Skip to main content
KBS_Icon_questionmark link-ico


Captain Bryan Leese, US Navy, is Chair of the Defense Intelligence Department at the National Intelligence University in Bethesda, MD. An active-duty naval officer, Leese is a career intelligence professional with multiple military deployments during his twenty-four years of service. His research focuses on the evolution of the US Navy's shipboard operational intelligence process and its role in US sea control in the 1970s. He has published articles examining counter-targeting, electromagnetic maneuver warfare, and Cold War naval deception. Leese holds a Bachelor's Degree in Applied Geography from the Kutztown University of Pennsylvania, (1993), a Master's Degree in Liberal Arts from Texas Christian University, (2003), and a Master's Degree in Strategic Studies from the US Army War College, (2014).

Research Interests 

Naval history, US Navy, Cold War, Operational Intelligence

Thesis Title

Tooth to Jowl: Evolution of the US Navy’s Shipboard Operational Intelligence Process in the 1970s       


This qualitative, narrative history study explores the evolution of the US Navy’s Operational Intelligence (Opintel) process during the mid-1960s through the 1970s to answer the primary research question: How did afloat Opintel evolve in support of the Navy’s 1970s sea control efforts? Following the Vietnam War, the US Navy returned to a sea control naval strategy, driving the evolution of Opintel. There are three evolutionary milestones used to discuss Opintel’s role within the thesis: the institutionalisation of afloat Opintel, indications and warning for the outer air battle, and the rise of tactical decision support. Each milestone links with a technologic advancement, and those advancements to an organizational change. First, the development of the aircraft carrier Integrated Operational Intelligence Center (IOIC) with the institutionalisation of Opintel. Second, the networking of the shore-based Ocean Surveillance Intelligence System (OSIS) with Outer Air Battle support. Third, an improved tactical decision aid, the Enhanced Calculator Link Processing System (ECLIPS), supporting enhanced command, control, and communications. This thesis is on the leading-edge of Cold War declassification. Using interviews with former Navy personnel, civilians, and available archival records, there is enough detail to recount an essential, yet missing, piece of US Naval Intelligence history.


First: Professor Andrew Lambert. Second: Dr Huw Dylan