Surface Navy Association National Symposium

Surface Navy Association National Symposium

Remarks by Dr. Donald C. Winter Secretary of Navy

Hyatt Regency Hotel Crystal City, VA Tuesday – January 9, 2007


Admiral Green, thank you for that kind introduction of  It is a great honor to have this opportunity to speak to you—you, the proud patriots who have built the greatest fleet of ships the world has ever known, and you who serve on those ships with a professionalism and expertise that have made the United States Navy the envy of the world.

Today is a day to celebrate the achievements of the Surface Navy, offer a sober reflection of your Navy during this time of war, and cast an eye on the Navy’s course as we traverse the early years of the 21st century.

During this time of peril, with our forces engaged against terrorist foes in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere across the globe even as we speak, I am reminded of one of President Ronald Reagan’s keen insights regarding war and peace: “History teaches that wars begin when governments believe the price of aggression is cheap.”

Tyrants, terrorists, and others who dream of challenging us never cease taking the measure of the United States.  They coldly evaluate our national will, our military prowess, and our patience.  In weighing the costs and benefits of challenging us, they calculate the price of aggression.

Our Navy—with global reach, multi-mission-capability, and ability to operate from a sea base—is a critical factor in determining that price.  Today I would like to discuss three trends now underway, trends that my recent visit to the AOR tended to confirm.  These are three drivers that I fully support, and they are areas that I will be focusing on in the years ahead.

One, we are seeing an increased demand for the expeditionary capability that the Navy brings to the joint fight.

Two, the transformation of the fleet is already taking place on an unprecedented level.

Three, there is a growing recognition that we need to focus more on the people side of transformation.

The Surface Warfare community is directly affected by all of these trends, and it is clear that the Surface Navy will continue to play a leading role in our nation’s defense.

To set the stage for today’s discussion, I would now like to give you a brief report from the field.

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During the Thanksgiving period, I made my second trip to the Middle East and Icame away—once again—deeply impressed by what I saw.  I know that Americans watching events in Iraq from afar hold our warfighters in the highest regard.  But if they could only see what I have seen, first-hand, they truly would have a better understanding of how amazing our Sailors and Marines are.

I am here to tell you what many of you already know—there are many young—and not so young—heroes out there.  They believe in the mission; they serve with inspiring courage; they see everyday the face of evil; and they instinctively understand the stakes of this war.  As I talked to Sailors and Marines in Baghdad, Fallujah, Haditha, Asad, and Balad, I was repeatedly struck by their eagerness to complete their mission, and by their clear understanding that they face a ruthless enemy that sabotages infrastructure, kills political opponents, and uses innocent children as pawns.  There is no moral ambiguity in their minds as to what kind of Iraq the other side represents.

They also understand that our efforts there will take time to achieve success.  The time frame we are operating under in Iraq—and in Afghanistan—points to a pressing need for greater sustainment capability.  We see this need in terms of equipment, facilities, and the full range of ground operations—whether 800 miles inland in the case of OEF, great distances from the nearest coast of Iraq, or in the littorals of the Arabian

Gulf.  Our planning, therefore, must take into consideration sustainment capability to a much greater degree.

To cite just one example of many that I observed during my trip, one of our missions is providing security at Al Basrah Oil Terminal—commonly referred to as ABOT—a vital nerve center of the entire Iraqi economy.  The initial plan of berthing Sailors on the oil terminal itself proved to be inadequate.  Even after we tried to provision our personnel by way of a Meals-on-Keels operation, we encountered various difficulties—from bad sea states to unsanitary conditions on the platforms—that suggested that more changes were needed.

Although some Masters-at-Arms still remain overnight on the platform itself, the majority of Sailors executing this important mission are now berthed aboard a barge that is moored alongside this platform, providing both logistical support and command and control.  Adapting maritime security to fit new or changing conditions over an extended period is an example of the sustainment issues that we will increasingly face in a combat environment.

In addition to visiting ground units and taking a close look at our maritime security operations, I also paid a visit to USS MASON (DDG 87), one of the newer Aegis destroyers in the fleet.  If MASON is representative of the professionalism and excellence of the ships in fleet, the surface Navy is in fine shape indeed.

The ship was on a routine patrolling mission but it was not without drama.

Standing beside the skipper on the ship’s bridgewing, we observed an Iranian ship exercising great curiosity about one of the Great Satan’s warships operating in her neck of the woods.  This curiosity was on display off our starboard beam from a distance of, oh, about 200 yards.  And so ensued a lot of watching—us watching them as they watched us through each other’s big eyes.

The MASON’s CO—no doubt purely by chance—appeared to have chosen a course and speed that maximized the Iranian’s ship’s turbulence and discomfort as it struggled to keep up with MASON’s considerable engine power, and her advanced Naval architecture.  In any case, the amusing aspects of this scene aside, I was greatly encouraged by what I saw on MASON, and pleased to know that at least one Iranian ship’s crew was moved to think about—in a rather personal way—what the price of aggression might entail . . .

My trip also included a visit to Naval Central Command in Bahrain, where the evolution of the Coalition was clearly in evidence.  It was impressively integrated, and perhaps the best example of joint operations that I have seen.  Briefs were given by the Germans, British, and Italians, and all seemed to understand that, in this region of the world, we shared a common interest in cooperative operations that transcended whatever differences between us that we may have.

Many of the officers from Coalition nations that I talked to were quite candid in discussing the need to match their navy’s capabilities to the mission.  Our allies are facing the same questions we are—what are the right assets, what is the right mix of ships?

These are questions to which the Department of the Navy has devoted long and detailed analysis, and we will continue to re-look this issue.

We still believe that our 30-year shipbuilding plan is a solid analysis.  It is a studied assessment of what our country needs, and it reflects the three trends I mentioned earlier.

Let us now turn to these trends and consider their impact on what we buy and how we operate.

First, we are seeing an increased demand for expeditionary warfare.

Expeditionary warfare has long been a core mission of the United States Navy and Marine Corps, and, indeed, our unsurpassed capability in this area is a point of distinction that separates us from the navies of other nations.

But expeditionary warfare is changing.  It is changing because the threat environment has changed—dramatically so.  The certainties of the Cold War—a Soviet Union with a fixed geographical location, understood doctrines, and known capabilities—have been replaced by a world of great uncertainty.

Our enemies today obey no rules of warfare.  They could strike from anywhere on the globe.  No method of attack, no tactic—however barbaric—is beyond their consideration.  The logic of deterrence has been replaced by the logic of the suicide bomber.

In addition to the uncertainty of terrorist enemies, we see the uncertainty of emerging nuclear powers and the rise of unstable, potentially dangerous regimes.

All this adds up to a changed world in which uncertainty is the only certainty, and in which expeditionary warfare capability plays an increasingly important role in combating a great number of potential threats.

A second trend now underway is unprecedented transformation.  We are transforming the force at the same time that we are executing an array of operations in the Global War on Terror.

This transformation is shifting our focus from blue water to green and brown water as the demand for operating in the littorals increases.  Movement towards a balance between blue water and green and brown also includes a greater use of Special and Joint Forces across a wide range of activities.

I would note that shifting our focus does not mean that traditional roles and missions are no longer vital.  They are, and will remain so.

We are transforming because we must position the force to best meet future threats across a broad spectrum of operations—from Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief to the Global War on Terror to Major Combat Operations.  We must win today’s war, and we must be prepared to defend America against future threats.

The scope of the Navy and Marine Corps transformation is truly massive, given our hardware-intensive nature.  Our platforms are made to last 30 to 50 years, so, as one would expect, it takes time to fully implement transformational change within the entire Department—and yet time is of the essence.

This audience is quite familiar with the many areas in which new platforms are being developed.  But just think about the number of major new platforms being developed simultaneously:

The Littoral Combat Ship.







And that’s just on the surface combatant side.

In addition to those developments, we are also bringing online Virginia class submarines, the Joint Strike Fighter, and MV-22—as well as converting SSBN to SSGN.

