Our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy have changed. We think you'll like them better this way.

  • 01:04

    Episode 301: Confessions of a Major Program Manager, w/ CAPT Mark Vandroff, USN

    in Military

    One man's chore is another man's hobby. Another man's dread, is the other's fantasy. Such, in a fashion, is Program Management in the Navy.


    To be a good one, step one is to be self-aware. From his latest article in USNI's Proceedings, Confessions of a Major Program Manager, Captain Mark Vandroff, USN just lays it out; "Face it: Everyone hates MPMs. For the budget-conscious officials in the Pentagon, our products are never cheap enough. For technologists both inside and outside the Department of Defense who want military progress to be state of the art, our products are never fielded fast enough. For the fleet users and their advocates, products could always be more capable, usable, or maintainable. Industry gets upset when we treat the taxpayers’ money like it is worth saving rather than help Wall Street with its next earnings report. Our uniformed brothers and sisters, support scientists, contractors, and comptrollers all loathe us—and if you aren’t in one of those groups, you probably quit reading already."


    Coming back to Midrats, we will have the author on for the full hour to discuss the dark art of the program manager, what it takes to be one, and why at the end of the day someone would - really - come to love it all.


    Captain Vandroff is a 1989 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy. With 10 years as a surface warfare officer and 16 years as an engineering duty officer, he is currently the major program manager for Arleigh Burke class destoyers.

  • 01:04

    Episode 296: Best of Norman Friedman

    in Military

    We've had a lot of new listeners in the last three years, so it was time to bring back Norman.


    What makes a class of warship a success, a failure, or a missed opportunity? What fundamentals consistently result in a success, and what common threads need to be avoided in order to not repeat the mistakes of the past?


    What decision and results we have seen in previous classes of warships are we seeing repeated now, and what are some options for the Navy going forward?


    For warship classes from right before WWII to the present, to discuss this and more will be returning guest, Dr. Norman Friedman.


    In addition to numeral articles through the years, Dr. Friedman writes a monthly column, "World Naval Developments" in the US Naval Institute's magazine, Proceedings and is the author of many books including U.S. Destroyers: An Illustrated Design History; Unmanned Combat Air Systems; and Naval Weapons of World War One.


    As a starting point for our discussion we will be using Dr. Friedman's article in US Naval Institute's magazine, Naval History, Judging the Good from the Bad.

  • 01:01

    Candy Rayne: From Navy Brat to Published Author

    in Books

    Candy Rayne was raised as a Navy brat from the age of ten. After having lived in Lemoore, Visalia, and San Diego in California; North Chicago in Illinois; Norfolk and Portsmouth in Virginia; and Gautier in Mississippi, she settled with residing in Pascagoula, Mississippi where she has been working for Huntington Ingalls Shipbuilding since August of 2007.


    As a proud mother of two beautiful daughters, Candy would be the first to tell you that they were born in 2000 and 2002.


    In December 2011 her first novel, Tangled Web was published by Glenda Wallace for Pink Kiss Publishing. Her second novel, Concrete Rose, was also published by Glenda Wallace.


    Visit her at: www.Candykhotedd.com/About-Candy-Rayne.html

    or on Facebook at: www.Facebook.com/AuthorCandy.

  • 01:11

    Military Monday with John D. Gresham With AW&ST Naval Editor Mike Fabey

    in War

    The past six months has seen a rapid rise in the level of naval and maritime activity across the globe. China, Russia, and Iran have expanded their air and naval activity into disputed areas with their neighbors, raising tensions and concerns around the world. Recently, the invasions of Crimea, Ukraine, and Yemen have all increased the levels of naval activity in the Baltic and Black Seas, as well as the Gulf of Aden, Straits of Hormuz, and Persian Gulf. In addition, out in the Pacific, tensions are rising between China and North Korea, and their neighbors around the Rim of the Pacific region. Active humanitarian crises are dominating the Mediterranean between Libya and Italy, along with Malaysia, Indonesia, and other areas of the Southwest Pacific. In addition, add in a major construction boom in naval vessels of all types, and maritime tensions are the highest they have been since the end of the Cold War.


     To gain some insight on this complex international maritime situation, tune into this week's edition of Military Monday (#MilitaryMonday on the Writestream Radio Netwok (@Writestream)), today at 1 PM EDT. Host, bestselling author, journalist, documentary and film produceer John D. Gresham will be talking with Aviation Week & Space Technology Naval Editor Mike Fabey. Together they will discuss the ongoing series of crises and events across the world's high seas, along with new developments in shipbuilding and aircraft design, as well as other new technology developments.

