West 2016

April 1, 2016
By Robert K. Ackerman
Adm. James G. Stavridis, USN (Ret.), dean of The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University and former NATO supreme allied commander Europe (r), hosts a luncheon town hall with (2nd from r-l) Gen. Robert B. Neller, USMC, commandant, U.S. Marine Corps; Adm. Richardson; and Vice Adm. Charles D. Michel, USCG, vice commandant, U.S. Coast Guard.

Possible foes are advancing in capability at the same time that the U.S. Navy, facing shrinking resources, needs to increase its reach. The disturbing trend for the sea services is that they are losing their technological edge just when they are being asked to do more with less. This harsh reality has the Navy and the Marine Corps looking to innovation to help them restore their advantage against increasingly diverse and deadly threats.

February 19, 2016
By Robert K. Ackerman

The strength of the U.S. military lies in being able to combine force across domains; and the key to success in that endeavor is effective use of information. This constitutes a main element of the U.S. Navy’s strategy, according to the chief of naval operations.

Adm. John M. Richardson, USN, told the audience on the final morning of West 2016, being held in San Diego February 17-19, that this capability is “the secret sauce of the United States.” He added, “Information has to be in the DNA” of U.S. forces, and “using information sharing policy and technology would allow everyone to fill a role up to their maximum.”

February 18, 2016
By Robert K. Ackerman

The stresses facing the U.S. Navy are magnified in the Asia-Pacific region where most of the forward-deployed fleet will find itself in the near future. Two peer rivals, maritime challenges to international law and diverse threats confront the Pacific Fleet to an increasing degree.

Adm. Scott H. Swift, USN, commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet, described some of these challenges and potential solutions to the Thursday luncheon audience at West 2016, being held in San Diego February 17-19. Adm. Swift noted that 60 percent of the Navy will be forward in the Pacific as a result of the U.S. strategic shift.

February 18, 2016
By Robert K. Ackerman

The U.S. Navy is implementing new technologies and capabilities as it embraces information warfare (IW) as a warfighting domain. These include incorporating IW on existing platforms and greatly expanding disciplines such as electromagnetic maneuver warfare.

February 17, 2016
By Robert K. Ackerman

The U.S. Navy can expect to receive from 87 percent to 94 percent of its funding every year through 2021, according to the deputy chief of naval operations (CNO) for integration of capabilities and resources. However, this also means the sea service will not receive full funding, and it must make do with carefully selected priorities.

Vice Adm. Joseph P. Mulloy, USN, described the budget conundrum during his keynote luncheon address at West 2016, being held in San Diego February 17-19. The Budget Control Act will inhibit funding until 2021, which comes amid a time of challenges.

February 17, 2016
By Robert K. Ackerman

Countries must abandon a fortress mentality and reach out to each other to confront international threats, according to the former supreme allied commander Europe. Adm. James G. Stavridis, USN (Ret.), dean of The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, decried old defense thinking during his keynote address opening West 2016, being held in San Diego February 17-19.

February 17, 2016
By Robert K. Ackerman

In a complex world rife with a plethora of threats, North Korea looms as the worst, according to the former supreme allied commander Europe. Adm. James G. Stavridis, USN (Ret.), dean of The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, described the Hermit Kingdom in harsh detail during his keynote address opening West 2016, being held in San Diego February 17-19.

“They have a young, untested, untried, morbidly obese leader that has nuclear weapons,” Stavridis said in referring to Kim Jong Un.

February 9, 2016
By Sandra Jontz
Technicians test systems in the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center Atlantic's Common Submarine Radio Room (CSRR) production area. The curved design of the facility mimics the hull designs of four Navy submarine types, which allows for streamlined integration before systems are installed aboard the subs, and reduces cost and installation time.

Non-submariners can get a rare sneak peek into the bowels of a submarine’s control centers during the upcoming sea services conference in San Diego next week. Well, sort of. It’s not a peek into an actual boat's radio control room, for example, but an opportunity to see and touch equipment that simulates a variety of shipboard systems.

February 2, 2016
By Sandra Jontz
A U.S. sailor of Coastal Riverine Squadron 10 mans a crew-served weapon aboard a patrol boat in the Gulf of Tadjoura, Djibouti. (U.S. Navy photo)

It has been less than smooth sailing of late for the U.S. Navy as the superiority gap the sea service once held over adversaries rapidly narrows, its top officer says.

The onus to secure the maritime domain, both in a militaristic approach as well as commercially, falls to the United States as it jockeys to fortify global sea-based activity in an increasingly complicated environment. Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson, USN, penned a strategy that directs renewed focus on how the Navy might outmaneuver and outsmart its competitors.