2006 was a banner year for the Surface Navy.  Three surface ships were commissioned—SAN ANTONIO, FORREST SHERMAN, and FARRAGUT—and seven new surface ships were christened:  GRIDLEY, SACAGAWEA, GREEN BAY, MAKIN ISLAND, SAMPSON, FREEDOM, and ALAN SHEPARD.

In addition to the platforms that are years and decades in the making, there are also elements of transformation that we are taking advantage of immediately.  The use of unmanned air vehicles is a compelling example, and the deployment of UAV’s on surface Navy ships has become a key advantage in fighting GWOT.  Scan Eagle onboard USNS Stockham and USS Saipan is proving its value daily in operations from Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance to Maritime Security.

But there is not going to be a single-minded focus on the development of a single set of technologies and capabilities in the way that, by of contrast, we saw with the Cold War focus on Submarine-Launched Ballistic Missiles.

Here it is worth taking a moment to discuss an aspect of transformation that receives enormous attention:  technology.  We are accustomed to many decades of the Cold War, where technological breakthroughs were capable of giving one side a decisive edge.  Think of the development of nuclear weapons and rocketry.  They are clear examples where technology was the critical factor.  Whoever had the latest technology had the superior force.

Speaking as someone who previously was directly involved in the intense competition between superpowers to develop a technological edge, I have a profound respect for the ability of America to compete with anyone in the world.  In many ways, the great rivalry between the United States and the Soviet Union turned on the many scientific wonders our premier research laboratories such as Draper, Los Alamos, NRL, and various industrial laboratories regularly produced.

But things are different today, and we are fighting a very different kind of war.

Today there is a basic set of advanced technology that is available to virtually everyone—cell phones, computers, micro-electronics.  That is why we are increasingly seeing that Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures—and the people who utilize them—are more important than the technology itself.

Consider the transformation in focus that we see in the conversion of SSBN’s to SSGN’s.  There are no technology breakthroughs in this new platform, but with SEAL team insertion capability, SSGN now has mission flexibility and an ability to take the initiative in missions against a new kind of enemy.

The contrast between the two missions is striking.  SSBN was a cornerstone, and remains a cornerstone, of our strategic deterrence, with very precise, scripted procedures that all but eliminated independent actions.  SSGN reflects exactly the opposite qualities.

SEAL’s, as our enemies have come to learn, write their own script.  SEAL’s have transformed a stealth platform into a lightening-fast shore insertion vehicle, able to project a new kind of power in response to a wide variety of situations.  Using Ohio class submarines to launch SEAL’s instead of D-5 missiles is an interesting example of, in a sense, substituting people for technology and using them in new ways.

The surface Navy’s equivalent of this kind of transformation is the Littoral Combat Ship.  The challenges associated with LCS are numerous.  Among the most important are related to personnel:  How do we find people who are capable of adapting to constant change, and what do we need to do to best support them?

In the case of LCS, I have confidence in the technology that supports the program.

The focus of our attention must be on the true innovation of LCS—the application of that technology, and what that means for the crew.

The bigger questions we are grappling with include:

How will we use the platform?

Can a crew of only 40 or 50 operate LCS across a full range of missions?

How do we use and maintain the various mission modules?

LCS is a transformational platform for the threat we face today.

In the Global War on Terror, those waging war against the United States have chosen the kind of battles we face—irregular warfare.

Our technological prowess is one of America’s greatest strength.  But the unfortunate fact remains—there is no technological breakthrough that is likely to change the course of this war.  What will win this war is the human factor.

This brings us to the third trend that is emerging—a greater focus on people.  The Sailors and Marines being trained at Fleet Training Concentration Centers are central to our transformation efforts.

There is also a clear trend towards putting greater responsibility on younger personnel, with junior officers commanding Masters-at-Arms at ABOT and KBOT, and 24-year olds leading Visit, Board, Search, and Seizure Teams in maritime interdiction operations.  As we develop a Riverine Force, this trend will continue, again suggesting that our investments in the people side of transformation are increasingly critical.

To ensure that our transformational platforms and systems live up to their potential, Sailors receiving significantly broader training will have to make the real difference in operating the most capable force the world has ever known.  Our ability to compete at this level, I submit, is another strategic advantage of the United States.

Warfighters in this new war will need greater support in terms of highly specialized training, and an ability to carry out a wide range of missions.

This greater focus on people—combined with the increased reliance on expeditionary warfare and the fleet-wide transformation that is now underway—is shaping the Surface Navy that so many of you are a proud part of it.  These three trends add up to a future in which the Commander-in-Chief will increasingly look to the Surface Navy to meet our national security requirements.

There is little doubt that the world entered into a period of enormous instability and uncertainty at the end of the Cold War.  Today’s Global War on Terror, North Korean nuclear tests, Iranian efforts to develop nuclear weapons, the war in Lebanon, and threats, however nascent, from our own hemisphere are merely the latest examples of this instability.

Today we are engaged in a Global War on Terror that we cannot afford to lose.

We must work this balance between fighting today’s Global War on Terror and transforming the force for an uncertain future—and we don’t have much margin for error.

America in this era of uncertainty needs you, and I salute all of you for your outstanding service.  May you be inspired by the tales of the many heroes who have come before you, among them, the story of Lieutenant Jerry Ford’s heroic actions during World War II.

Many Americans were—until very recently—unaware of his service in the Navy as part of Admiral Halsey’s Third Fleet, and the courage he displayed in helping to save USS MONTEREY from disaster during a typhoon on a December morning in 1944.

President Ford’s recent death brought attention to his distinguished naval career, and reminded the entire country that his lifetime of public service began as a young man in the United States Navy.

In closing, let us recall President Ford’s declaration on the occasion of America’s 200th birthday:

“Independence has to be defended as well as declared; freedom is always worth fighting for; and liberty ultimately belongs only to those willing to suffer for it.”

It is this generation’s duty to defend freedom, protect it, fight for it, and pass it on to future generations.  May the price of aggression never be cheap.

Thank you.


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Naming of USS GERALD R. FORD (CVN 78) Pentagon

Naming of USS GERALD R. FORD (CVN 78) Pentagon

Remarks by Dr. Donald C. Winter Secretary of Navy

Arlington, VA Tuesday – January 16, 2007


Vice President Cheney, members of the Ford family, distinguished guests, welcome, and thank you for coming to participate in today’s naming ceremony.

A U.S. Navy aircraft carrier is a symbol that is recognizable throughout the world.

It represents American power.  It is a reminder of America’s global interests, and global reach.  It is, in the eyes of freedom-loving people everywhere, a safeguard in a troubled and dangerous world.  At moments of crisis, Americans from presidents to school teachers to cabdrivers anxiously await the latest news of an aircraft carrier’s progress, knowing that wherever threats emerge, an American carrier will get the call.

Just last week was an example of the critical importance of aircraft carriers when our national security is on the line.  President Bush, in an address to the nation, called attention to the fact that he has ordered the deployment of an additional carrier strike group to the Middle East.

We do not expect this to be the last time the commander-in-chief will be turning to Navy carriers to respond immediately to a crisis far from our shores.  That is why the Navy is building a new class of aircraft carriers to replace USS ENTERPRISE and CVN- 68 class carriers.

Known as the CVN 21 Program, this fleet of the most technologically advanced aircraft carriers in the world will be both the Navy’s premier forward assets for crisis response and principal platforms in providing early, decisive striking power in a major combat operation.  CVN 21 ships include significant warfighting capability improvements, including a 25 percent increase in sortie generation rate, a nearly threefold increase in electrical generating capacity, an improved, fully integrated warfare system, and a host of new technologies in its system designs.  CVN 21 is an investment in our future, and the Department of the Navy is urgently moving forward to turn our plans into reality.

