Clark to step down as naval operations chief; Mullen is successor
- By Dawn S. Onley
- Jul 19, 2005
Adm. Vern Clark, the chief of naval operations who has long been an advocate for transformational weapons systems and integrating Navy information systems with the other services, will retire Friday.
Adm. Michael G. Mullen, who commanded U.S. Naval Forces Europe and Allied Joint Force Command Naples, will replace Clark during a ceremony at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis. A spokesman for Clark said the admiral has not decided on his future plans.
Clark, the chief of Naval Operations since July 2000, pushed for the development of the high-tech DD(X) warships and the Littoral Combat Ships (LCS).
DD(X) warships feature sophisticated automation systems that will allow the Navy to operate with smaller crews than older destroyers. LCS will offer high-speed transit, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities, and will share tactical information with manned and unmanned Navy aircraft, ships, submarines and units. It will also use advanced systems for weapons, sensors, data fusion, command, control, communications, computing and self-defense.
Mullen, of Los Angeles, graduated from the Naval Academy in 1968 with a bachelor's degree in Naval Science. He also holds a master's degree in operations research from the Naval Postgraduate School and is a graduate of the Harvard Business School's Advanced Management Program.