Spawar commander to retire by summer
- By Bill Murray
- Nov 30, 2000
The flag officer who has helped lead the Navy through its shipboard systems
modernization program plans to retire by the summer of 2001.
Rear Adm. John Gauss, commander of the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command
in San Diego, said he has not submitted his retirement letter yet but has
spoken with senior service officials about retiring by the summer after
more than three years at Spawar.
Rear Adm. Kenneth
Slaght, the vice commander for Spawar who has worked in the command for
10 years, is Gauss' most likely replacement. Gauss has told Spawar officials
that he wants Slaght to replace him.
Gauss was in New Orleans Thursday for a change-in-command ceremony for
what was formerly called the Naval Reserve
Information Systems Office it's now the Space and Naval Warfare Systems
Command Information Technology Center.
Gauss has 8,000 people under his command and oversees the Navy's portion
of the Defense Message System and the Global Command and Control System-Maritime
program, among other initiatives.
Gauss pushed Navy officials to aggressively deploy the service's Information
Technology for the 21st Century program (IT-21). This took shape as the
shipboard systems modernization program that gave the fleet Asynchronous
Transfer Mode networks and Microsoft Corp.'s Windows NT 4.0 as a desktop
and server standard.
If it weren't for the aggressive schedule of the 1997 program, only
8 percent of the Navy's 300 ships would have IT-21 equipment, said Lt. Cmdr.
Greg Geisen, who pointed out that 78 percent of the ships now have IT-21
Gauss had pushed to make what became the Navy Marine Corps Intranet
a Spawar-run program rather than an outsourced procurement. Now, Gauss'
command provides much of NMCI's engineering and project management support.
If pushed to make a post-Navy career decision, Gauss said he would trade
on the stock market each morning and golf in the afternoon. "That is really
what I would do," he said during an interview. However, he said that if
he could take over a start-up company with a small capitalization that had
exclusively commercial customers, he would consider the opportunity.