With that in mind, today it is my great pleasure to announce that the Department of the Navy’s newest aircraft carrier, CVN 78—the first in a new class of CVN 21 carriers—will be named . . .  USS GERALD R. FORD.

President Ford, as many Americans have, over the years, come to more fully appreciate, was an historical figure, a great president, and a man of the highest character and integrity.

America has been blessed with leaders who were able to steer the American ship of state through dangerous waters during our Nation’s most difficult crises.  We think of Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War, Franklin Roosevelt during World War II, and Ronald Reagan during the Cold War.

President Ford assumed the presidency during the greatest Constitutional crisis since the Civil War, at a time when the public’s faith in government was shaken.  But America was blessed once again with a leader for the times, a man with the integrity and character to heal the nation and restore trust in the presidency.

It is worth recalling an episode in President Ford’s life that is illustrative of his character.  When then-Congressman Ford was nominated to replace Spiro Agnew as vice president in 1973, his nomination required confirmation by both houses of Congress, as required by the 25th amendment to the Constitution.  As part of the confirmation process, a background check on his fitness for office was initiated.

Given the circumstances of his nomination, the FBI took extra care to conduct an exhaustive investigation into his background and character, assigning 350 agents from 33 field offices to the case.  The FBI sent 70 agents alone to Ford’s hometown of Grand Rapids, Michigan!

Soon afterwards, concerned friends, neighbors, and associates began to call the Ford congressional office in Washington, DC, informing him that they were being asked probing questions about his life—even his childhood—and asking how they should respond.  To everyone who contacted his office, Ford had one stock reply:  “Tell them the truth—give them everything.”

It was a philosophy that served him well over a long lifetime of public service, and that would serve him well as president.  His legacy includes service on the aircraft carrier USS MONTEREY as part of Admiral Halsey’s 3rd  fleet during World War II, an experience that made a lasting impression on him of a carrier’s capabilities.

His Naval service was followed by 25 years in Congress, the vice presidency, the presidency, and an active career in support of many worthy causes in the long twilight of his life.

President Ford’s reputation has steadily grown over the past three decades, and the judgment of history now recognizes the rightness of his most difficult and controversial decisions.  The Ford presidency will always be remembered for the pardon that was granted to Richard Nixon.  The pardon was widely unpopular at the time, but it is now viewed as a critical step in moving our Nation forward.

In foreign policy, President Ford was heavily criticized at the time for signing the Helsinki Accords of 1975.  And yet those agreements established the principle of individual rights, put a spotlight on the plight of Soviet refuseniks, and set the stage for the fall of the Soviet Union sixteen years later.

In both of these cases, President Ford did something that is all too rare in American politics—he put the national interest above his own political interest.  He sacrificed his political career but he earned the delayed but enduring respect of a grateful Nation.  Historians, journalists, and politicians of both parties have since come to acknowledge his many contributions and the significance of his role in healing the Nation.

Whether dealing with a dire financial crisis in New York City, the Vietnam War, or an economy ravaged by inflation and a world oil crisis, President Ford made tough decisions based on what he thought was the right thing to do.  In doing so, he set a standard of character and decency that future generations will respect and admire, and a standard of leadership for the United States Navy to uphold.

Today, in naming CVN 78 after President Ford, we are bestowing an appropriate honor on a distinguished public servant who had a deep and personal connection with aircraft carriers throughout his life.  He served aboard a carrier during war.  As president, he commanded carriers in the fleet.  During his tenure as president, he also commissioned USS NIMITZ, the first in its class of nuclear-powered carriers.

No one would have appreciated more the honor of having a carrier named after him than President Ford.  May the future Sailors of USS GERALD R. FORD always show themselves to be worthy of their ship’s name, and may they always honor the legacy of a great man.

Thank you.


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Heritage Foundation

Heritage Foundation

Remarks by Dr. Donald C. Winter Secretary of Navy

Washington, D.C. Wednesday – February 7, 2006


Ladies and gentlemen, thank you very much for giving me this opportunity to speak to you.  I am very grateful to the Heritage Foundation for hosting this event, and I would like to thank all of you here today for devoting your time and talents to the field of national security.

As one who recently left the private sector, where the pressure on business leaders to focus on quarterly reports seems to be inexorable, I notice that, in Washington, DC, there is also a tendency to focus on the short-term.  A new crisis emerges almost daily.

And, politically, there is always another election just around the corner.

From a military and a Department of the Navy point of view, the short-term imperatives are quite clear.  We must fight today’s war—in Iraq, in Afghanistan, and in terrorist hot spots around the world.

But we must also look to the long-term.  We must transform our forces for the future—and we cannot delay.  The Navy needs to transform the fleet to be better positioned to meet the challenges of an uncertain future.

My contention today, however, is that transformation is not enough—it has to be more.  What we need is a stable transformation.  And stable transformation can only be achieved if the Department of the Navy—in conjunction with Congress—agree to follow a long-term path of program stability.

Today I would like to share with you why we must transform, why we must adopt a long-term view, and why transformation stability is critical to our transformation efforts.

* * *

An underlying premise of our desire to transform the fleet is a recognition that the future is marked by tremendous uncertainty.  The uncertainty makes planning very difficult.  On September 10th, 2001, the world looked quite different compared to how it looked the following day.

Other events can also change one’s strategic calculations rather quickly, such as China’s test of an anti-satellite weapon last month, or North Korea’s nuclear test last October.  These events remind us that the pace of change today is very rapid—especially when you contrast the pace of technological change with the time horizon of a Navy’s ship’s life cycle.

Think about how much the world has changed since 1977—with 30 years being 1the approximate life cycle of one of our combatants.  Better yet, look at what strides China has made—economically and technologically—in just the past ten years.  The pace of change—and the uncertainty engendered by dramatic and surprising turns in the world situation—present the Navy with major planning challenges.

During the Cold War, when the world was divided into two camps, separated by the Iron Curtain, our military planning revolved around the capabilities of a single country—the Soviet Union—with a specified location and known assets.  Since the end of the Cold War, and particularly since 9/11, old certainties have been replaced by uncertainty on almost every level.

There is no one, single adversary.  We do not know from day to day where the threat will come from.  There is uncertainty regarding the nature of the threat.  There is even uncertainty as to who will stand with us in responding to the threat.  As we saw in the case of Turkey at the start of the Iraq war, there is even uncertainty regarding our access to existing bases with an Allied partner.

In a world of such uncertainty, and a world where the sea is increasingly vital to the international economy, the need for a Navy with global reach is more important than ever.  We must be prepared to conduct operations across a broad spectrum—from maritime security to force projection to sustainment.  Our forces must be prepared to combat terrorism and piracy, and we will be called upon to carry out humanitarian and disaster relief operations as well.

We should not be surprised that the Navy is still in the process of reorienting its forces to perform all of these operations across the entire range of possibilities.  Keep in mind again the dramatic mis-match between the pace of change and the long life span of Navy ships, from design to commissioning to twilight cruise—30 to 50 years later.

Optimizing our Naval force means finding the right balance of assets and capabilities, and it is a never-ending challenge.

Given current trends in the world situation, we are expanding our focus from blue water to green and brown water operations.  We have seen and we expect to see an increasing demand for littoral engagement—in the Horn of Africa, the Philippines, and in areas of critical oil production and strategic choke points.  The clear need for greater green and brown water capability notwithstanding, one should not conclude that we can afford to let our blue water capability decline.  Naval forces must be ready, above all, to conduct major combat operations, should the need arise.

We cannot ignore events and trends that reinforce that belief.  A recent White Paper prepared by the Chinese military outlined a three-step strategy for modernizing its defense, to include its blue water ambitions.  The third step in their strategy states as a strategic goal: “building modernized armed forces and being capable of winning modern, netcentric wars by the mid-21st century.”

This document implicitly suggests that China hopes to be in a position to successfully challenge the United States, a challenge that would certainly entail blue water operations.

