SEA-AIR-SPACE REPORTERS’ NOTEBOOK
The Navy League marked the 50th Anniversary of its annual Sea-Air-Space Exposition with a number of firsts, including a well-attended Naval STEM
Exposition for middle and high school-age students
interested in science, technology, engineering and
math, and an International Leadership Panel that
brought together sea service leaders from Europe, Asia,
South America and Australia and was moderated by
ADM Jonathan W. Greenert, chief of naval operations.
Greenert also was the recipient of the 2015 Admiral
Arleigh Burke Leadership Award, which he was presented
by the 2014 honoree, retired ADM Robert J. Papp Jr., the
former Coast Guard commandant, during a Sea-Air-Space
Golden Anniversary Celebration April 12. And Greenert
was joined by Gen Joseph F. Dunford Jr., commandant of
the Marine Corps; ADM Paul F. Zukunft, commandant of
the Coast Guard; Maritime Administrator Paul N. “Chip”
Jaenichen; and Navy League National President James H.
Offutt to cut a rather stubborn ribbon and officially open
Sea-Air-Space April 13.
The sea service leaders — including 16 official foreign
military delegations and eight heads of navies — U.S. lawmakers, civilian government personnel and industry representatives attending the event at the Gaylord National
Convention Center in National Harbor, Md., found ample
opportunities to engage with each other, to do business
and discuss issues of common interest and concern.
The theme, “ 50 Years of Maritime Excellence &
Innovation,” was evident throughout the three-day
event. The sold-out show floor featured more than 250
exhibitors, among them 22 military commands and,
for the first time, a U.K. Technology Zone.
Navy Expeditionary Combat Command showcased
its new Mark VI Patrol Boat at the National Harbor Pier
on the Potomac River, and the Office of Naval Research
and the Naval Research Laboratory put on public display
for the first time the Large Displacement Unmanned
Undersea Vehicle-Innovative Naval Prototype.
And military leaders participated in a robust professional
development program that included keynote speeches,
panel discussions, roundtable sessions and presentations on
the show floor, including the Sea-Air-Space Live Theatre.
Excerpts from Seapower’s coverage of Sea-Air-Space follow. Find complete coverage, include a photo gallery, the
Seapower Show Dailies and multimedia presentations, at
Service Chiefs Focus
On Budget Constraints
The leaders of the three sea services and the Maritime Administration all worried about the impact sequestration is
having on their ability to maintain readiness and modernize for the future, and discussed the ways they are working
to meet the nation’s needs despite those challenges.
In the opening forum at Sea-Air-Space April 13, the officials also discussed the growing risk of cyber attacks and
efforts to utilize simulation and virtual reality training systems to prepare their personnel for a more complex world.
Greenert said the Navy is trying to compensate for
the cuts in modernization funding by “repurposing
and reusing” existing systems, citing converting older
Ohio-class ballistic-missile submarines into tactical
missile carriers and using support vessels as alternatives for amphibious ships.
He cited the looming program to replace the Ohio-class ballistic-missile subs as his top program concern
and noted the partnership with the U.K. Royal Navy to
develop a common missile compartment for its new
strategic deterrence subs.
Dunford said he did not expect any relief from the
budget constraints in the next few years, but vowed to
work through that to fulfill the Corps’ mission as the
nation’s crisis response force.
Celebrates 50th Anniversary
From the left, Navy League National President James H.
Offutt and his wife Becky stand with Chief of Naval
Operations ADM Jonathan W. Greenert, Darlene Greenert,
Linda Papp and retired ADM Robert J. Papp Jr. during the
Sea-Air-Space Golden Anniversary Celebration April 12 in
National Harbor, Md.