  • 01:06

    Episode 268: 21st Century Sims

    in Military

    Who was "The Gun Doctor," the officer who over a century ago led the revolution in naval gunnery, the development of torpedo boat and destroyer operations, and during WWI served as the senior US naval commander in Europe?  More than the man instrumental in the establishment of the convoy system that helped keep the United Kingdom from starvation in the conflict, following the war his leadership as president of the Naval War College he help to established the creative and innovative Navy that in the interwar period developed the operating concepts for the submarines and aircraft carriers that led the victory in World War II.


    What are the lessons of a century ago taught by Admiral William S. Sims, USN that are critically important for the serving officer today?


    Our guest for the full hour to discuss this latest book, 21st Century Sims, will be returning guest, LCDR Benjamin Armstrong, USN.


    Benjamin "BJ" Armstrong is a naval aviator who has served as a helicopter pilot flying amphibious search and rescue and special warfare missions and as the Officer-in-Charge of a Navy helicopter gunship detachment deployed for counter-piracy and counter-terror operations. He is a PhD Candidate in the Department of War Studies, King's College, London.

  • 01:03

    Episode 265: Bryan McGrath on carriers, distributed lethality, & 2015 overview

    in Military

    For those who have seen the Great Carrier Debate between Jerry Hendrix and Bryan McGrath, one thing was clear - both gentlemen had only scratched the surface of their thoughts on the topic.


    At about the same time, the concept of "distributed lethality" had seeped its way in to the conversation. To examine both topics and to review the national security issues you should expect to see in 2015 will be returning guest, Bryan McGrath.


    Bryan McGrath is the founding Managing Director of The FerryBridge Group LLC (FBG), a niche consultancy specializing in naval and national security issues, including national and military strategy, strategic planning, executive communications, strategic communications and emerging technologies.


    Prior to starting FBG, Bryan founded a national security consulting line of business for Delex Systems, where he directly supported a number of senior clients in the Navy and the Army.  Additionally, he provided critical insight on Navy policy and acquisition preferences to commercial clients, including major defense contractors and small technology firms negotiating the "post-earmarks" era.    


    A retired Naval Officer, Bryan spent 21 years on active duty including a tour in command of USS BULKELEY (DDG 84), a guided-missile destroyer homeported in Norfolk, Virginia.  


    In his spare time, Bryan is a well-published commentator in the fields of national and maritime strategy, with policy papers published at major think tanks, and articles placed in nationally marketed periodicals.  He is a frequent panelist at symposia that deal with naval issues and is frequently quoted by major press organizations.


    Bryan earned a BA in History from the University of Virginia in 1987, and an MA in Political Science (Congressional Studies) from The Catholic University of America. He is a graduate of the Naval War College.

  • 01:04

    Episode 255: Commanding the Seas; the Surface Force with Bryan Clark from CSBA

    in Military

    How do we build the future surface fleet to ensure our forces maintain the ability to access to all regions of the world's oceans that our vital to our national interests?


    Our guest to discuss this and the broader issues related to our surface forces will be Bryan Clark, Senior Fellow at Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments (CSBA).


    A basis for our conversation will be his recent study for CSBA, Commanding the Seas: A Plan to reinvigorate U.S. Navy Surface Warfare, where he articulates the operational concept of “offensive sea control” as the new central idea to guide evolution of the U.S. surface force. This idea would refocus large and small surface combatant configuration, payloads and employment on sustaining the surface force’s ability to take and hold areas of ocean by destroying threats to access such as aircraft, ships and submarines rather than simply defending against their missiles and torpedoes.


    Prior to joining CSBA in 2013, Bryan Clark was Special Assistant to the Chief of Naval Operations and Director of his Commander’s Action Group.


    He served in the Navy headquarters staff from 2004 to 2011, leading studies in the Assessment Division and participating in the 2006 and 2010 Quadrennial Defense Reviews. His areas of emphasis were modeling and simulation, strategic planning and institutional reform and governance. Prior to retiring from the Navy in 2007, he was an enlisted and officer submariner, serving in afloat and ashore including tours as Chief Engineer and Operations Officer at the Navy’s nuclear power training unit.


    Mr. Clark holds a Master of Science in National Security Studies from the National War College and a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry and Philosophy from the University of Idaho.

  • 01:08

    Episode 253: The Fleet we Have, Want, and Need - with Jerry Hendrix

    in Military

    What is the proper fleet structure for the USN as we design our Navy that will serve its nation in mid-Century?