Public declarations such as this statement and many others serve as reminders that we must be prepared for a world that does not always follow our preferences.  Of course, we hope that China will choose a peaceful path.  But hope is not a strategy.  So we must be prepared.

Those who might be tempted to dismiss or discount the need to be prepared for major combat operations ought to keep in mind that their goodwill and optimism towards totalitarian regimes may not be reciprocated.  It is the American government’s solemn responsibility to protect the United States from attack, and we cannot leave the Nation unprepared.  We would do well to recall General George Washington’s maxim:  “To be prepared for war is the most effectual means to promote peace.”

To be prepared for war means having the ability to defeat threats at sea and to carry out operations ashore from the sea.  A Naval presence allows us to respond worldwide and rapidly—without putting forces ashore.  With so much uncertainty brought by terrorism, and great uncertainty as to the future course of rising powers, we need a force which is quick, adaptable, and lethal.  For that, we must transform.

In some cases, we can make adaptations to existing capital assets, in short order.

For example, we have converted three SSBN’s to SEAL-capable SSGN’s—in only four years.  In others, we must build new platforms with new capabilities.  Transformation writ large, however, is going to take time.

* * *

The nature of almost everything we do requires a long-term perspective.  As the strategist Alfred Thayer Mahan and former Assistant Secretary of the Navy Theodore Roosevelt noted more than a century ago, Naval platforms take a long time to design and build.  We go into battle with assets that were built many years in advance of the conflicts in which they partake.  Theodore Roosevelt, in particular, was a relentless advocate—both as Assistant Secretary of the Navy and later as President—of building and maintaining a large Navy during peacetime.  It is worth quoting from President Roosevelt’s first annual message to Congress, submitted in December 1901, during which he focused on the Navy as much as on any other subject: “Far from being in any way a provocation to war, an adequate and highly trained Navy is the best guaranty against war, the cheapest and most effective peace insurance.

The cost of building and maintaining a Navy represents the very lightest premium for insuring peace which this nation can possibly pay.”

Roosevelt understood some of what those more focused on the events of the day do not.  It would be nice to decide one day that we need more of one platform and fewer of another, radically shifting our budget priorities from year to year.  But it doesn’t work that way.  The response time associated with what we buy is an overriding factor that must always be kept in mind.  Any core platform changes we make to our future fleet will take many years to effect.  We cannot wait for an outbreak of war and then build the Navy we need to fight that war.  By then it will be too late, as Mahan and Roosevelt repeatedly warned.

This is a point I must insist on—the core products the Navy buys face a significant time constraint.  We cannot simply buy from inventory or divert ongoing product lines.  Yes, there are some things we need that we can purchase rapidly, and we are indeed doing that whenever possible.  But for the capital platforms of our Navy, this is not an option.  Ships and systems operating in a combat environment are unique, and cannot be purchased like a commodity.

The Navy’s mission revolves around 300 very expensive capital assets that take years and years to conceive, design, and build.  Very long lead times are not new.  The MAINE—famous for its role in triggering the Spanish-American war of 1898—took nine years from authorization to commissioning.

Today, the technology is vastly superior, but the long lead times associated with the production of Naval ships are still with us.  Just a few weeks ago CVN 78, USS GERALD R. FORD, was named.  This is the first of our CVN 21 carriers.  Steel was cut for her last year, but the ship will not be commissioned until 2016—a decade-long building cycle.

There are areas where we can and do accelerate purchases—anti-IED technology and personal protection equipment being examples—and we can update our weapons systems.  But we cannot significantly accelerate production of our combatant ships, due to the nature of shipbuilding.  The need to adopt an extended time horizon with respect to Navy platforms has another dimension that is often overlooked—a need for program stability.

Program stability is desirable for many reasons, and the Navy’s impact on the industrial base is one of the most important.  The Navy is often in a monopsony position—in other words, the Navy is the only buyer of a product that industry manufactures.  We would like to be one of several buyers, but the fact is that many large companies exist solely as suppliers for the U.S. military, due to the unique requirements of what we buy and how we buy it.

Many of these companies are focused on those unique requirements, and make large investments accordingly.  Suddenly shifting focus to short-term requirements and putting a moratorium on long-term requirements is not a viable option under the market conditions we face.  For example, if we decided that we would like to simply skip building ships for a year or two, putting the money elsewhere, many companies that are extremely important to national security would quickly go out of business.

Highly specialized craftsmen, builders, engineers, and scientists would leave the industry and do something else.  We could not then go back to the company a few years later and say, “OK, let’s resume building ships.”  The company—in this case, the shipbuilding industry—would no longer exist.

Disruptions to the industrial base are very damaging—just think of the effect of Hurricane Katrina on industries in the region.  This one storm delayed delivery of a number of ships under construction in Gulf Coast shipyards.  It is important to note that the impact Katrina had on the workforce was as significant as the impact it had on the facilities.  Many shipyard workers in the Gulf Coast region lost their homes, were forced to re-locate, and have since pursued other job opportunities.

While we do not have control over Mother Nature, we can take steps to minimize disruptions to the industrial base as a result of our planning.  The impact of our actions on the industrial base is very real, and we need to be more mindful of how lurches in one direction or another damage industry’s ability to meet our needs.  We do not have the luxury of making major year in and year out adjustments without causing great harm to the industrial base and incurring enormous additional expense to our programs.

Predictability is very important to both the public and private sectors of the industrial base.  Predictability drives efficiency and effectiveness in the industrial base.

If we are to maintain a degree of predictability, it is not possible to take a holiday from shipbuilding.  This also implies that we cannot simply buy sporadically—we must do so on a continuous basis.  Stable profits are desirable. Stability in the workforce is critical.

And predictability in investments translates into a healthier business environment better able to meet the Navy’s needs.

The time constraint, the need for stability, and the need for predictability add up to a number of challenges.  The challenge for the Navy is to better control requirements and stabilize build rates, thereby achieving stability in the shipbuilding plan.  The challenge for industry is to make the necessary investments and to align the workforce with Navy requirements.  The Navy must work with industry to help it achieve long-term alignment.  In doing so, the question then becomes:  How do you motivate an industrial base that you do not have direct control over to invest in ways that the Navy needs?

*  *  *

The Navy’s relationship with the industrial base, and its attempts to move it in a mutually satisfactory direction, is taking place in the context of a period of unprecedented transformation of Navy programs—all while industry is in a period of consolidation.

Occasionally there are cases where the changing needs of the Navy represent a perceived threat to some elements in industry.  One can even say that the whole drive towards transformation challenges both the interests and instincts of industry.  There is a natural business interest in maintaining existing product lines and sales accounts.  Radical changes in a major industry are not a simple matter.  There are major investments at stake, a huge number of employees, and thousands of suppliers.

Transformation is often disruptive.  New technologies and new products come into play.  Change creates opportunities to disrupt current market conditions—with both positive and negative implications.

On the positive side, transformational change can reduce barriers to entry, enhancing competition both in terms of business competition and the competition of ideas.   Take, for example, the Littoral Combat Ship, which opened the shipbuilding market to non-traditional contractors.  Much of the infrastructure involved in building this ship is different from the traditional Naval shipbuilding infrastructure.  Different means new, and it also means that new players need to learn new roles.  Industry adjustments to such developments take time, and can be painful, as all changes result in winners and losers in the competition for contracts.

In the short-term, the Navy must expect hiccups and setbacks as an inevitable part of complex changes.  But the long-term results are new capabilities and better ways of doing business.  The challenge for the Navy is managing all the changes in the best interests of the Navy—understanding, however, that making accurate projections is very difficult.

*  *  *

My focus over the remaining time I have to serve as Secretary will be on making the best possible decisions for the Navy over both the short and long terms.  If one accepts the time-tested adage that a nation achieves peace through strength, we have no other choice but to continue down our current path—fighting the global war on terror today while continuing to transform the fleet for the long-term.

Transformation stability is critical to this effort.  We must look at the trends taking place around the world and prepare the Navy for the full range of possible scenarios.  We must abide by the Mahan and Roosevelt principles and have assets in place when needed.

