircraft. We’re not talking about hundreds of aircraft. We’re talking about thousands of aircraft.”

Trimble added the need for naval airpower, or “flying boats” as he called them, stemmed from the threat of the German U-boats interfering with maritime commerce. According to Trimble aircraft were considered the best way to combat the German submarines.

The Auburn professor further noted that the creation of naval aviation during World War I had implications for the workforce.

“Just to give you an idea of the scale of this – by 1919, the early part of 1919 – after the war was over, the Curtis Company had 18,000 workers in various factories and the produced something on the order of 1,200 airplanes of various kinds by the early part of 1911,” he said. “The Naval Aircraft Factory had nearly 3,700 workers and produced something like 250 airplanes of various sizes, mostly large flying boats during the war.”

The creation of an aircraft suitable for the U.S. Navy has social implications as well, providing advances for women in the workforce.

“One other point too was that women came into the aircraft industry in large numbers during World War I,” he added. “You think of ‘Rosie the Riveter’ in World War II, right? But large numbers of women came into the aircraft industry in World War I. About a third of the workforce at the Naval Aircraft Factory in Philadelphia were women and I’d be willing to bet that something like that was the equivalent in other manufacturing facilities as well. Not ‘Rosie the Riveter’ as much as ‘Sally Seamstress’ because a lot of this was fabric – not only sewing fabric, but also preparing the fabric for installation in aircraft at that time.”

Fmr. Secretary of the Navy John F. Lehman: How Naval Aviation won the Cold War

After World War II, the national defense posture of the United States was uncertain. Without the threat of the Japanese or the German regimes many thought the country would no longer need a massive naval fleet with airpower. Or would it?

At the conference, former Secretary of the Navy John F. Lehman, the honorary chairman of USNI, spoke of the evolution of naval aviation post-World War II and how it played an integral role in eventually winning the Cold War – but not without some challenges.

“Naval aviation and the Marine Corps came under major sustained policy attack, and during those post-war years, from ’45 to ’49, ’50 – the very existence of naval aviation and the Marine Corp was very much in doubt,” Lehman said. 

Lehman explained that former President Franklin Delano Roosevelt had been a big proponent of the U.S. Navy and naval aviation, but with his death of and the eventual presidency of Harry Truman, naval aviation faced specific threats.

“So Truman put in [Secretary of Defense] Louis Johnson with a mandate to gut the defense and especially the Navy department,” he explained. 

He said the Truman administration had plans in the works to end naval aviation and make it a part of the new emerging U.S. Air Force. Johnson intended to decommission all but six of the U.S. Navy’s 106 aircraft carriers. But the Korean War changed that.

“There’s no question that our unilateral disarmament in the Pacific was a major, major factor,” Lehman said. “And so it looked like the end of naval aviation, but of course the Soviets saved the Navy by allowing North Korea to attack, suddenly they took over all of the peninsula except for the tiny enclave in the south – the Air Force, other than B-29s, which were no use for air superiority or close air support, there was only one carrier, the Valley Forge that was in the area.”

Once it was realized that naval aviation was indeed a needed component of the U.S. military, Truman fired Johnson and replaced him with George Marshall – who immediately changed the course of the U.S. Navy.

 “Marshall was not an enemy of naval aviation and so carriers were brought back into commission,” Lehman explained. “All World War II aviators were called up from the reserves because there was a great many of them that had stayed in reserve.”

Lehman said ultimately it was the Navy that maintained the nuclear balance with the Russia until the advent of the ICBMs.

“Nobody knows this and nobody writes about it, but the fact is naval aviation carried the weight of the nuclear deterrent,” he said. 

After the Korean War and leading up to and through the Vietnam conflict, naval aviation underwent growing pains with the implementation of jet-propulsion. Landing on carriers without modern technology proved problematic, according to Lehman. 

But beyond that and after Vietnam, the Navy fought political fights on its home turf as well under the direction of former President Jimmy Carter. However, he noted one of the early lobbyists to act on behalf of the Navy was John McCain, now the senior senator from Arizona.

He went on to explain the Navy weathered that storm, and under former President Ronald Reagan, it played a role in the bipartisan plan for the United States to win the Cold War. 

