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Dr. Anthony Wells (born October 13, 1943) has been President and Chief Executive Officer of TKC International LLC, a specialist technical services company supporting the US government, since May 1, 1992. Dr. Wells is unique insofar as he is the only living person to have worked for British Intelligence as a British citizen and for US Intelligence as an American citizen.
He developed key relationships with sensitive parts of the US defense and intelligence community since he first served in Washington DC in the mid-1970s as a British Naval Officer. He returned to the United States permanently in the early 1980s after the Falklands Conflict to work on key programs to counter the Soviet Union and allies. At the conclusion of the Cold War he formed a partnership on Capitol Hill with the late Honorable William L. Dickinson, former Member of the US House of Representatives from Alabama, and Ranking Member of the House Armed Services Committee and Dr. Anthony R. Battista, the key Staff member of the HASC during the high point of the Cold War and the Reagan Administration who staffed several critical special programs from the House Rayburn Building.
Dr. Wells is the third Chairman of the USS Liberty Alliance, succeeding in 2013 Rear Admiral Clarence “Mark” Hill and Admiral Thomas Moorer, a former Chief of Naval Operations and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The USS Liberty is the US Navy Spy ship that is the most highly decorated ship in the history of the US Navy in a single action. Dr. Wells was made an honorary crew member in 2013 at a special ceremony by the surviving crew members of the USS Liberty and Veterans Association to honor his work in intelligence, research, analysis, and publications regarding the June War of 1967, and support for the USS Liberty cause. In late 2013 Wells became the first Chairman of Durham University’s North America Development Board, having served for several decades as a Vice President of the North American Foundation for the University of Durham, with both entities focused today on endowment for post graduate research studentships and fellowships at Durham for American students.
Wells was born near Coventry, Warwickshire, England, where his grandfather, Frederick Wells, owned the precision gear manufacturing company, Coventry Gear, that provided critical materials to the British war effort during World War Two. Wells was educated at Bablake School, Coventry, one of the UK’s oldest schools founded in 1344 by Queen Isabella, St. Cuthbert’s Society at Durham University, (BA with honors and MA degree by research), King’s College, University of London (PhD), and the London School of Economics, University of London (MSc). Wells was called to the Bar as a Barrister by Lincoln’s Inn in November, 1980. He received his basic naval training at Britannia Royal Naval College, Dartmouth, advanced training at the School of Maritime Operations, and intelligence training with the UK’s intelligence directorates. His mentors were Sir Harry Hinsley, the Bletchley Park code breaker, and Vice Chancellor of Cambridge University, Professor Sir Lawrence Martin, at King’s College, London, and Professor Bryan Ranft at the Royal Naval College, Greenwich. Wells was introduced to the special intelligence world by his mentors, and notably Hinsley through the Ultra material and Wells became unique in that he had access to ENIGMA material several years before the British government announced even the existence of ENIGMA in 1974. To this day Wells remains one of just a handful of living people knowledgeable of still hugely sensitive data that the British have not released from World War Two, particularly data relating to decisions made personally by Prime Minister Winston Churchill and President Franklin Roosevelt based on ENIGMA and US MAGICS data. [1,2,4,7]
Wells served in HM Ships Bulwark, Eastbourne, Fearless and Intrepid, and while in the Royal Navy served with the US Navy in the nuclear powered cruiser USS Bainbridge. Wells was the youngest ever Senior Lecturer and Tutor in uniform at the Royal Naval College Greenwich 1972-1974 as a newly promoted Lieutenant Commander teaching senior British and Commonwealth naval officers in the Staff and War Colleges, and junior officers in the Lieutenants Greenwich course and Special Duties Officer course. He received a Commendation from the US Chief of Naval Operations for his work with the US Navy which included leadership of the Sea War 85 program with Captain John Underwood USN and for work on Soviet operations and specialist work on the Middle East. Wells was appointed Director of Special Programs as a Commander in one of the UK’s Intelligence Directorates and led some of the most sensitive programs associated with Soviet special operations, espionage and infiltration. He later became a specialist in Soviet programs seeking to gain equality with the West in Submarine technology and operations, and attempts to thwart US and UK national deterrent systems and operations. He returned to the US permanently to continue this work.[1,2,3,7]
