U.S. Naval War College


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LaBranche presentation

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LaBranche presentation LaBranche presentation
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New JMO chair lays out vision


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LaBranche presentation NEWPORT, R.I. – The U.S. Naval War College (NWC), Newport, Rhode Island, has named Capt. Richard LaBranche as new chair of the Joint Military Operations (JMO) department.

LaBranche, who came to NWC in 2013 after serving as commander, Carrier Air Wing 17 aboard aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson, sees his current tour as an opportunity to focus on the needs of the warfighter.

“We want the course to be relevant to the warfighter,” said LaBranche. “The course is strong, but like everything, there is always room for improvement.”

The JMO department curriculum prepares future military and civilian leaders for high-level policy, command and staff positions requiring joint planning expertise and joint warfighting skills. It emphasizes the theory and practice of operational art as it relates to maritime and joint forces.

LaBranche says he is energized in his new position. He knows the department has a strong reputation, but he hopes to make it stronger.

“My job is to make sure that I leave the place better than I got it, if that is possible,” said LaBranche. “It is an honor to be here, also humbling. I just want to make sure the curriculum continues to improve on my watch.”

To keep the course strong, LaBranche says the curriculum must change as the warfighters’ environment continues to change.

“A long time ago, we had only a surface domain [for warfighting],” said LaBranche. “Tall ships, cannon balls and getting into position to fire were the goals. Then much later we got subs, so we had to teach about that. Then air power became important.

“Now we add cyber. To be relevant, we must now focus and expand upon naval capabilities writ large, and teach tactics that integrate all maritime power. In this way, we will better prepare our students for operational level warfare to meet national security challenges as a member of the joint team.”

LaBranche also hopes to broaden perspectives of the students by providing them with an education and not simply training.

“Training is preparation for the known. Education is preparation for the unknown,” said LaBranche. “As a fighter pilot, I had been trained on tactics for my whole life. I learned about things like missile ranges, speed of aircraft, threat capabilities, and everything else I had to know. All my training in my adult lifetime had been for the known.

When I came here [as a student in 2001], I started to ask ‘Why?’ I started to ask, ‘What is the intent of what we are doing?’

“The difference between this place and every other place in the Navy is that this place provides an education.”

For more information on the NWC's JMO curriculum, visit https://www.usnwc.edu/jmo

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Admiral Jonathan Greenert, Chief of Naval Operations, welcome remarks from the Naval War College, Newport, RI
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