Just as the Navy we have today was built by prior administrations, we must build the Navy for future generations.  The American people will look back at this critical time in our history with either gratitude for having made decisions that were in the nation’s long-term interest—or regret for our failure to provide for America’s future security.

Thank you.



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Sea Air Space Exposition

Sea Air Space Exposition

Remarks by Dr. Donald C. Winter Secretary of Navy

Marriott Wardman Park Hotel Washington, D.C. Tuesday – April 3, 2007


John, thank you for that kind introduction. Once again, congratulations to all the award winners, and thank you for all your important contributions to our national security.  This nnual event is an impressive gathering of leaders from every key sector of our maritime forces, and I am honored to be here.

We are gathered at a time of war, and at a time when we must prepare today for the wars of the future.  In the face of these dual challenges, the Department of the Navy’s top three

priorities should be self-evident.  One, support combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.  Two, take care of our wounded heroes.  And three, transform the fleet for the future.

Given the audience in this symposium, today I would like take this opportunity to share my thoughts with you, after a year into my service as Secretary, on that third priority, particularly as it relates to shipbuilding.  Shipbuilding is a matter of personal focus for me, and I am encouraged to see that Dr. Etter and her team in RDA are showing admirable energy and enthusiasm in addressing shipbuilding issues.

There are two basic reasons why shipbuilding commands so much of our attention.  First, our Navy and Marine Corps necessarily revolves around our fleet—300 or so capital assets that define the global reach and awesome striking power that define the United States Navy-Marine Corps team.  Second, our current shipbuilding program is simply not meeting our expectations.

We must do better.  The need to do better is especially urgent, for today’s security environment requires that we modernize and re-capitalize the fleet across the full range of our capabilities.

Although we have the best Navy in the world today, no one in this room can deny that, without improvements, we will not be able to evolve, build, and sustain the fleet we need for the future.  By evolve, I mean that we must transform; by build I mean that we must have an adequate fleet size; and by sustain, I mean that we must maintain a high state of readiness at all times.

These imperatives add up to a point that is worth emphasizing:  the national security of the United States depends on our ability to meet our presence and surge requirements.  So we must build and maintain a fleet that meets these objectives.

But acquisition challenges continue to hamper our efforts.  In many aspects, the problems we are experiencing with shipbuilding mirror the challenges seen elsewhere in the  Department of Defense.  These problems are longstanding, evident to all who study them, and seemingly resistant to the many efforts that have been made to overcome them.  This must change.  And for my remaining time as Secretary, I will be intensely focused on fixing the problems and improving our acquisition processes.

The first step is a clear and candid analysis of the problems that ail us.  Here are five of the Department of the Navy’s most critical challenges in the shipbuilding program, as I see them: First, there has been a steady erosion in domain knowledge within the Department of the Navy over the past several decades, resulting in an over-reliance on contractors in the performance of core in-house functions.  From the Navy’s point of view, that over-reliance has not been beneficial.  I would also argue that, in the long run, this situation is not beneficial to the shipbuilding industry either.

While the Department’s level of technical expertise associated with naval architecture and design is relatively high, our knowledge of the shipbuilding process is short of what it has been in the past, and what it needs to be in the future.  Our challenge is to understand how to integrate design and production technology into an acquisition process that industry can execute.

This requires a deep knowledge of systems engineering and a profound understanding of the acquisition process.  Systems engineering is key to ensuring that each ship is configured to optimize the fleet.  The Navy does not fight a ship by itself.  It wages war as part of an Expeditionary Strike Group or a Carrier Strike Group.  And those strike group formations are part of even larger Joint operations.  All this implies a need for integration of elements and capabilities.

The decisions regarding what we really need in a ship—a ship that fights alongside many other platforms—are inherently decisions that properly belong to the Navy.  Only when we improve domain knowledge and re-assert greater control over the acquisition process will we be in a position to make better overall program decisions.

Second, there is a limited understanding within the Department of Defense of how business operates, how it responds to competition, and how it is affected by Wall Street’s expectations.  The reasons for this limited understanding are not difficult to discover.

Interestingly, industry does understand the Department of the Navy.  Industry hires our alumni, and runs an extensive and effective intelligence collection effort targeting us.  But the Department’s acquisition program managers do not have an in-depth understanding of how industry operates, and the Department as a whole does not act strategically in dealing with industry.  It is very difficult for government to hire from industry, particularly at the more senior levels.  Furthermore, we do not provide the experiences or training to our uniformed acquisition professionals that would enable them to fully understand or anticipate industry.  Neither government nor business can effectively operate with this gap in the government’s ability to understand business.

Third, the shipbuilding market is such that the Navy has little ability to reap the benefits of competition.  In many cases, the competition consists of only two companies, and sometimes even then there are limits on the degree of competition between them.  The consolidation of the shipbuilding industry has reduced competition even further, to the point that there is no competition for many major systems that we purchase.

Under normal market conditions, competition drives innovation and investment, and without intense competitive pressures, both will inevitably suffer.  As a result of the lack of 2competition in shipbuilding, competitive factors rarely drive us towards optimal solutions, or adequate investment levels.

Fourth, there have been unrealistic expectations of the potential for commercial solutions to our often complex and unique Naval requirements.  By commercial solutions I mean, primarily, the use of commercial design and production techniques in building warships.

Clearly, there is much to be learned from commercial production activities.  That is evident in overseas yards that build commercial and military ships, as well as in yards solely dedicated to military production.

However, the advantages of commercial cross-pollination do not equally apply to warship designs.  We may find good ideas that can be adapted to our needs, but the conversion of a commercial design to one that that can be applied to warships is most often a non-trivial exercise.  This is probably a good thing, because if it were a simple matter, many countries could build the most advanced warships by converting their commercial capabilities into military systems.  The fact is, commercial solutions cannot satisfy the majority of our requirements, and the majority of our warships will necessarily be produced in shipyards dedicated to Navy programs.

Our fifth and final challenge is our fear of recognizing the true expected costs of acquisition programs upfront.  The government and contractors routinely under-estimate costs, often due to over-optimism in the early stages of program conceptualization.  I share Congress’ frustration with DoD’s poor record with respect to cost estimates and budgeting.

There is a fear that a given program will not be approved if realistic cost assumptions are made during the program approval and contract negotiation phases.  While setting reasonably aggressive cost targets may be a standard management technique, setting targets that are unachievable harms our credibility, creates distrust between Congress and the Navy, and destabilizes future budgets as cost overruns come home to roost.

Optimism is part of the American military ethos.  It is also characteristic of visionary business leaders.  But over-optimism does not serve us well.  The pressure to get the camel’s nose under the tent, so to speak, sometimes leads to shortcuts in design, resulting in cost problems down the road.  But if the thinking is that we simply must get the program started and we will deal with cost growth later, then the Department will continue to suffer from a chronic case of over-optimism.  The end result is a tendency to allow over-optimistic cost projections at the beginning, leading to excessive cost growth over the long term.

What then, must we do to begin to address these issues?  Here are six steps that must be taken.

First, the Navy must re-assert its control over the entire shipbuilding acquisition process.

The Navy owns the fleet, and the Navy is the customer.  Sometimes one has the impression that this tiny distinction has been forgotten.

Control over the process means that the Navy must make the selections of key tradeoffs—performance, crew size, logistics support, cost, and schedule.  Ships do not have much value without the crews that operate them, and if our decisions are not driven by taking into account how each parameter fits into the big picture, we will make unwise decisions.

Added to that consideration is the fact that ships do not operate in isolation — they operate with shore and air components. These other factors are highly relevant, so it is very important that the Navy take all factors into consideration and exercise control over the decision process.

Control over acquisitions also means that we need to “decouple” decision points.  The limited nature of the competition that exists in shipbuilding often produces only two alternatives to choose between—a package A and a package B.  But within each package is a massive set of options—options that entail many trade-offs.  We might benefit from some elements of package A, and some elements of package B.  We need to decide which trade-offs make the most sense from the Navy’s point of view.