    Join us for a broad ranging discussion on this topic and more with returning guest, Henry J. Hendrix, Jr, CAPT USN (Ret.), PhD.


    Fresh off his recent retirement from active duty, Jerry is a Senior Fellow and the Director of the Defense Strategies and Assessments Program at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS).


    A Naval Flight Officer by training, his staff assignments include tours with the Chief of Naval Operation’s Executive Panel (N00K), the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Policy (Force Development) and the OSD Office of Net Assessment. 


    His final position in uniform was the Director of Naval History. 


    Hendrix also served as the Navy Fellow to the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs at Harvard University.  He has  a Bachelor Degree in Political Science from Purdue University, Masters Degrees from the Naval Postgraduate School (National Security Affairs) and Harvard University (History) and received his doctorate from King’s College, London (War Studies).  


    He has twice been named the Samuel Eliot Morison Scholar by the Navy Historical Center in Washington, DC, and was also the Center’s 2005 Rear Admiral John D. Hays Fellow. He also held the Marine Corps’ General Lemuel C. Shepherd, Jr. Fellowship. He authored the book Theodore Roosevelt’s Naval Diplomacy and received a number of awards, including the United States Naval Institute’s Author of the Year and the Navy League’s Alfred T. Mahan Award for Literary Achievement.

  • 01:03

    Episode 245: The Carrier as Capital Ship with RADM Thomas Moore, USN, PEO CVN

    in Military

    In a time of budgetary pressure, a shrinking fleet, and an ongoing discussion of their relevance, how are we keeping out legacy Aircraft Carrier's in shape for the regular demands for extended deployments while at the same time bringing the new FORD Class CVN online?


    What are some of the lessons we have learned in our decades of operating nuclear powered aircraft carriers that we are bring forward to serve the Fleet in the coming decades so we always have an answer to the question, "Where are the aircraft carriers?"


    To discuss this and more, our guest for the full hour will be Rear Admiral Thomas J. Moore, USN, Program Executive Officer for Aircraft Carriers and is responsible for life cycle management for In-Service Carriers as well as the design and construction of the Future Class Carriers. 

  • 01:06

    Episode 237: Military Sealift Command; Past, Present & Future

    in Military

    When it comes to all things maritime, sometimes one Sal is not enough.


    Whatever confession of maritime strategy you adhere to, there is one linchpin that all will survive or fail on - the Military Sealift Command. Our guest for the full hour to discuss the entire spectrum of issues with the MSC will be Salvatore R. Mercogliano, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of History at Campbell University.


    Sal is a 1989 graduate of SUNY Maritime College, with a BS in Marine Transportation.  He sailed on the USNS Neosho (T-AO 143), Mohawk (T-ATF 170), Glover (T-AGFF 1), Comfort (T-AH 20) during the Persian Gulf War, and John Lenthall (T-AO 189).  Ashore, he was assigned to the N3 shop for the Afloat Prepositioning Force and focused initially on Marine Corps MPF vessels, but later working on the new Army program, including the construction and conversion of the LMSRs.  


    In 1996, he transitioned to his my academic career.  Receiving a MA in Maritime History and Nautical Archeology from East Carolina University, focused on the merchant marine in the Vietnam War.  He later then went to the University of Alabama and graduated with a Ph.D. in Military and Naval History with his dissertation on entitled Sealift: T


    He has taught at Methodist University, East Carolina, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, and the U.S. Military Academy, prior to being an Assistant Professor of History with Campbell University since 2010,  In addition, since 2008, I have been an Adjunct Professor at the US Merchant Marine Academy teaching a graduate level on-line course on Maritime Industry Policy.  


    He has been published in the Northern Mariner, Sea History, Naval History, and Proceedings.  

  • 00:50

    Episode 236: Best of Where are the Carriers

    in Military

    "Where are the Carriers?"


    Whenever the expected unexpected happens on the globe, that is the question that is often asked first.  As our nation also faces one of its greatest budget crisis - it is also one that the budget cutters are asking as well.


    What is the status of our carrier force as we approach 2012 and what possible directions are we heading?  Is the carrier more important in supporting our national strategy than it used to be, or less?  Are we buying the right kind of systems to go on and in our carriers?  Are we buying enough? How are we assessing our technology risk as we bring in new tools?


    Our guest for the full hour will be J. Talbot Manvel, CAPT, USN (Ret.), presently teaching at the U.S. Naval Academy and is a frequent writer on issues of carrier issues and larger Navy policy issues.  In the course of his career he served on three carriers and led development o f the maintenance plan for the Nimitz class and design of the Ford class carriers.