The Defense Department announced several flag officer nominations and assignments on Tuesday and Wednesday, including the assignment of a new Director of Naval Intelligence.
Secretary of Defense James Mattis announced the nomination of Vice Adm. Matthew Kohler as deputy chief of naval operations for information warfare, N2/N4, in the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) and Director of Naval Intelligence on Wednesday. Kohler has been serving as the head of Naval Information Forces since it was established in Oct. 2014.
Previously, he served as deputy director of naval intelligences, deputy commander of Fleet Cyber Command/U.S. 10th Fleet, and deputy chief of tailored access operations (TAO) at the national Security Agency (NSA).
If confirmed, Kohler is set to succeed Vice Adm. Jan Tighe, who assumed the post in July 2016 after heading U.S. Fleet Cyber Command/U.S. 10th Fleet.
In the same release, the department announced the nomination of Rear Adm. (lower half) Scott D. Conn to move up to two-star rear admiral. Conn currently serves as director of the Air Warfare Division, N98, in the Office of the CNO. His executive assistant, Capt. John Ring, is also nominated to be a one-star rear admiral.
Secretary Mattis also announced that Rear Adm. (lower half) Johnny Wolfe has been nominated to vice admiral and assignment as director for strategic systems programs. He currently serves as the program executive for Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense at the Missile Defense Agency (MDA).
Separately, on Tuesday, Secretary of the Navy Richard Spencer and CNO Adm. John Richardson announced the assignment of Rear Adm. (lower half) Sear Joyner to be director of J1 in the Joint Staff. She currently serves as the lead in the Navy’s Physiological Episode Action Team (PEAT).
A Navy spokesperson for PEAT said currently there is no time or date set for Joyner to leave and no successor has been announced yet. However, the PEAT assumes there will be a replacement assigned by the summer.
Joyner was assigned to lead the PEAT after a recommendation in a report on physiological episodes (Defense Daily, Aug. 11, 2017). She is known as the first woman to assume command of an operational fighter squadron, in 2007, and the first woman airwing commander, in 2013.
Joyner told reporters in October that the team expects to conclude its overall process around August 2018. Thus far, the team has implemented several modifications to better monitor oxygen going to pilots in affected aircraft and adjust fleet and training procedures to minimize problems (Defense Daily, Oct. 2).