The next few years offer a great opportunity to set the direction of our future Navy. Our nation is coming out of two land wars in the Middle East, facing fiscal challenges and a series of geopolitical developments that will demand our Fleet be ready and be forward in a growing number of places around the world. To build a Fleet able to address these trends, we will need to work closely with our industry partners. In my nine months as CNO, I have seen encouraging dialogue between Navy and industry leaders on the capabilities we need and ways to provide them affordably and sustainably. Venues such as the Navy League’s Sea-Air-Space (SAS) Symposium this spring provided a terrific opportunity for these conversations to occur, as did the annual Surface Navy Association (SNA) Symposium and meetings sponsored by the Association of the U.S. Navy (AUSN).
Since I took the watch, I have seen a steady improvement in the quality and timeliness of our ship construction, and a resurgence of innovative ideas to deliver warfighting capability. We need to continue this trend and expand it. In particular, as I describe in the July issue of the Proceedings of the U.S. Naval Institute we will need to shift our future capability development from a focus on platforms to more of a focus on payloads.
Shifting our focus in capability development from platforms to payloads will require the Navy and industry to work closely together. This approach will depend on industry coming forward with new payloads for existing platforms and ideas to adapt common hulls and airframes to new missions. It also requires Navy leaders to be clear in what is needed and how much funding is available.
I appreciate the efforts of organizations which provide venues for communication between industry and the Navy. In particular, a special thanks to leaders such as Philip Dunmire and Dale Lumme of the Navy League, Adm. Jim Hogg (USN, Ret.) and Vice Adm. Ron Route (USN, Ret.) of SNA, and Rear Adm. Casey Coane (USN, Ret.) of AUSN who led the way to create opportunities for us, industry and our Congressional partners to discuss the best ways to address our shared challenges. I look forward to participating in more of these events - our Navy’s warfighting advantage depends on it.
JONATHAN W. GREENERT
Admiral, U.S. Navy