“We knew we were kicking [the Soviets] ass,” Lehman said. “And President Reagan knew. And that ladies and gentleman is how naval aviation won the Cold War.”

What is the Future of Naval Aviation?

With the introduction of new technology chaffing against a penny-pinching a government there is uncertainty ahead for the U.S. Navy’s airpower. Some of those concerns were address at the U.S. Naval Institute’s History Conference.

Up first was the president of the Naval Historical Foundation, VADM Robert F. Dunn, USN (Ret.), also an aviation consultant, chairman of the board of UT-Services - a research and development company-, and a contributor to the Washington Times. Dunn emphasized the need for power on the seas, which constitutes a large portion of the earth – not just on the water but also the air. 

“So 70 percent of the earth is covered by water,” Dunn explained. “Most of that water is international space. The air above it is international airspace and is capable of supporting all kinds of operations, whether it be combat operations – offensive, defensive, humanitarian. The list goes on.”

Dunn explained that most of the country’s “potential adversaries” are in the other hemisphere and while the Pacific Ocean presents a barrier, the country needs to ensure it keeps the ocean under its thumb. 

“We have to have the capability of defending our interests somewhere away from our shores, rather than waiting for any potential enemy to come to us,” he said. 

In Dunn’s estimation, the best way to defend against that enemy is with airpower supported by aircraft carriers. 

Dunn speculated that there would still be naval aviation in the year 2061, consisting of carrier-based and land-based operations - as would fixed-wing and rotary-wing craft. Nonetheless, he explained the occasional Ivy League or think tank study would attempt to explain away the necessity of such weapon systems. Still, ultimately he said the future’s U.S. Navy would be led by unmanned aerial vehicles on carriers stabilized electronically.

VADM David Architzel, USN, who currently serves as commander of the Naval Air Systems Command, headquartered in Patuxent River, Md., followed.

Architzel shared a particular interest in the transitory phase of the U.S. Navy, where capability is a goal, but overcoming the cost challenges remains an obstacle.

“The biggest challenge I face is this transition piece,” Architzel said. “It’s how we continue to bring on a very difficult capacity and capability and when we also have to keep our legacy until that capability is there. And the one of the one things we do struggle with is we have an appetite for capability and we want to have the best there is and the best there always will be. And there’s appoint where capability if we did a very simple x and y diagram – you have a capability that you can deliver across the x-axis but there’s a cost factor on the -axis but there’s a cost factor on the y-axis.”

Ultimately, he said, you would reach a point where the return would diminish, but the cost would escalate.

“You’re going to get as much for a very small increase in capability, you’re going to pay a substantial cost increase,” he said. 

VADM John P. Currier, USCG, the Coast Guard's first Deputy Commandant for Mission Support spoke after Architzel. Currier is responsible for all facets of support of the Coast Guard’s diverse mission set through oversight of human capital, lifecycle engineering, acquisition, telecommunications, and information technology.

Currier summed up the need for carrier-based naval airpower as part of the future’s U.S. Navy simply by explaining there are not presently any other options.

“There is no other way to place sustainable strike power near anybody else’s shore,” Currier said. “If you were allowed to use nuclear weapons, you might could do with a submarine or Tomahawks, or something like that, but nuclear weapons don’t seem to be that much in the cards.”

As far as the use of UAVs to combat a threat, Currier said that while there may be benefits, eliminating the human element takes away a target identification ability machines don’t always necessarily have.

Finally, the panel’s moderator Thomas J. Cutler, the director of professional publishing for USNI, reminded the audience that although there is a focus on tactics, there is also a political component that remains to be addressed.

“I see a lot of nodding heads in here, which means we’re all pretty much in agreement on most of these issues, which is preaching to the choir,” Cutler said. “What we really need to do is figure out how to convince the rest of the nation and the Congress of these things. That’s where the real challenge lies.”

The Transition from Props to Jets

Growing pains are a natural consequence of technological innovation, but the transition of U.S. Navy’s air fleet from propeller engines to jet engines was and is a tough evolution.