The 1980s saw Wells leading in three domains: Work in South West Asia, (principally Pakistan), South East Asia and East Asia. In Malaysia he was the Technical Advisor to the Chief Minister of Sabah and traveled extensively with the legendary former Foreign Minister of Malaysia, Tan Sri Ghazali Shafie and others, in every country in the Far East on sensitive missions. He led with Dr. Richard Twogood at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory one of the most critical programs of the Cold War to both protect and enhance US strategic ASW capabilities against the Soviet Union under a program run directly from the Office of the Secretary of Defense – this subsequently was extraordinarily valuable to the US Navy and other US initiatives. Wells was the key focal point for a joint US-UK program in non-acoustic ASW; he initiated and led several other special programs that remain classified.[5,6,7,10]
The 1990s found Wells leading in the post-Cold War era and post-Gulf War One in several areas: He helped take the very best of US national intelligence systems and integrate them into a real time Command, Control, Communications, Surveillance and Reconnaissance system to provide the war fighter with real or near real time actionable intelligence, the lack of which General Norman Schwarzkopf had bitterly complained about at the conclusion of the first Gulf War. He was appointed the first Technical Director of Fleet Battle Experiments Alpha and Bravo in Third Fleet, in the US Pacific Fleet, working at sea in USS CORONADO with two fine Fleet Commanders, Vice Admiral Herb Browne and Vice Admiral Denny McGinn, two distinguished naval aviators. Wells helped coin and develop new concepts of asymmetric warfare and real time targeting of fixed and moving targets. He personally flew two aircraft in classified events to demonstrate how aircraft could be used by terrorists to attack vital US targets – both senior DOD and CIA officials witnessed these events, but not the FBI, and the lessons learned from these operations that Wells led were never learned by the community responsible for detecting the 19 Al Qaida terrorists who trained in the US and flew aircraft into the Twin Towers on September 11, 2001.Wells also was one of the lead persons to create and develop the technology and systems that became the US Navy’s Airborne Lidar Mine Detection System and the Rapid Airborne Mine Clearance System.[5,6,7,8,10]
The 2000s witnessed Wells heavily involved in post 9/11 actions at two of the key three letter Agencies – leading in various tagging, tacking and locating operations, working WMD issues via innovative means, and creating systems with some of the best mathematical and physics minds in the US defense and intelligence communities. He traveled extensively during this period and familiarized himself with the Middle East from the work he had done in the 1970s. Several highly classified Limited Objective Field Experiments were conducted with Wells as a lead player – all of which migrated to US operational and intelligence advantage. He was the Program Manager with Professor Vistasp Karbhari of the University of California for finding better field solutions for protecting US personnel against suicide bombers and vehicular high explosive attacks – they successfully conducted major tests at China Lake in California. Wells worked closely with the team led by the Director of the US Navy’s Counter Terrorism Center that worked across multi agency boundaries to plan and execute strikes against key terrorist targets.[5,6,7] The 2010s saw Wells heavily involved in the cyber world and back to his British roots in classical deception operations with modern technology, which his mentors from the 1960s would be duly approving.[5,7]
Earlier Wells was nominated by the Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, the Honorable Duncan Hunter from California, as Assistant Secretary of the US Navy for Research Development and Acquisition, overseeing all the US Navy’s acquisitions. After due process Wells was selected by the White House from a sizeable list of contenders, but before his confirmation went to the Senate he withdrew because of incompatibilities of his views with those of various parts of the G.W. Bush Administration, including the then Chief of Naval Operations, who advocated surface ship building programs for the Littoral Combat Ship and Zumwalt Destroyer Class (that Wells wished to see either reduced or even canceled) at the expense of the Virginia Class nuclear attack submarine program. Wells could also not accept several other policies, including the controversial interrogation techniques employed by the Administration against US prisoners. Very much to the chagrin of his supporters he maintained an ethical stance and withdrew.[5,7]
Wells has written extensively over the past six decades from his time as a postgraduate student. In addition to professional books and articles Wells has also published two novels, Black Gold Finale, and The Golden Few. Wells was given a Literary Award from the Naval Submarine League in 2013.[4,5,6,7,8,10]
Wells has contributed to various public service activities, including being a Life Member and Vice President for many years of The Plains, Virginia, Volunteer Fire and Rescue Company, and has been a National Ski Patroller and Instructor for four decades. He maintains his flying status as an FAA Certified Flight Instructor. [7,9,11,12,13]
Selected works and publications
- German Public Opinion and Hitler’s Policies, 1933-39. 1968. Electronic version available at Durham University Library, UK – access www to Durham University Library and enter data base with title and/or author name. Electronic and hard copy versions available.