It is essential that we be able to separate out these three elements:

-what we want to buy,

-how we want to buy it,

-and who we want to buy it from.

Second step – the Navy must define the design constraints to optimize the overall capability of the Fleet.  The lead systems integrator should be the Navy—not the contractor.

When the Navy is relegated to the role of advisor on technical and systems integration matters, the responsibility for the decision-making process is, in effect, contracted out to others.

But it is the Navy’s responsibility to optimize the fleet’s capabilities.  Such optimization might include common standards; preferred components and subsystems; mission modularity; and open architecture.  It all depends on what would be most advantageous to the Navy.  This cannot be left to individual system contractors because only the Navy is in a position to assess a program’s impact on overall fleet optimization.

Third step – contractors must design for production and sustainment.  Every time the Navy decides to build a new platform, it should be viewed as an opportunity to re-evaluate our production processes.

Instead, we typically acquiesce to the natural desire of industry to use existing approaches, and leverage as many existing facilities as possible.  Significant improvements in technology and efficiency can be achieved if industry is willing to re-think its production processes when new platforms are being brought online.

The government has a strong interest in getting industry to take advantage of those opportunities to re-redesign their production lines.  The Navy, therefore, must structure its contracts so that industry is motivated to do that.  Without the right incentives, the investments in production facilities the Navy needs will not take place, and we will be left with outmoded and inefficient production lines.

4Four, the Navy needs to use independent cost estimates for the trade-offs and decisions that we make.  Restoring credibility requires that we do a far better job of projecting costs.  Under the conventional bidding process, the lowest credible cost estimate often wins the contract.  The result may be far different from selecting the most probable cost estimate.  We must move away from the culture of over-optimism in our estimates, and more towards more independent, accurate cost projections at every step of the way.

Five, detail design and construction contracts must be supported by mature specifications.

We should understand what we are building in enough detail to use fixed price incentive contracts for all but lead ships.  Yes, there are programs with high development content, with new technologies and significant design uncertainties.  In such cases, it is difficult to project costs and manage the inherent difficulties associated with such programs using fixed price approaches.  Such programs require more flexible contracting alternatives.  And yet, even then we should look to how we can transition to a fixed price structure as soon as the design matures.

Finally, the Navy needs to provide knowledgeable program oversight.  Hiring top quality people who have experience with large shipbuilding programs is essential.  The ability to assign an experienced and capable team must be a pre-condition to a program’s initiation.  Finding and developing the people we need is easier said than done, and it will take time to rectify this problem, but we can not ignore the leverage that can be obtained by putting the right, experienced and prepared people, in the right positions.

This leads me to a final question regarding what needs to be done to fix the problems we are now experiencing:  What do I expect from the contractors?

If a company chooses to participate in the shipbuilding industry that supports our Navy, corporate leaders need to approach shipbuilding as an integral part of their business.  The shipbuilding market is a long-term, dependable opportunity that merits a long-term business perspective.

Consider the degree of predictability that is characteristic of the shipbuilding industry—how often does a customer lay out his entire acquisition structure for the next 30 years?

Furthermore, there are huge barriers to entry, and once a firm has entered the market, it benefits from those advantages.   Contrast these conditions with those that exist in the IT or service industry, where start-ups take away business from established companies every day. The shipbuilding industry is a potentially rewarding environment for those who have made the appropriate investments.

That said, significant new investments are needed in capital plants, people, and processes.

The current level of investment in our shipyards is nowhere near adequate to meet our needs today, nor is it sufficient to bring American facilities up to the world class standards that are evident in a number of European and Asian shipyards.  But we believe that a valid business case can and must be made for investment in this sector of the economy, and we have seen examples of its viability abroad.

The Navy can and will provide adequate profitability to performing contractors.  We are now negotiating contracts with greater than 15 percent target profits.  I have no hesitation in saying that substantially higher profitability rates are perfectly acceptable, and I am not opposed 5to them, especially if accompanied by greater investments in facility modernization, and workforce training and development.

In laying out my assessment of the situation in the Navy’s shipbuilding program, and what will be required to improve it, it is not my intention to be unduly harsh.  I realize that some in industry and in the Navy may find my message to be disturbing, and may even take umbrage at my candor.  But I hope that you will recognize this as a genuine case of tough love.

I really do believe that we—in government and industry—must make some fundamental changes in the way we do business in the shipbuilding domain.  If we do not figure out how to establish credibility in our shipbuilding programs and plans, and restore confidence in our ability to deliver on our commitments, we cannot expect Congress or the nation to provide us with the resources we so urgently need.

Thank you.



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University of Michigan College of Engineering Commencement Ceremony

University of Michigan College of Engineering  Commencement Ceremony

Remarks by Dr. Donald C. Winter Secretary of Navy

Lansing, Michigan Saturday – April 28, 2007


Dean Munson, proud parents, relieved teachers, and even more relieved graduates of the University of Michigan’s College of Engineering, thank you for inviting me back to my alma mater to congratulate the class of 2007.

As I was leaving Washington, and I mentioned to some colleagues that I was going to be speaking at this event, one of them said to me, “I bet you’re glad to be speaking to engineers—finally an audience that might actually understand the way you think.”

And that got me thinking . . .

Who are the people easiest to deal with in my job—is it really the engineers?

Well, let’s consider the alternatives.

There are, of course, the lawyers—there are quite a number of them in Washington, DC and at the Pentagon.

But no, I would not put them at the top of the list of people who are easy to deal with.

Then there are the accountants and budget people—we’ve sure got plenty of those in the Department of the Navy.

But no, they are always telling me no, you have to cut this, you can’t afford that.

And there are the program managers.

No, they’re always telling me what’s going wrong with various programs—mainly everyone else’s programs . . .

There are the public affairs people.

No, they never come to me with good news, and they are always telling me you can’t say this, and you can’t say that.

Then, there are the business types.

Well, between us, let’s face it—these are the people who couldn’t make it through engineering school . . .

So, obviously, dealing with them can be frustrating.

Of course, there are all the uniformed Sailors and Marines in service of our country.

Yes, I really do like dealing with them, but they are always telling me sea stories and other tales of adventure that just serve to make me think that I am missing out on an exciting ride.

And that leaves the engineers.

Now, if you are a Dilbert reader—all truly well-rounded people are—you know that engineers are the only smart ones in the bunch.

But here’s the problem with engineers.

Now this is not a state secret, but I do not think it has ever been discussed previously outside the Pentagon—

There comes a time at some point in the development of a program, after years and years of engineer-led research, and prototypes, and tinkering, where one is literally forced to finally say, “Stop!  Stop the engineer and just build the damn thing!”

The interesting point here is the surprise among the engineers—some of whom never seem to recognize that eventually, well . . . you know.

OK, maybe I exaggerate a little bit—I do love engineering and I greatly value all our engineers, working to bring to fruition projects that are so many years in the making.

And so it is good to be among engineers, with freshly minted degrees, all of which are the fruit of long years of study and perseverance.

Today’s achievement, which you will now carry with you for the rest of your lives, is an important milestone in your careers, and one that you will always treasure.

To the Americans among you, you live in a country that, perhaps more than any other, rewards achievement, and offers endless opportunities to those who seize them.

To the many students representing more than 90 different countries among you, you have enriched us by your attendance here, and I hope that your welcome on these grounds has been as warm as the good wishes I extend to you today.

This school has benefited, and America has benefited, from the intellectual wealth you have brought to our shores—thank you for being part of the extraordinary American story.

My message today applies to you too—the large and impressive contingent of international students here today—but it is mainly addressed to those students who not only live in this country, but participate, either by birth or by choice, as citizens of it.

That message is simply this—a call to service.

