Director - Strategic Planning
Fernandez “Frank” Ponds, RDML, USN, Ret., is Principal and Owner of FPONDS LLC Independent Consultant providing consulting services in defense and national security, strategic planning, maritime safety, and security and disaster preparedness and response. Admiral Ponds served 33-years in the U.S. Navy in senior executive, operational and managerial positions within DoD and the Interagency developing people; creating high-performing organizations; and driving transformation through continuous process improvement. He held five Command positions afloat and ashore, leading joint, multinational and inter-agency organizations across the spectrum of military operations in complex global security environments.
As Commander, Expeditionary Strike Group THREE (CESG-3), he led Navy’s largest Amphibious Expeditionary Strike Group consisting of 3-Amphibious Squadrons, 8-Naval Support Elements, and 15-Amphibious Warships of more than 15,000 active duty and reserve Sailors and Marines in executing the spectrum maritime operations in support of national security taskings and served as Third Fleet’s Executive Agent for Defense Support of Civil Authorities (DSCA) operations.
Dual-hatted as Commander Navy Region Hawaii and Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific, he oversaw $8.6B in providing Base Operating Support of equipment, supplies, real property, facilities and infrastructure for the U.S. Navy’s largest and strategic island base in the Pacific and the Pacific Missile Range Facility — the world’s largest instrumented, multi-dimensional test and training range while ensuring the combat readiness of 11 surface combatants.
As Commander, Amphibious Squadron EIGHT, he conducted maritime operations during OIF, OEF, and counter-piracy; and led disaster response operations to Bangladesh in 2007, Haiti in 2008, and theater security operations to seven partner nations within the Western Hemisphere.
Ashore, he served in the Office of the Deputy Chief of Naval Operations (Resources, Requirements and Assessments); Deputy Chief of Naval Operations (Operations, Plans and Strategy); Chief of Naval Operations Strategic Studies Group Senior Fellow; and as Senior Naval Advisor within the Bureau of Political Affairs, International Security Operations The PM Bureau providing policy direction in the areas of international security, security assistance, military operations, defense strategy, plans, and trade.
As Senior Consultant within UAE, he led a team of US and Emirate senior officers in conducting a Capabilities Based Assessment of their military academies and a Capability Develop Review of their Armed Forces improving the performance of their officer corps and enhancing their military capabilities.
Ponds holds a B.A. from The University of Alabama; M.S. National Security Strategy, National Defense University; M.S. Military Studies, Marine Corps Command and Staff College and M.S. Information Systems Technology, The George Washington University. He is a graduate of the Darden School of Business, Corporate Business School; National Association of Corporate Directors Executive Leadership Seminar; Defense Support of Civil Authorities and Emergency Management / Civil Support Executive Leadership Seminar; and Combined Force Maritime Component Commander and Joint Force Maritime Component Commander training and instruction.