Capt tom robertson senior director robertso@usna edu 410 293 6262
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United States Naval Academy Forum On Emerging and Irregular Warfare Studies (FEIWS). CAPT Tom Robertson, Senior Director 410-293-6262. FEIWS Concept Brief. Introductions. CAPT Tom Robertson, USN - Director LTC Jon Klug, USA - Director

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FEIWS Concept Brief

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Capt tom robertson senior director robertso@usna edu 410 293 6262

United States Naval Academy

Forum On Emerging and Irregular Warfare Studies (FEIWS)

CAPT Tom Robertson, Senior Director


FEIWS Concept Brief



  • CAPT Tom Robertson, USN - Director

  • LTC Jon Klug, USA - Director

  • LT J. T. Kadz, USN - Deputy Director

  • FEIWS (pronounced “Fuse”)

Feiws concept brief


Emerging Security Challenges





Questions for midshipmen

Questions for Midshipmen

  • What factors drive changes in our human world?

  • What most determines who wins wars?

  • Are you doing your best to understand these factors and prepare yourself to lead in our changed and changing world?

“Every day you spend here at USNA, you are building your foundation for understanding and for leadership.”

Usna charter non technical group 3 courses

USNA CHARTER:Non-Technical (Group 3) Courses

  • Teach midshipmen how to think critically

    “How do I solve a complex problem when there is no checklist or easy answers?”

  • Historical depth, language skills, regional expertise and cultural knowledge (LREC)

Feiws charter

FEIWS Charter

  • To increase understanding and facilitate discussions of emerging and irregular warfare.

  • Focus on culturally, technologically and historically informed discussions of contemporary military operations and tactics.

  • Link theory/ doctrine with practice and to leverage academic scholarship to help understand real-world military operations.

Feiws approach

FEIWS Approach

Faculty (military and civilian) collaboration to share papers, conference presentations, recent cultural or combat experience and research projects (USNA and international).

Coursework development

USNA Yard-wide presentations by group members or outside speakers to faculty, staff and midshipmen followed by small-group discussion or classroom visits.

Feiws concept brief

FEIWS Concept

  • Collaboration

  • Coursework development

  • Outside speaker collaboration through Special Operations Command Interagency Partnership Program and others

Progress at usna emerging warfare irregular warfare some examples

Progress at USNA: Emerging Warfare/ Irregular Warfare (Some examples)

Feiws center of excellence

FEIWS Center of Excellence

  • Counter Terror (CT)

    • Reference CTC, U. S. Military Academy, West Point

  • Counter Proliferation (CP)

    • On-going collaboration with USSOCOM IAPP in support of Special Operations Support Teams’ (SOST) request for connection to academia

  • Counter Threat Finance (CTF)

    • On-going collaboration with DHS ICE and ASD SO/LIC

Feiws concept brief

Nine FEIWS-affiliated military faculty members have been deployed from USNA as advisors in embedded training teams or to senior operational staffs in Afghanistan and Iraq.

  • History Department

  • CAPT Hagerott: Strategic Initiatives Group, NTM-A, 2009-2010

  • CAPT Felker: Command Historian, NTM-A, 2010-2011

  • CAPT Robertson: Embedded Afghan Advisor, NMAA, NTM-A, 2010

    • Augment Pilot, CJTF 82 Afghanistan, 2008

    • Augment Pilot, MAG-16 REIN Iraq, 2006

  • LtCol Berry, USMC: MEU Det OIC, AV-8B, 2012

  • Embedded Advisor, NMAA, NTM-A, 2010

  • LtCol Aaron O’Connell, USMCR, Gen. Petreaus Staff, ISAF-A, 2010-2011

  • LTC Klug, USA: Strategic Planner/ GSG-5 Advisor, IJC, 2012-2013 Deputy SIG, NTM-A, 2009-2010

    • Company Commander/ Regimental Planner, 3ACR, 2003

  • Political Science Department

  • Lt Fletcher: Embedded Advisor, NMAA, NTM-A, 2010

  • Math Department

  • LT Heineike: Embedded Advisor, NMAA, NTM-A, 2010

  • Chemistry Department

  • LT Bodemer: Embedded Advisor, NMAA, NTM-A, 2010

  • Findings


    USNA FEIWS is currently an ad hoc and unfunded group. Possible partners, synergies (international collaboration) or funding sources – USNA Warfare Center of Excellence and/or connection with Cyber Center.

    Relationships within the IW community are essential to improving our groups, staffing the war effort and also in disseminating lessons learned.

    Potential exists to create a single point of contact “reachback” pool of expertise for use by combatant commanders linking with U. S. Military and other government agency capabilities.



    Feiws concept brief

    Background slides

    Usna strengths in this area

    USNA Strengths in this Area

    • High level of midshipman interest- “How can I get involved …?”

    • Early foundation for future thought and development (Mids not yet “indoctrinated”)

    • USNA grads become small unit leaders soon after graduation “where the rubber meets the road”

    • Military instructors experience: active involvement -recently returned from Iraq, Afghanistan and Horn of Africa

    • Interdisciplinary cooperation

    Usna challenges in this area

    USNA Challenges in this Area

    • Core course syllabi not specifically designed to target Irregular and Emerging Warfare

    • Targeted courses available to only a small percentage of the student population

    • Current progress is largely based on military instructor initiative – if the instructor transfers, the course often dies

    • Lack of coordination with post-graduate and other institutions (need networking/ relationships to help build the right foundation)

    Example course hh386 the history of modern counterinsurgency

    Example Course - HH386 The History of Modern Counterinsurgency

    • Block 1 – The Nature of Irregular Warfare

    • Block 2 – Counterinsurgency case studies: British Afghanistan and Malaya, French Indochina and Algeria, Soviet Afghanistan among others

    • Block 3 – Insurgency and COIN Theory

    • Block 4 – The U. S. Experience with Irregular Warfare (1776 to Present)

    • Block 5– Non-state entities and emerging warfare

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