CNO Speaks About Shipbuilding at 20th SNA National Symposium

Thursday, January 17, 2008
From Chief of Naval Operations Public Affairs Delivering the keynote address at the Surface Navy Association's 20th National Symposium Jan. 15, Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Gary Roughead spoke on the importance of providing the fleet with the right number of ships, submarines and aircraft to achieve the objectives of the Maritime Strategy. "Our job, as the nation's leaders, is to ensure Sailors have the ships, the aircraft and the submarines that will enable them to accomplish the mission," said Roughead.

Roughead discussed the need to increase the number of ships in the Navy. Although 313 is commonly referred to as the "floor" of what the Navy needs, he emphasized that more ships are needed and that we require a combination of balance and quantity to build the Navy for the future. "Three hundred thirteen is the numerical floor because it gives us global capabilities," he said. "At some point, quantity becomes a capability. As the commander in the Pacific and the commander in the Atlantic, I can tell you that I never had enough ships, even before we developed the Maritime Strategy," said Roughead.

Recognizing the need for new ships, Roughead nevertheless stressed the importance of the Navy working with the shipbuilding industry to control costs. He stressed the need for restraint and appetite suppression, explaining that it will take the combined effort from both the Navy and the industry to realize efficiencies in shipbuilding. "I expect Navy leaders to take a disciplined approach in determining our needs," he said. "An approach based in the Maritime Strategy that strives to balance among the six core capabilities, linking each purchase to a capability or capabilities will be the test I will apply. To do this, hard decisions must be made in the short term to ensure a long term shipbuilding plan is viable."

The Surface Navy Association, founded in 1985 to "promote great coordination and communication among those in the military, business and academic communities who share a common interest in naval surface warfare," is holding the three-day symposium at the Hyatt Regency in Crystal City.

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