Sea Services Converge to Explore Future Maritime Strategy

Feb 05, 2014, 14:45 ET from AFCEA International

U.S. Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard leaders share information, gather insights at WEST 2014, co-sponsored by AFCEA International.

FAIRFAX, Va., Feb. 5, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In light of changes in the Asia-Pacific region and a shrinking defense budget, the U.S. sea services are proceeding cautiously to finalize the maritime strategy. When agility is required not only onboard ships but also within boardrooms, military leaders are asking tough questions. What lessons did the U.S. learn from its experience in Afghanistan? What industry-based issues must be considered? How should activity in China factor into future plans?


Military, government and industry leaders will meet at WEST 2014 to examine these issues and other questions as they consider the maritime strategy for the future. WEST 2014, which takes place February 11-13 at the San Diego Convention Center, opens with Acting Deputy Secretary of Defense Christine Fox as the keynote speaker. The conversation will continue with Adm. Harry B. Harris Jr., USN, commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet, as the Tuesday luncheon speaker.

Acute situational awareness makes information dominance as important to seafaring as ships, submarines and aircraft. David Wennergren will facilitate a roundtable discussion about the topic to launch conference activities on February 12. Wennergren, who is vice president, enterprise technologies and services, CACI, and former assistant deputy chief management officer, U.S. Defense Department, will be joined by Terry Halvorsen, chief information officer, Department of the Navy; Vice Adm. Ted N. Branch, USN, deputy chief of naval operations for information dominance, Director of Naval Intelligence office; Rear Adm. Paul Becker, USN, director of intelligence, Joint Chiefs of Staff; and Rear Adm. Robert E. Day Jr., USCG, commander, U.S. Coast Guard Cyber Command.

Business and government personnel alike will be particularly interested in a conversation Al Grasso, chief executive officer, The MITRE Corporation, moderates at the opening of the February 13 activities. Industry leaders will offer the private sector perspective that must be part of designing all military strategies.

During the town hall address closing out the conference on February 13, Gen. James F. Amos, USMC, commandant, U.S. Marine Corps; Adm. Mark E. Ferguson, USN, vice chief of naval operations; and Adm. Robert J. Papp Jr., USCG, commandant, U.S. Coast Guard, will discuss what they want to see in the maritime strategy.

In addition to speakers and panel discussions, WEST 2014 features presentations that qualify for continuing education units (CEUs) and GIAC certification maintenance units. Topics include cybersecurity, satellite communications and spectrum supportability.

While WEST 2014 will focus on thought leadership, it also will acknowledge women in the military and information technology professions and offer opportunities for veterans. The Women's Appreciation Event will recognize AFCEA members—male or female—who have mentored/inspired female AFCEA members. The celebration will include a screening of a documentary about Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP).

In addition, National Veterans Transition Services Incorporated's Warriors to Workforce event, which takes place concurrently with WEST 2014, comprises a number of workshops for veterans and service members transitioning from military to civilian life plus a hiring event.

WEST 2014 is co-sponsored by AFCEA International and the U.S. Naval Institute. News coverage will be available on SIGNAL Media's Event eNews website.

AFCEA International, established in 1946, is a nonprofit organization serving its members by providing a forum for the ethical exchange of information and is dedicated to increasing knowledge through the exploration of issues relevant to its members in information technology, communications and electronics for the defense, homeland security and intelligence communities.

The U.S. Naval Institute, established in 1873, provides an independent forum for those who dare to read, think, speak, and write in order to advance the professional, literary, and scientific understanding of sea power and other issues critical to national defense.

SOURCE AFCEA International