Wolfpack Tactics Exploration Gains Submariner Recognition in Operations Research > United States Navy > News-Stories

Kitten was one of five U.S. Navy graduate students from the NPS Department of Operations Research (OR) selected to present their thesis to a panel of judges, faculty, and peers for the Stephen A. Tisdale Thesis Award competition. the Military Operations Research Society (MORS).

When the dust settled, Lt. Spencer Kitten’s examination of submarine force tactics through his thesis, “Revisiting Submarine Wolfpack Tactics Using Computational Methods”, was selected as the winner of the MORS/Tisdale Summer Quarter Award. .

The Underwater Warfare Development Center (UWDC) at Naval Submarine Base New London in Groton, Connecticut sponsored and supported Kitten’s research.

“We strongly believe in supporting the next generation of naval officers trained in operational research and are pleased to have had the opportunity to sponsor and help shape Lt Kitten’s research,” said Dr. Michael W. Kopp, Head of the Underwater Operations Research Group at UWDC. “We are extremely pleased that the selection committee agreed with our assessment that his work deserved special recognition and we look forward to seeing his future contributions to the submarine force.”

“I was honored to have been selected for this award among so many other great nominees,” added Kitten. “When I arrived at NPS, I knew I wanted to work on a project that would have a direct and positive impact on naval thinking. This award is the realization of that effort and I am deeply honored. »

The MORS Tisdale Award recognizes a graduate student in the OR department for outstanding thesis research that provides operational effectiveness and has the highest potential for short-term security impact on the United States and its allies.

“Rather than a competition, the professors of the OR department like to consider this event as a celebration of the exceptional work of our students, as well as recognizing all that they have learned during two years of very fast and intense studies”, said US. Navy Commander. Nicholas Ulmer, Program Officer in the Operations Research Department.

The research Kitten conducted for his thesis was a simulation using data farming techniques along with clever experimental design to revisit the tactics of underwater wolf packs in the modern era.

“Models like mine will be used to inform submarine strategy in critical battlespaces, particularly on issues of coordination and communication,” Kitten said. “Much of the existing literature on joint operations is tailored to a submarine operating in concert with non-submerged assets such as a battle group. Usually when submarines operate together very specific procedures are issued which are only relevant for the duration of the event.It would be exciting to see more general guidance for submarines being used with other submarines.

“I think the most interesting exploration for this research will involve simple changes in the simulation design assumption,” he added. “Time permitting, I would like to continue exploring this topic and stay involved with the broader military operations research community.”

Ulmer says competitions like the MORS/Tisdale Award are win-wins for the fleet and all participating students. The Navy benefits from student research into real-world issues impacting the service, he said, as students gain the experience of informing their peers and leaders about those issues while participating in the larger community of their discipline.

The MORS/Tisdale award is named in honor of Lt. Cmdr. Stephen A. Tisdale, 1989 NPS graduate. Tisdale perished in a military plane crash on March 21, 1991, while serving with Patrol Squadron (VP) 50 off the coast of California. Tisdale’s outstanding and influential dissertation, “Evaluating Optimal Use of Potential Anti-Satellite Architectures,” won the MORS Award for Advancement and he was recognized as the NPS’s Top Space Systems Operations Student.

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