Seapower Conversations are informal discussions with leading experts on the trends, technologies, and tactics that shape modern seapower.  These conversations share information on the latest research and concepts coming from NPS that will influence the future of naval warfare. We hope to inspire thought on new concepts and technologies through these conversations that will affect the way we fight in the future, and the best way to do that is through the minds of junior and mid-career officers.

This series of events kicked off in 2019 with five interviews between faculty associate Lyla Englehorn and lauded strategist and Dean Emeritus retired Navy Capt. Wayne Hughes, who discusses major themes present in the newest edition of his seminal book, “Fleet Tactics and Naval Operations,” co-authored by retired Rear Adm. Robert Girrier. Read more. 

Check out archival recordings posted on the NWSI Seapower Conversation playlist

Next Conversation

Navigating the Tide: Rising Seas as a Threat to Readiness

2 May 2024  |  100-1200 PT
Glasgow 102 or virtually via Zoomgov

A discussion of the on-the-ground and on-the-water challenges of sea level rise for military operations and installations. An interdisciplinary panel of expert practitioners shared information and perspectives on global sea level rise, how it impacts Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island and Naval Station Norfolk, and how we can use data and modeling to navigate in today’s and tomorrow’s rising seas.

  • John Englander, Rising Seas Institute
  • Tracey Spencer, Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island
  • Steve Jones, Naval Station Norfolk
  • Rachael Dempsey, NOAA’s National Ocean Service
  • Moderated by Stuart Gold, Rising Seas Institute
Learn more about panelists and review resources on sea level rise.

Co-hosted by the Climate & Security Network and Naval Warfare Studies Institute

Recent Conversations

NWSI Seapower Conversation - Imagery & Algorithms: Synthetaic's RAIC finds the PRC's Surveillance Balloon Through Human-Machine Collaboration

13 March 2024  |  1200-1300 Pacific

Reed Hall 103 and MS Teams  

Presented by Lt Col Daniel "Dip" Schnick, (USMC, Ret.), Federal Account Executive for Synthetaic

Visual data, including full-motion video and geospatial imagery, holds immense intelligence potential, but traditional AI has lacked the speed-to-insight and flexibility needed to unlock its full value.

This Seapower Conversation will explore Synthetaic’s RAIC, a solution that fundamentally changes what’s possible in image analysis. This platform made headlines last year for successfully backtracking the path of a Chinese spy balloon across commercially-available satellite data. RAIC brings together an unsupervised AI model with human-machine collaboration to allow for instant search of massive raw datasets and iterative model-building for mission-critical intelligence.

NWSI Seapower Conversation - After Action Report of USS Carney Incident in the Red Sea of November 2023

06 February 2024  |  1500-1630 Pacific

Presented at the SECRET level by CAPT Jeremy Gray USN, NPS Surface Warfare Chair

NWSI Seapower Conversation - Strategic Competition in the Sahel & Sub-Saharan Africa

30 January 2024  |  1200-1300 Pacific

SPEAKER: Lieutenant Colonel Matthew Yan, USAF  
U.S. Senior Defense Official, Senior Defense Attaché, & NPS Alum

The speaker shared an updated understanding of current security and political-military situation in the Sahel from someone living it on the ground​, and the state of Strategic Competition in Sub-Saharan Africa through a firsthand account of how our competitors operate and compete with us in areas of the world away from the glaring spotlight of Ukraine and the Western Pacific.

Innovation In Combat Series - Ukraine

Insights from Today's Conflicts: Electronic Warfare in the Russo-Ukraine War

06 March 2024  |  1200-1300 Pacific

Glasgow Hall 109 and MS Teams  

Presented by Col (ret) Randy Pugh USMC, NPS Vice Provost for Warfare Studies & Naval Warfare Studies Institute Director

Since the invention of radio communications in the late 19th century, militaries have fought invisible wars in the electromagnetic spectrum to preserve their ability to command and control while exploiting and attacking the enemy’s.This cat and mouse game has been accelerated to new levels in Ukraine as Russian and Ukrainian EW operators seek battlefield advantage using old technologies and techniques as well as new disruptive emerging capabilities.

This presentation will examine some of the new ways innovative EW operators are “warfighting in the ether” and implications for the U.S. and partner forces.

Insights from Today's Conflicts: Commercial Space Capabilities & Applications

13 December 2023 

SPEAKER: Dr. Wenschel Lan
Senior Lecturer, NPS Space Systems Academic Group

The commercial space sector has become an integral partner for the DoD, and the evolution and scaling of commercial satellite systems has been a game changer. The impact of rapidly sharing unclassified data with international partners will  be highlighted in this talk, as well as how commercial space capabilities have been used to deal with Russian counter-space effects. Dr. Wenschel Lan will be joined by LT Austin Dumas and LT Forrest Hansen, who will discuss current research being performed that explore potential uses of the Starlink constellation for future conflicts that face similar challenges. 

Insights from Today's Conflicts: Russia's Missile Campaign in Ukraine

29 November 2023


SPEAKER: CAPT (ret) John Hammerer USN
NPS Integrated Air & Missile Defense Chair

Driven by Ukraine’s extensive use of dispersion, mobility, and deception, Russia’s long-range strike campaign has fallen short of producing the strategic effects necessary to achieve a decisive victory. CAPT (Ret) John Hammerer will discuss the shortfalls of Russia’s strategy and how Ukraine is adapting to the battlespace, making ballistic and cruise missiles a manageable threat. 

Insights from Today's Conflicts: Decoys & Deception in the Russo-Ukraine War

15 November 2023  

SPEAKER: Dr. Christopher Paul ​
LtCol Kevin Shea Deputy Commandant for Information Chair​

Inflatable tanks, artillery made from pipe and foam core, plywood HIMARS, and decoy trenches. Paul will speak on the evolving use of decoys by both sides in the conflict in Ukraine, and consider the interaction of decoys with contemporary tools for surveillance and reconnaissance.  The discussion will also position decoys within broader classical frameworks related to deception.​

Insights from Today's Conflicts: Drone Activity in the Russo-Ukraine War

1 November 2023  

The first of a series of  lunchtime presentations and discussions around the conflict in Ukraine. Dr. Brutzman, NPS Associate Professor of Information Sciences, will focus on the achievements and failures of autonomous systems used in the Russo-Ukrainian War and how NPS can capitalize on lessons learned. 

The full archive of conversation recordings is available on the NPS Seapower Conversation YouTube channel.