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CHIPS Articles: Rear Adm. Jonathan White

Rear Adm. Jonathan White
New Oceanographer of the Navy
By Robert Freeman with Heather Rutherford - October-December 2012
On Aug. 20, 2012, Rear Adm. Jonathan White assumed the title of oceanographer of the U.S. Navy, replacing Rear Adm. David Titley who retired in July. Assigned to the Chief of Naval Operations staff, White is now head of the Oceanography, Space and Maritime Domain Awareness directorate (OPNAV N2N6E) under the Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Information Dominance.

White also serves as head of the Navy's Positioning, Navigation and Timing directorate and he holds the title “navigator of the Navy.” In addition, White is director of the Navy's Task Force on Climate Change, the naval deputy to the National Oceanic and Space Administration, and director of the Office of the Department of Defense Executive Agent for Maritime Domain Awareness.

"It's a great honor for me to lead this group of dedicated professionals," White said. "The various branches of N2N6E collectively work to ensure enhanced knowledge of the physical environment through a wide array of sensing capabilities and data fusion. "This knowledge helps support safe and effective operations forward and provides warfighting advantage through decision superiority. I like to say that it gives us home field advantage ... at the away games."

White is the 20th person to hold the title oceanographer of the Navy since its inception in 1960. The U.S. Navy has a vital operational oceanography program, providing naval, joint, and coalition warfighters understanding of the maritime environment to ensure safety and readiness for unencumbered global operations, as well as timing and reference information to support precision navigation, maneuvering, and targeting.

As the senior oceanographer in the Navy, White advises naval leadership on all issues related to oceanography, meteorology, hydrography, climatology, precise time, and geospatial and celestial referencing. His staff provides policy guidance and resourcing for the operational oceanography program, and he serves as the senior policy adviser for issues relating to national ocean policy and governance.

As navigator of the Navy, White provides policy and requirements guidance to ensure naval forces have state-of-the-practice positioning, navigation and timing capabilities for accurate operational maneuver and optimum weapons employment, enabling a competitive advantage across the full spectrum of naval and joint warfare.

White serves as the director of Task Force Climate Change, which addresses the implications of climate change for naval operations and informs policy, strategy and investment plans. According to the DDON Energy, Environment, and Climate Change website, factors affecting naval force structure and operations include:

  • The changing Arctic;
  • The potential impact of sea level rise on installations and plans;
  • Changing storm patterns and severity;
  • Water and resource challenges;
  • Stress on vulnerable nation states; and
  • Increased humanitarian assistance and disaster response.

The ultimate goal of the TFCC is to ensure the Navy is ready and capable to meet all mission requirements in the 21st century.

As director of the N2N6E Space branch, White oversees the Navy's space-related policies, programs, requirements, investments, and resourcing. The Navy's interests in space include satellite systems that enable global, networked communications; intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; positioning, navigation and timing; early missile warning; and environmental sensing capabilities.

White also assumed the oversight responsibility for the Department of Defense and Navy's maritime domain awareness initiatives as director. Under the delegated authority of the secretary of the Navy, White leads a dual-hatted organization focused on the effective understanding of anything associated with the global maritime domain that could impact the security, safety, economy, or environment of the United States.

Bob Freeman can be reached at robert.freeman@navy.mil. Heather Rutherford is the assistant editor of CHIPS magazine.

FOR MORE INFORMATION

Rear Adm. White’s Biography - www.navy.mil

Department of the Navy Energy, Environment and Climate Change - http://greenfleet.dodlive.mil/climate-change

TAGS: GreenIT, NNE
Rear Adm. Jonathan White
Rear Adm. Jonathan White

PACIFIC OCEAN (June 30, 2012) 55 feet remain visible after the crew of the
Floating Instrument Platform, or FLIP, partially flood the ballast tanks causing the vessel to turn stern first into the ocean. The 355-foot research vessel, owned by the Office of Naval Research and operated by the Marine Physical Laboratory at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at University of California, conducts investigations in a number of fields, including acoustics, oceanography, meteorology and marine mammal observation. U.S. Navy photo by John F. Williams.
PACIFIC OCEAN (June 30, 2012) 55 feet remain visible after the crew of the Floating Instrument Platform, or FLIP, partially flood the ballast tanks causing the vessel to turn stern first into the ocean. The 355-foot research vessel, owned by the Office of Naval Research and operated by the Marine Physical Laboratory at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at University of California, conducts investigations in a number of fields, including acoustics, oceanography, meteorology and marine mammal observation. U.S. Navy photo by John F. Williams.

NUUK, Greenland (Oct. 9, 2010) Secretary of the Navy (SECNAV) the Honorable Ray Mabus, right, Prime Minister of Greenland Jakob Edvard Kuupik Kleist speak aboard a search and rescue patrol boat off the coast of Nuuk, Greenland. Mabus concluded a day-two day trip to Greenland, meeting with leaders and scientists to discuss the importance of regional security and the environmental impacts of climate change. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class kevin S. O'Brien.
NUUK, Greenland (Oct. 9, 2010) Secretary of the Navy (SECNAV) the Honorable Ray Mabus, right, Prime Minister of Greenland Jakob Edvard Kuupik Kleist speak aboard a search and rescue patrol boat off the coast of Nuuk, Greenland. Mabus concluded a day-two day trip to Greenland, meeting with leaders and scientists to discuss the importance of regional security and the environmental impacts of climate change. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class kevin S. O'Brien.

ARABIAN SEA (Feb. 9, 2012) Meteorology and oceanography officers Lt. Cmdr. Shane Stoughton, left, Lt. Cmdr. Ana Tempone, along with Cmdr. Dan Van Meter, a strike operations officer, assemble a drifting buoy used to measure ocean currents before deploying it from the fantail of the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70). Carl Vinson and Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 17 are deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility. U.S. Navy photo by Mass
Communication Specialist 2nd Class James R. Evans.
ARABIAN SEA (Feb. 9, 2012) Meteorology and oceanography officers Lt. Cmdr. Shane Stoughton, left, Lt. Cmdr. Ana Tempone, along with Cmdr. Dan Van Meter, a strike operations officer, assemble a drifting buoy used to measure ocean currents before deploying it from the fantail of the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70). Carl Vinson and Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 17 are deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class James R. Evans.
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