2Four and a half decades ago, when a youthful President Kennedy called on Americans to “pay any price, to bear any burden” in the service of liberty, and exhorted his fellow citizens to ask not what their country could do for them, but what they could do for their country, he captivated a nation.

Later that year, that same president, on these very grounds, also issued a call to service, leading to the establishment of the Peace Corps, an avenue by which young idealists could serve their nation by going abroad with their talents, their energy, and their goodwill.

Many heeded that call to service.

Looking back at their lives, decades later, few have ever regretted their choice to serve—whether in the Peace Corps, in government, or in our military.

Young graduates in those days, having been awarded the parchment for their years of academic toil, proclaimed their eagerness to go out and “change the world.”

Today, however, it is often said that we live in a cynical age.


But America is still a deeply idealistic country, and we Americans still go through life thinking that our destiny is not written in the stars, and that we have the power to chart our own course in life.

Indeed, we do.

And, in fact, young graduates today still leave the graduation stage with fervent hopes and boundless optimism in their power to change the world.

The clarion call to service 46 years ago fell on many receptive ears.

That call still does so today.

I call on you to serve—to serve something larger than yourselves—your family, your community, your nation.

I suspect that few of you realize just how valuable your contributions to our society can be as you advance in your careers.

Just consider this somewhat startling fact from the historical record:

Engineers have been more responsible than doctors for the dramatic increase in life expectancy we have seen in America over the past century.

Yes, even more than the medical advances that this century has brought us.

How can that be, you might ask?

To illustrate, let’s take a look at the work of just one field—civil engineering.

In 1900, the male life expectancy in the U.S. was 48 years.

There were 10 miles of concrete road.

1 in 7 homes had a bathtub.

1 in 13 had a telephone.

Over the last century, the work of civil engineers has dramatically improved the lives of ordinary people.

Clean water delivered to every home was a major breakthrough, and had a huge impact.

Sewage treatment improved sanitation conditions enormously, reducing the threat of disease and raising the level of cleanliness generally.

Paved roads, trucks, refrigeration, and modern infrastructure brought fresh, clean food to every household at affordable prices.

The net impact of these efforts has been an increase in the average life expectancy from 48 to 74 years.

That is no small achievement—although few think about or realize the role of engineers in bringing it about.

The truth is, engineering is a noble profession, and by working as an engineer, you can serve your fellow man and your community.

Whether you use your knowledge of engineering in the private sector, or in government, your career will likely involve productive activities that can greatly benefit society.

But my call to service goes beyond that.

In addition to your work as valued, productive members of society, you will have an opportunity to find other ways of doing good, of giving back, of making your passage on earth one that others will point to with gratitude.

One way to do so is through volunteer work.

There is a long history in the United States of a spirit of volunteerism, a characteristic of American society that deeply impressed Alexis de Tocqueville more than a century and a half ago.

Americans still look to De Tocqueville as the most insightful observer of the American character and of American ways.

4On the subject of our extraordinary tendency to volunteer, to join clubs, and to organize civic groups that participate in activities of all kinds, De Tocqueville wrote:

“Americans of all ages, all stations of life, and all types of disposition are forever forming associations . . .   In democratic countries knowledge of how to combine is the mother of all other forms of knowledge; on its progress depends that of all the others.”

That was true about us in the 1830’s, and it remains true today in communities large and small across this land.

A huge percentage of the community-based and professional-based organizations in this country depend on volunteers to operate.

The great majority of those associations carry no financial rewards—none whatsoever.

In fact, I suspect that most of those actually carry costs associated with the hours of volunteering that support them.

But for many people, their participation in volunteer work is one of the most rewarding aspects of their lives.

I urge you to consider making volunteer work an important part of your lives.

Now, the desire to serve – give even more meaning to one’s life through service – can overtake a person in unexpected ways, and at various stages in life.

As you begin your journey down this new road in your life, there will be events that will cause you to step back, re-evaluate, and decide to explore different paths.

In my own case, a series of traumatic events in my life led me to re-assess my place in the world, eventually leading me to heed the call of service that has resulted in my standing before you today.

9/11 affected me profoundly.

Most Americans were deeply shocked and saddened by the events of 9/11.

I grew up just outside New York City, and a number of people I have known since childhood were lost during the attacks.

Less than two years later, 10 people in my company were killed and more than 60 were wounded in Saudi Arabia during terrorist attacks in Riyadh.

I arrived on the scene shortly afterwards, and saw what had happened to my employees and to their families.

It was very hard to see this happen to people I knew.

5But consoling their families both in Riyadh and back home was even harder.

I wanted to do something, but I did not know what.

That was my life-changing event, my call to service.

I owed it to those innocent people who were killed, and I owed it to my country—a country that is the very symbol of hope and opportunity to millions around the world—to serve. And not just as a part-time volunteer.

The choice that I made to leave the private sector and enter government service has changed my life.

I can honestly say that the past 16 months in my current job have been the most satisfying and the most rewarding time of my life—and not by the most common, outward measures.

My sense of satisfaction stems from working with Sailors and Marines who serve their country with the most unabashed patriotism, devotion, and courage that it would be impossible not to feel humbled by their examples of service.

It’s hard to fully appreciate the heroism and the sacrifice of those who serve in uniform, who put their lives on the line for their country, and who are simply proud to have an opportunity to serve.

My admiration for them has only grown with time, and they inspire me daily.

From the corpsmen on the hospital ship MERCY on a humanitarian mission to Indonesia, to the Sailors on Navy ships protecting shipping lanes in international waters, to Marines on the ground in Iraq trying to bring peace to a troubled land, all of them make me feel honored to belong to an organization dedicated to answering the nation’s call to service.

There are milestones and turning points in all of our lives.

And today is a big one in yours.

But there will be many more to follow.

It is my hope that in your individual passages in life, some of the turning points along the way will lead you to serve your nation and your community in ways you had not considered before.

None of us is required to serve.

We live in a country in which it is possible to live quite well, enjoying all the rights and opportunities America has to offer, without ever having to worry much about the responsibilities that come with them.

As graduates of a top university, with a degree in one of the most demanding fields, and with knowledge that will lead to successful careers, you do not have to serve.

My call to service can safely be ignored.

But someday, you might want to re-consider.

Someday, you might just remember that a life well-lived, a truly satisfying career, and a meaningful journey across the years may lie in choosing the path of service.

Today, all of us stand on the shoulders of those who have served, who have built this great country, and have left us with an opportunity to enjoy the blessings of liberty.

I hope you will all build upon those blessings and lend your talents to a great and worthy cause—by answering the call to service.

Congratulations to all of you; good luck, and best wishes in your future endeavors.

Go Blue!



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Current Strategy Forum, U.S. Naval War College

Current Strategy Forum, U.S. Naval War College

Remarks by Dr. Donald C. Winter, Secretary of Navy

Newport, RI Tuesday, June 12, 2007


Thank you, Admiral Shuford, for that kind introduction.  It is always great to be in Newport, a town with a long history as a laboratory and birthplace of ideas, leaders, and strategies for the United States Navy.

The theme of this year’s symposium is a very important and thought-provoking point of departure for this group of scholars and Naval officers.

Today I would like to share with you my thoughts on maritime strategy from a point of view somewhat beyond a strictly maritime perspective.  The discussions at maritime strategy symposia such as this one often focus on classic maritime missions.

But I think it is important to note that there is a broader spectrum of maritime operations to consider.  For that reason, it is worth looking at the Navy and Marine Corps through this lens from both an historical and current perspective.

The Navy and Marine Corps must remain prepared at all times to conduct Naval operations at sea.  Such traditional priorities as force projection from the sea, supremacy in the littorals, and protection of vital sea lanes will always be our core missions.  Indeed, let us never forget the inspiring words of Douglas MacArthur on importance of never losing focus, as he said: “And through all this welter of change and development, your mission remains fixed, inviolable.  It is to win our wars.  Everything else in your professional career is but corollary to this vital dedication.”

