While meeting at the Western Conference Exposition (West 2007) here Jan. 31 to discuss future shipbuilding options, senior Department of the Navy officials also took the opportunity to expound on Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. Mike Mullen's 1000-ship Navy concept.
Vice Adm. John G. Morgan, Jr., deputy chief of Naval Operations for Information, Plans and Strategy and Rear Adm. Michael C. Bachman, commander of the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command, explained that the 1,000-ship Navy is a network of international partner navies who will work together to create a force capable of standing watch over all the seas.
“A new naval era is coming and we’re doing exciting things in preparation for it,” Morgan said. “The Navy is being challenged by the CNO’s plan of a 1,000-ship Navy and we’ll find ways to move toward putting his plan into action. The Navy’s traveling around and getting the idea of a 1,000-ship Navy to patrol the seas, out to the world.”
Morgan and Bachman sat down with discussion host Dr. Dov S. Zakheim, former under secretary of defense (Comptroller) and chief financial officer for the Department of Defense, during the luncheon and also held a period of question and answer for the audience.
“We fight in a joint environment and are embarked upon a journey to ensure that the war in Iraq isn’t just fought by our American troops, but also by our allies,” Bachman said. “The war in Iraq embodies the new level of integration possible and is the beginning steps of a global network needed for a 1,000-ship Navy.”
Also, according to Morgan, 90 percent of world’s commerce travels via the oceans, and a 1,000-ship Navy would help protect that aspect of international trade.
“Despite how powerful we are and despite how big we are, we can’t do it on our own,” he said.
For more than a year, the CNO has advocated the 1,000-ship Navy concept to many allied and international navies.
“This 1,000-ship Navy idea is all about a global maritime network, a huge network of sharing,” said Morgan. “That’s the biggest challenge we’re facing: a network of many integrated countries’ navies with one goal in mind of patrolling the world’s seas.”
West 2007 brings government, military, and industrial leaders together to explore future strategies.
“West 2007 is a great convention because it gives enlisted military members a chance to see cutting edge technology and also holds informative panel discussions,” said Fire Controlman 2nd class Matthew Somers, attached to USS Chancellorsville (CG-62). “I think the 1,000-ship Navy is a great step toward making our world a safer place, and it shows how much the United States really cares about the world.”
By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Jonathan G. Husman, Fleet Public Affairs Center, Pacific