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Thursday, December 12, 2013

Help Put a Halt to "Sea Blindness" - USNI Defense Forum 2013

If you, like me, couldn't get to DC for USNI Defense Forum Washington 2013, read about and watch it here. One of the keys to keeping a strong Navy it to work hard at telling the country why we need a large and competent force - not letting, in the words of Royal Navy Admiral Sir Jonathon Band, "sea blindness" rob of us of a key element of national and international security.

Rep Randy Forbes (R, Va) spoke and wonders:
“When I look at what we’re doing in national defense today, I can’t help but think back to the words of Thomas Jefferson, who said that this country is still the best hope for the world, a treasure beyond comparison,” said Forbes, “and I wonder if we’re doing everything today to defend and protect it.”
There is much much more at the link.

Here's an interesting quote from SecNav Ray Mabus:
The Secretary explained that the past 4 1/2 years has afforded him a unique opportunity to observe the Navy and Marine Corps, and he shared that perspective with the audience. “The value of the Navy and Marine Corps is as apparent today as it was when the nation was founded,” he said. “The framers of the Constitution understood that we have to maintain a constant and persistent presence,” he explained, recounting the many campaigns in which the services have fought through the nation’s history. “In each of those the American Navy has maintained control of the seas and guaranteed freedom of navigation between those wars, and peaceful free trade, and in doing so, has underwritten its contribution to the growth of the world economy.” The Navy responds to every call, whether combat or humanitarian aid disaster relief, recalling recent aid missions to the Philippines, Japan, and Haiti. “It’s one of the things that we do, and we are very good at it.” In fact, he noted, the US receives requests for humanitarian assistance every two weeks -- and is the only naval service in the world being capable of performing that role. That also precludes the need for securing overflight rights or permission to base. Instead, he notes, “We [the Navy] don’t have to come in from anywhere; we are already there.”

How do we keep that presence? SECNAV Mabus explained that it requires four things: people, platforms, power, and partnerships. People are first because they are the most important asset, as the machines can’t operate without them. “We push responsibility, and we push authority down,” he explained. “We expect from junior sailors and junior officers great decision-making. We expect them to do these incredibly complex jobs and we expect them to do it every single day.”

With regard to platforms, the Secretary observed, “at some point quantity becomes a quality all its own. We have arrested the decline of the fleet.” ****
Go read, watch the videos and spread the word.

We need to put a halt to "sea blindness" in this country.

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