- Studies in British Naval Intelligence, 1880-1945. 1972. Electronic version available via the www British Library (ETHOS), and also King’s College, London – www and then enter the data base with title and/or author name. Electronic and hard copy versions available. Also simply enter title, and by Anthony Roland Wells and a www edition is available on line.
- Technical Change and British Naval Policy. Edited by Bryan Ranft, Hodder and Stoughton, London, 1977, and Holmes and Meier, New York, NY.
- War and Society. Edited by Brian Bond and Ian Roy, Croom Helm, London, 1977, and Holmes and Meier, New York, NY.
- Soviet Naval Diplomacy. Edited by B. Dismukes and J. McConnell, Pergamon Press, 1979.
- The Soviet and Other Communist Navies. Edited by James George, Naval Institute Press, 1986.
- Black Gold Finale. A novel. Dorrance Publishing Company, 2009.
- The Golden Few. A novel. Dorrance Publishing Company, 2012.
- Admirals Hall and Godfrey - Doyens of Naval Intelligence (Two Parts). The Naval Review, 1973.
- Staff Training and the Royal Navy (Two Parts). The Naval Review 1975, 1976.
- The 1967 June War: Soviet Naval Diplomacy and the Sixth Fleet - A Reappraisal. Center for Naval Analyses, Arlington, Virginia. Professional Paper 204, October 1977.
- The Center for Naval Analyses. Professional Paper Number 197, December 1977. Department of the Navy, Washington DC, Center for Naval Analyses.
- The Soviet Navy in the Arctic and North Atlantic. National Defense, February, 1986.
- Soviet Submarine Prospects 1985-2000. Submarine Review, January 1986.
- A New Defense Strategy for Britain. Proceedings of the United States Naval Institute, March 1987.
- Presence and Military Strategies of the USSR in the Arctic. Quebec Center for International Relations, Laval University, 1986.
- Real Time Targeting: Myth or Reality. Proceedings of the United States Naval Institute, August, 2001.
- Missing Magics Machine Material. New Insights on December 7, 1941 and Relevance for Today’s Navy. The Submarine Review, April 2003.
- US Naval Power and the Pursuit of Peace in an Era of International Terrorism and Weapons of Mass Destruction. The Submarine Review, October 2002.
- Transformation - Some Insights and Observations for the Royal Navy from Across the Atlantic. The * Naval Review, August 2003.
- They Did Not Die In Vain. USS Liberty Incident - Some Additional Perspectives. Proceedings of the United States Naval Institute, March, 2005
- Royal Navy at the Crossroads: Turn the Strategic Tide. A Way to Implement a Lasting Vision. The Naval Review, November, 2010
- The Royal Navy is Key to Britain’s Security Strategy. Proceedings of the United States Naval Institute, December, 2010
- The Survivability of the Royal Navy and a New Enlightened British Defense Strategy. The Submarine Review, January, 2011
- A Strategy in East Asia that can Endure. Proceedings of the United States Naval Institute, May, 2011
- A Strategy in East Asia that can Endure. The Naval Review, August 2011. Reprinted by kind permission of the United States Naval Institute.
- The United States Navy, Jordan, and a Long Term Israeli-Palestinian Security Agreement. The Submarine Review, Spring 2012
- Admiral Sir Herbert Richmond: What would he think, write and action today? The Naval Review, February 2013 – the Centenary Edition of The Naval Review.
- Postscript to Missing Magics Machine Material – Tribute to a Great Submariner: Captain Edward Beach, US Navy. The Submarine Review, 2013
- Jordan, Israel, and US Need to Cooperate for Missile Defense. USNI News, March 26, 2103.
- A Tribute to Admiral Sir John “Sandy” Woodward. USNI News, August 8, 2013
USS LIBERTY Document Center. Edited by Anthony Wells and Thomas Schaaf. A web site produced by SiteWhirks, Inc., Warrenton, Virginia. September 2013.
