Mr. Robert A. Stephenson serves as the director for communications and information systems & chief information officer for Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet (COMPACFLT) located in Pearl Harbor. As the fleet N6, Stephenson is responsible for ensuring operational command, control, communications, computers and intelligence (C4I) capability for all afloat and ashore commands in the U.S. Pacific Fleet. As the chief information officer, he is actively engaged in strategic C4I and information technology (IT) initiatives within the Department of the Navy, U.S. Pacific Command and U.S. Pacific Fleet.
Stephenson was appointed to the Senior Executive Service in April 2018. His career experience includes significant roles in all aspects of engineering and acquisition.
He previously served as the technical director for fleet readiness, Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR). In this capacity, he was the lead fleet systems engineer and the U.S. Navy technical warrant holder for C4I and coalition interoperability. Stephenson also served as special assistant to COMPACFLT for cyber defense and resilient command and control. He was promoted to senior leader in July 2005.
Stephenson is a 1973 graduate of the United States Naval Academy. Following completion of naval nuclear power school and submarine school, he was assigned to USS Sam Houston (SSBN 609) (Blue). Stephenson completed the ship’s refueling overhaul, post overhaul shakedown operations, and four deterrent patrols in the western Pacific. He was qualified in submarines and as a chief engineer of a naval nuclear propulsion plant. Stephenson then served at Commander, Submarine Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet (COMSUBPAC) as command center watch officer, local operations officer, and as the first shore targeting terminal officer.
Stephenson left active duty in 1980 and was commissioned in the Navy Reserve. Following department head and executive officer tours in the submarine reserve program, he commanded the reserve detachments of Commander, Submarine Squadron 7; COMPACFLT and U.S. Pacific Command. After 30 years of active and reserve service, Stephenson retired from the Navy Reserve in 2003.
In his civilian career, Stephenson initially worked at COMSUBPAC as the lead analyst and action officer for the submarine launched Tomahawk cruise missile and the Combat Control System MK I. He was responsible for the development of tactics techniques and procedures for submarine launched cruise missiles. Hired by the Naval Oceans Systems Center in 1985, Stephenson worked to develop the Force OTH-T Track Coordinator concept. He deployed to Saudi Arabia in 1990 to provide on-site engineering support for Commander, Naval Forces Central Command during Operation Desert Storm. Upon his return, Stephenson served as the Navy lead engineer for the Joint Warfighter Interoperability Demonstrations from 1992 to 1997. These experiments led to the successful demonstration of internet protocol connectivity to ships.
Stephenson was detailed to COMPACFLT in 1998 to assist in the development of the IT-21 program. In 1999, he was the lead engineer for the SPAWAR Fleet Systems Engineering Team. Stephenson deployed to the Middle East in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in 2001–02 and in support of Iraqi Freedom in 2003. He worked Navy efforts to improve coalition interoperability which led to the development and deployment of the CENTRIXS maritime system.
Stephenson served as the science advisor and deputy J6 for the Operation Tomodachi Joint Support Force. He served as the J6 technical director for Joint Task Force (JTF) 519 from 2000 until the JTF was stood down in 2013. Stephenson deployed in 2013 to Commander, Fleet Cyber Command as technical co-lead for Operation Rolling Tide. From May 2015 to October 2015, he served as the acting deputy chief of staff for communications and information systems, U.S. Pacific Fleet.
Stephenson’s personal awards include the Navy Meritorious Civilian Service Award, three Navy Superior Civilian Service Awards, Lauritsen-Bennett Award for Excellence in Engineering, DON CIO E-government Award, 2011 DoD CIO Group Achievement Award, Vice Presidential Award for Acquisition Reform (group), CNO Copernicus Award (2005), DON CIO E-GOV Group Award (2004), Special Commendation for Desert Shield/Desert Storm Support, Joint Meritorious Unit Award for Operation Tomodachi, and various DISA/CNO/SPAWAR individual and group achievement awards. Stephenson was awarded the Presidential Rank Award for Meritorious Senior Professional in 2014.