During a lecture on the topic at the 2011 Naval Institute History Conference, CAPT E. T. Wooldridge, USN (Ret.), explained that change wasn’t easy. Wooldridge, who commanded a carrier fighter squadron and served on strategic plans and policy staffs overseas in the Navy Department and the Joint Staff of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, offered his thoughts on the transition. 

According to the author of The Golden Age Remembered: U.S. Naval Aviation, 1919-1941 and Night Fighters Over Korea and the U.S. Naval Institute Author of the Year in 1998, the process has been interesting. 

“The progress was amazing up to this point and obviously will be in the future,” he said. “But that progress might be difficult for modern-day pilots to understand.”

It is difficult for carrier pilots of later generations to appreciate the paths that faced many of the pilots of the late-1940s and 1950s, Wooldridge added. 

“Many were often inadequately trained and the jet squadron sometimes led by pilots who did not understand what jet aviation was all about and they often placed their pilots in situations for which there was no safe way out,” he said.

It took this type of trial-and-error process to reach modernity Wooldridge said – one that took a decade.

“But the changes did come,” Wooldridge said. “The late-50s and the early 1960s, naval aviation was moving into its fourth generation of naval aircraft.”

Aircraft carriers were modernized for jet aircraft and that set stage for the next in naval aviation history.

Naval Air Power in Vietnam and the Gulf War: What Did We Learn?

After naval aviation made its transition from World War II class weapons systems, to the conflict in Korea to a modern-day air fleet, there were still lessons to be learned from the conflicts in which naval aviation was utilized - particularly Vietnam in the 1960s and the Gulf War in the 1990s.

According to 38-year U.S. Navy veteran ADM Stanley R. Arthur (Ret.), the lessons from conflicts were carried forward. He explained in his lecture to the 2011 U.S. Naval Institute History Conference that there were benefits from the past entering this phase of naval aviation history.

“When one looks at Vietnam, we had the benefit of the lessons learned from World War II and Korea,” he said. “We enjoyed a fleet of modern aircraft, as was just mentioned and all the aircraft had passed their initial introduction. So all of them had known aircraft capabilities.”

One achievement the U.S. military obtained and enjoyed in this phase was the introduction of laser-guided bombs into aviation. Although the U.S. Air Force had more sophisticated technology Arthur explained, eventually the U.S. Navy caught up.

“We learned a lot from that experience,” he said. “But sadly, the Air Force learned that lesson better than the Navy.”

The experiences from Vietnam and the use of this technology set naval aviators up for success in the early 1990s conflicts in the Persian Gulf against Iraq.

“Vietnam provided a great training ground that we were able to utilize in Desert Storm,” he said - which included the rules of engagement that, in Vietnam, didn’t allow naval fighters to shoot beyond their visual range, and the Navy’s ability to assess battle damage he said. 

Almost all of the component commanders in Desert Shield and Desert Storm had served in Vietnam and were aware these lessons.

“There was a shared agreement among us that we were not going to screw this up,” he said. “There were plenty of parochial issues that came up, but in the end we made that the execution of the plan was best as possible.”

That execution was simple according to Arthur. Among the components were to get Iraq out of Kuwait and defend Saudi Arabia.

Arthur explained that though the country did not remember one of the many lessons from Vietnam, during Desert Storm, they eventually overcame the resulting problems.

“The other problem that started was the same thing that happened in Vietnam,” he said. “The campaign was starting to be planned in Washington.”

This changed under General Norman Schwarzkopf, the commander of the coalition forces in the Persian Gulf and gave the Navy more input than they would have had otherwise.

“We made it work,” Arthur said.

One particular success Arthur added, in the Persian Gulf conflicts, included the Tomahawk missile strikes in downtown Baghdad, which proved the Navy could participate from day one – in having missiles launched from submarines and ships.

“In the first 24 hours, Tomahawks hit 29 targets to the F-117’s 14,” Arthur said. “In the second 24 hours, the Tomahawks hit 18 and the F-117 one.” 

The lesson Arthur took away from this: Stealth aircraft have trouble with weather.

To see the complete gallery of images from the 2011 History Conference, visit our Flickr set.


 
 

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