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Aircraft Carriers

Naval Academy to Host Debate on Future of Aircraft Carriers

  POSTED ON: Monday, December 29, 2014 1:13 PM by PAO office

Press Release: #102-14

ANNAPOLIS, Md.— The U.S. Naval Academy Museum will present a debate on the future of aircraft carriers in the Mahan auditorium Friday, Jan. 9, from 7:30 p.m. to 8:45 p.m. The event is open to the public.

Assistant Director of the Hudson Center for American Seapower Bryan McGrath will argue in favor of the resolution, and Director of Defense Strategies and Assessments Program at the Center for New American Security Dr. Jerry Hendrix will argue against the resolution.

Hendrix and McGrath will argue the topic of nuclear aircraft carriers with air wings as being the most cost effective and efficient platform to project power in the maritime and littoral realm to support U.S. national security interests in current and future security environments. The debate will be moderated by Capt. Craig C. Felker, chair of the U.S. Naval Academy Department of History. 

McGrath is a retired naval officer, who spent 21 years on active duty including a tour in command of USS Bulkeley, a guided-missile destroyer based in Norfolk, Va. He received the Admiral Elmo Zumwalt Award for Inspirational Leadership from the Surface Navy Association and his ship earned the USS Arizona Memorial Trophy signifying its selection as the fleet's most combat-ready warship. His final duties ashore included serving as team lead and primary author of the U.S. Navy's 2007 maritime strategy, “A Cooperative Strategy for 21st Century Seapower.” He earned a Bachelor of Arts in History from the University of Virginia in 1987, and a master’s in political science and congressional studies from The Catholic University of America. He is a graduate of the Naval War College.

Hendrix is a retired captain in the U.S. Navy, whose staff assignments included tours with the Chief of Naval Operation’s Executive Panel, the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Policy, and the Office of the Secretary of Defense’s Office of Net Assessment. In 2011, he assumed the position of Director of Naval History.  He received his doctorate from King’s College of London in war studies. He has twice been named the Samuel Eliot Morison Scholar by the Navy Historical Center in Washington D.C. and was also the center’s 2005 Rear Admiral John D. Hays Fellow. He authored the book “Theodore Roosevelt’s Naval Diplomacy” and received a number of awards, including the U.S. Naval Institute’s Author of the Year and the Navy League’s Alfred T. Mahan Award for Literary Achievement.

“It is important for midshipmen and the public to have a unique opportunity like this where a significant national security issue is debated, particularly with participants well-versed in naval history,” said Naval Academy Museum Director Claude Berube. 

During the month of January, the museum will have a special exhibit on the history of U.S. aircraft carriers from the USS Langley through the USS Gerald R. Ford.

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