Email this Article Email   

CHIPS Articles: Naval Oceanography Honors First Hall of Fame Inductees, Dedicates New Supercomputers

Naval Oceanography Honors First Hall of Fame Inductees, Dedicates New Supercomputers
By Kaley Turfitt, Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command Public Affairs - January 29, 2019
Commander, Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command (NMOC) Rear Adm. John Okon hosted a ceremony on Jan. 25, to honor its very first Hall of Fame inductees and dedicate the latest supercomputers after the Naval Oceanography legends.

“We establish the Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Hall of Fame to preserve history, honor excellence and connect generations,” said Rear Adm. Okon. “When it came to selecting the first class we had over 30 years to cull over, and we knew this class would be like none other. They are the stalwarts of the community and the Navy, and I am humbled they are here with us today.”

Retired Rear Adm. James Koehr commanded then-named Naval Oceanography Command from 1984 to 1991. Dr. Donald Durham served as Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command’s technical/deputy director from 1989 to 2002, along with being the senior civilian executive and the top scientific advisor. Retired Vice Adm. Paul Gaffney II was commander, NMOC from 1994 to 1997.

“Growing up outside of St. Louis, I didn’t get my first airplane ride and see the ocean until I joined the Navy at 22. And eventually I became an oceanographer,” said Koehr.

Koehr began his tour as a captain until a special Navy selection board nominated him as the first oceanography designator officer for promotion to flag rank. His appointment to rear admiral became effective on Sept. 1, 1988. During his tour, Naval Oceanography developed into a national and world center of excellence through rapid developments in computers and supercomputers, satellite imagery and communication among other areas.

Durham oversaw the transition of the first high resolution global ocean prediction system into operations. He drove innovative and cost effective engagements with industry including cooperative research to search for Amelia Earhart’s lost Lockheed Electra.

Gaffney became the first naval oceanographer to attain the rank of vice admiral. He attained the visionary goal of making Naval Oceanography a true world-class supercomputing facility and delivered three oceanographic survey ships into the operational fleet—USNS Pathfinder, USNS Sumner and USNS Bowditch.

“Our competitors strive to shake our confidence. In order to keep our confidence from being shaken we must know what’s happening in the undersea domain. We have that here at Naval Oceanography and no other nation does,” said Gaffney

The ceremony was attended by current and former staff members some of which served with the inductees.

“When I first started my career in Naval Oceanography, we had meteorology teams around the world that had less computer capabilities than I have on my phone today,” said Durham.

The program also included the unveiling of and ribbon-cutting on the newest DoD Supercomputing Resource Center’s supercomputers that were installed in 2018 and named after Koehr, Durham and Gaffney. These latest installations will now provide users with almost seven petaflops of computing capability and are among some of the fastest supercomputers in the world.

Left to right: DoD Supercomputing Resource Center Director Christine Cuicchi, DoD High Performance Computing Modernization Program Director Sandy Landsberg, retired Rear Adm. James Koehr, retired Vice Adm. Paul Gaffney II, Dr. Donald Durham, Commander, Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command Rear Adm. John Okon and Technical Director Dr. Bill Burnett cut the ribbon at a ceremony on Jan. 25, 2019, at Stennis Space Center, Miss., marking the newest supercomputers named for Koehr, Gaffney and Durham.
Left to right: DoD Supercomputing Resource Center Director Christine Cuicchi, DoD High Performance Computing Modernization Program Director Sandy Landsberg, retired Rear Adm. James Koehr, retired Vice Adm. Paul Gaffney II, Dr. Donald Durham, Commander, Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command Rear Adm. John Okon and Technical Director Dr. Bill Burnett cut the ribbon at a ceremony on Jan. 25, 2019, at Stennis Space Center, Miss., marking the newest supercomputers named for Koehr, Gaffney and Durham.

Left to right: Dr. Bill Burnett, retired Rear Adm. James Koehr, Dr. Donald Durham, retired Vice Adm. Paul Gaffney II and Rear Adm. John Okon at the Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command Hall of Fame ceremony held on Jan. 25, 2019, at Stennis Space Center, Miss. Koehr, Durham and Gaffney were the first inductees at the inaugural ceremony that also included the unveiling and ribbon-cutting on the newest DoD Supercomputing Resource Center’s supercomputers that were installed in 2018.
Left to right: Dr. Bill Burnett, retired Rear Adm. James Koehr, Dr. Donald Durham, retired Vice Adm. Paul Gaffney II and Rear Adm. John Okon at the Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command Hall of Fame ceremony held on Jan. 25, 2019, at Stennis Space Center, Miss. Koehr, Durham and Gaffney were the first inductees at the inaugural ceremony that also included the unveiling and ribbon-cutting on the newest DoD Supercomputing Resource Center’s supercomputers that were installed in 2018.
Related CHIPS Articles
Related DON CIO News
Related DON CIO Policy

CHIPS is an official U.S. Navy website sponsored by the Department of the Navy (DON) Chief Information Officer, the Department of Defense Enterprise Software Initiative (ESI) and the DON's ESI Software Product Manager Team at Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center Pacific.

Online ISSN 2154-1779; Print ISSN 1047-9988
Hyperlink Disclaimer