As a result of the Tri-Service Maritime Strategy (TSMS) released in December, which underscored the need for joint cooperation in today’s security environment, the Naval Postgraduate School (NPS) in Monterey, Calif. and the U.S. Coast Guard Research and Development Center (RDC) in New London, Conn. agreed to a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) Apr. 14 extending their previous three-year direct collaboration on joint research projects and exchanges to five more years.
NPS President retired Vice Adm. Ann E. Rondeau and RDC Commanding Officer Capt. Dan Keane met through an online collaboration tool, virtually, to sign the memo. The emphasis of the MOU is to further optimize joint collaboration for specific research and educational outcomes that directly support defense priorities and Coast Guard statutory missions within the TSMS.
With mid-career Coast Guard officers as students at NPS, the MOU will help focus NPS on aspects of the TSMS that chiefly fall to the Coast Guard in order to define research projects that those students, and NPS faculty, can work on together and advance toward solving key maritime challenges. In addition to identifying thesis topics of mutual interest, the MOU includes access and use of each institution’s unique laboratories and facilities, and involves other key research exchanges to mutually advance their mission of research and education for warfighting advantage.
“The Tri-Service Maritime Strategy prioritizes developing future capability and capacity for both the Navy and the Coast Guard,” said Rondeau. “Our formalized partnership not only strengthens the strong ties between NPS and the Coast Guard, but it brings to bear our defense-focused faculty and operationally-experienced Navy and Coast Guard students in joint projects to develop our future force. The relationship between NPS and RDC is critically important , which is supported also by our relationship with Rear Adm. Penoyer of the Eleventh Coast Guard District and Lt. Cmdr. John Gatti of the local Coast Guard Station Monterey. We all look forward to enhancing our applied research and education that will help solve the toughest maritime challenges.”
According to Keane, one of the cornerstones of the RDC portfolio accomplishment strategy are the collaborations they have with a wide range of partners from Department of Defense and Department of Energy Labs, to the Federal Lab Consortium, and into academia.
“Perhaps one of our strongest and most impactful partnerships is with the Naval Postgraduate School,” noted Keane. “Since an MOU was signed three years ago, the RDC has become a topic sponsor, we have proposed questions related to our portfolio that have turned into academic products, NPS researchers have worked with our researchers on summer studies and we have provided platforms for NPS experimentation. We believe that we have just scratched the surface and the future is incredibly bright. We are excited about the next five years.”
Rear Adm. Brian Penoyer, Eleventh Coast Guard District commander noted that NPS has been a true force-multiplier for the Coast Guard and the RDC.
“This partnership helps us quantify disaster relief responses, provides a better understanding of drug trafficking patterns at sea, and fosters an environment of innovation for Coast Guard men and women.,” said Penoyer. “It’s through these relationships that we maintain our mission-ready total workforce to continue safeguarding our nation.”
Currently, institution-level planning is underway to facilitate joint research projects on such things including renewable energy, additive manufacturing, maritime-domain awareness and wargaming.