NATO and US Carrier Deployment Policies. Center for Naval Analyses, Arlington, Virginia, February 1977. NATO and US Carrier Deployment Policies, Formation of a New Standing Naval Strike Force in NATO. Center for Naval Analyses, Arlington, Virginia, April 1977. Sea War ’85 Scenario. With Captain John L. Underwood, USN. Center for Naval Analyses, Arlington, Virginia, June 1977. Submarine Construction Program for the State of Sabah, Malaysia. Chief Minister of Sabah, Malaysia and Government of Malaysia. The Application of Drag Reduction and Boundary Layer Control Technologies in an Experimental Program. January 1985. For the Chief Naval Architect, Vickers Shipbuilding and Engineering Ltd, Barrow-in-Furness, UK. The Strategic Importance and Advantages of Labuan, Federal Malaysian Territory, as a Naval Base with Special Reference to its Capabilities as the Royal Malaysian Navy Submarine Base, March 1985. Chief Minister of Sabah, Malaysia and Government of Malaysia. Preliminary Overview of Soviet Merchant Ships in Anti-SSBN Operations and Soviet Merchant Ships and Submarine Masking. (Department of the Navy, Washington DC). SSBN Port Egress and the Non-Commercial Activities of the Soviet Merchant Fleet: Concepts of Operation and War Orders for Current and Future Anti-SSBN Operations. (Department of the Navy, Washington DC). Overview Study of the Maritime Aspects of the Nuclear Balance in the European Theater (Department of Energy Study for the European Conflict Analysis Project). October 1986. Soviet Submarine Warfare Strategy Assessment and Future US Submarine and Anti-Submarine Warfare Technologies (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, March 1988). Limited Objective Experiment ZERO, July 2000. The Naval Air Systems Command, US Navy, Department of Defense. 2002. Operational factors Associated with the Software Nuclear Safety Analysis for the UGM-109A Tomahawk Submarine-Launched Land Attack Cruise Missile Combat Control System Mark I. United States Navy, Washington DC. Operation Bahrain, March 2003. The Assistant Director of Central Intelligence, the Central Intelligence Agency. Distributed Data Analysis with Bayesian Networks: A Preliminary Study for Non-Proliferation of Radioactive Devices, December 2003 (with F. Dowla and G. Larson). The Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Livermore, California, December 2003. FIBER REINFORCED PUMICE PROTECTIVE BARRIERS – To Mitigate the Effects of Suicide and Truck Bombs. Final Report and Recommendations. United States Navy, Washington DC. With Professor Vistasp Kharbari, Professor of Structural Engineering, University of California, San Diego. August, 2006. WEAPON TARGET CENTRIC MODEL: Preliminary Modules and Applications, in Two Volumes. United States Navy, Principal Executive Officer Submarines, Washington DC, August, 2007. TACTICAL DECISION AID (TDA): Multi intelligence capability for National, Theater, and Tactical intelligence in real time across geographic space and time. The National Intelligence Community, Washington DC, May 2012. SUBMARINE INDUSTRIAL BASE MODEL: Key industrial base model for the US VIRGINIA Class nuclear powered attack submarine, Principal Executive Officer Submarines, Washington Navy Yard, Washington DC, October 2012.
Astro-Navigation: A Programmed Course in 6 Volumes for Training UK and Commonwealth Naval Officers in the Use of Astronomical Navigation at Sea. Royal Navy, Ministry of Defence, UK, 1969. The Battle of Trafalgar: A Programmed Course in one Volume in Naval Strategy and Tactics. Royal Navy, Ministry Of Defence, 1969. The Double Cross System: A Programmed Course In one Volume for British, Foreign and Commonwealth Naval Officers Attending the Royal Naval Staff College, Greenwich, UK. Royal Navy, Ministry Of Defence, 1973.
- 1. The Navy Lists (UK) 1964-1983 (Her Majesty’s Stationery Office, London).
- 2. The London Gazette records for Royal Navy Appointments, Promotions, and Retirements
- 3. The Bar of England and Wales – Bar Council and Bar Directory. On line.
- 4. Durham University Library, King’s College, London Library, and the British Library (ETHOS). On line.
- 5. The Middleburg Eccentric newspaper. On line records.
- 6. Proceedings of the US Naval Institute, the Submarine Review, the Naval Review, National Defense, Dorrance Publishing Company, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
- 7. TKC International LLC web site
- 8. USS Liberty Document Center Web site – usslibertydocumentcenter.org
- 9. North American Foundation for the University of Durham web site – list of Directors. Web Site
- 10. The Submarine League. Web Site
- 11. National Ski Patrol Headquarters, Lakewood, Colorado.
- 12. Federal Aviation Administration, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
- 13. The Plains, Virginia, Volunteer Fire and Rescue Company. Web Site.