But while never forgetting our core naval missions, we should also recognize that America’s political leaders have long viewed the Navy and Marine Corps from a larger perspective as well, and we can see a commonality of activities today that have a long historical precedent.

Today the threat from piracy is centered off the Somali coast.  In Thomas 1Jefferson’s day, the depredations from Barbary pirates were the chief threat to our economic interests overseas.  Our leaders then, as today, turned to the Navy and Marine Corps to protect our interests.

Today, the U.S. is extensively involved in combating human trafficking.  A century and a half ago, ships such as an earlier name-sake of the newly-christened TRUXTON conducted anti-slavery patrols.  From the beginning of the Republic, presidents of the United States have used the Navy and Marine Crops extensively.

In the mid-18th century, President Millard Fillmore turned to the Navy when he charged Commodore Matthew Perry with the mission to carry a letter to the Japanese Emperor, thus resulting in the historic opening of Japan in 1854.  But it was perhaps President Theodore Roosevelt—himself a former assistant secretary of the Navy—who was the first president to fully appreciate that the Navy was much more than just a navy.

The Navy’s traditional mission of fighting other fleets did not preclude roles and missions beyond warfighting at sea.  Greatly influenced by Mahan, and drawing on America’s history as a maritime power going back to Jefferson’s reliance on the Navy and Marine Corps to battle the Barbary pirates, Roosevelt believed that great powers needed great navies to play a leading role on the world stage.  To that end, he believed that the Navy was uniquely equipped to serve in what could be termed diplomatic capacities in support of our interests around the world.

There are a number of reasons why the Navy enjoys advantages in the diplomatic arena that have resulted in its prominent role as an effective instrument of our policy of engagement with other nations.

Navies have been naturally inclined to cooperate and communicate with each other throughout history, with the code of the mariner imposing a duty on all the Sailors to help a fellow Sailor in distress, friend or foe.  Our history of cooperative ventures with mariners of other nations is combined with a unique international presence that our port visits represent.  Together they have resulted in a long track record of successful Naval involvement on the diplomatic front, with many initiatives that continue to bear fruit.

Theodore Roosevelt’s idea to send a fleet of 16 U.S. battleships on a world tour, beginning in December 1907, was a dramatic gesture aimed at audiences both at home and abroad.  To the world, the message was that the United States had arrived as a 2significant world power, outward-looking, and filled with goodwill towards every nation.

To the public of this great country, the message was that you have a Navy to be proud of, and that the strength of the U.S. Navy is a primary source of our status as a nation of influence and power.

The impact of the Great White Fleet on both audiences was enormous, with consequences that resonated for years and even decades afterward.  As cities in South America, Australia, and elsewhere around the world vied with each other to turn out the biggest crowds and host the most extravagant parties, the tradition of the U.S. Navy playing a leading role in our nation’s engagement policy was established.

The cruise also established a precedent for responding quickly to disasters to provide humanitarian assistance.  As the Great White Fleet was taking on fuel in Port Said, Egypt during December 1908, the fleet commander received word that a terrible earthquake had struck Messina, Italy.  Four of the ships were then immediately dispatched to Messina.  The Sailors and Marines who arrived at the scene of devastation then rendered assistance in every possible way to the survivors, making a strong, positive impression on not only the Italian people but on world opinion at large.

At home, the impact of our historic world cruise was equally momentous.

President Roosevelt’s Great White Fleet had an enduring influence on the attitude on the people of the United States toward their Navy.  The impressive display of seapower helped to impress upon the minds of the public an understanding that their country’s security and place in the world required a strong Naval capability.

One way we have been able to accomplish our global objectives is through medical diplomacy.  For example, American missionaries established a dispensary and then a hospital in Bahrain in 1893.

The American Mission Hospital in Bahrain, which still operates, has treated members of the royal family and countless other citizens of Bahrain from all walks of life for more than a century now.  Bahraini officials point to the construction of that hospital as a seminal event in their country’s history, and our contributions to the health and welfare of Bahrainis continue to earn us gratitude and goodwill.  That hospital not only relieved suffering and healed the sick, but it became a powerful and enduring symbol of warm, friendly U.S.-Bahraini relations, and was certainly a key factor in Bahrain’s decision to host the 5th fleet.

In this century we have witnessed an expansion of this kind of goodwill venture to other nations as well.  Recent disasters such as the tsunami that struck Indonesia in December 2004 underscored the Navy and the Marine Corps’ potential to conduct medical diplomacy in support of friends, allies, and nations that we would like to turn into friends and allies.

The potential impact in earning goodwill among nations is significant.  In Pakistan, a country where Osama bin Laden was viewed favorably by 65 percent of the people, favorable views of the United States approximately doubled after our relief efforts there in the wake of the tsunami and a devastating earthquake.  Similar results have been reported in Indonesia as well.

Today, medical diplomacy has become an important tool of the U.S. government, with the hospital ships MERCY and COMFORT routinely embarked on world cruises to areas of the world that are in desperate need of both basic and advanced medical care.

Not only are hospital ships engaged in medical diplomacy, but combatants are as well.  As we speak, USS PELELIU is embarked on a four-month humanitarian mission to the Philippines, Vietnam, and a number of Pacific islands, serving areas with the greatest

health care needs and showcasing one of the Navy’s best diplomatic tools.

The Navy’s diplomatic function has also been increasingly engaged in area of counter-piracy.  The successes we have achieved over the last few years have come about as a result of navies working together in pursuit of a common interest.

We see a similar story today in the protection of international commerce through the Strait of Hormuz.  The multinational task force in the Arabian Gulf is a coordinated effort that not only protects our economic interests, but establishes mutually beneficial relationships with countries that are important to our national security in many areas.

We enjoy advantages that the State Department is not designed to possess, and, indeed, the Department of the U.S. Navy, in many aspects, acts as the operational arm of the diplomatic corps.

Our assets give us the ability to conduct Non-Combat Evacuation Operations, the Lebanon NEO last July being only the most recent example.  In fact, sending U.S.

Marines to the rescue has a long history, and presidents have sent them to recover our 4citizens—such as when Lieutenant Presley O’Bannon and his detachment of seven Marines were dispatched to Tripoli.  Sometimes even the threat of putting Marines ashore is enough to bring about the desired result—as was the case in Liberia in 1996, where Marines off the coast stood ready to intervene.

Diplomacy is a valuable tool, yes.  But diplomacy backed by a force of Marines five miles offshore, with helos on deck and ready for launch often carries more weight.

All these operations show that we have at our disposal significant resources not otherwise available to the State Department—to include Marine Security Forces at embassies—that provide us with a range of engagement options.  This continuum of operations is advantaged by the fact that the Navy’s presence can be non-intrusive, and modulated as conditions require.

The importance of this feature has been underscored in recent years.  Having experienced the limitations on access to foreign bases at the beginning of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM, we have been reminded once again of the utility of having U.S. Naval assets available.  Given the dynamic nature of coalitions, reliance on having access to bases ashore cannot be guaranteed.  But with our ships we do not need a permission slip, and we can count on them, regardless of the shifting political winds that sweep the geopolitical landscape.

The Navy and Marine Corps are unique among the services with sustained presence, and minimal footprint—features that are particularly valuable in peacetime conditions.  As conditions change, the Navy and Marine Corps can be counted to respond as the situation requires.

But there is another aspect to Navy-based diplomacy as well.  With a military force conducting diplomacy, there is an implicit understanding that, when diplomacy fails, other measures can be brought to bear on a situation.  In other words, there is both a carrot and a stick.  And carrots without a credible stick do not get you very far—especially in dangerous, violent neighborhoods.

The U.S. Navy has historically been a major provider of dissuasion and deterrence forces.  One could even argue persuasively, in my view, that the Navy’s strategic deterrence assets—as much as anything else—won the Cold War.

Today the Navy is playing an increasingly critical role in deterrence and dissuasion.  SSBN’s, of course, have long been the mainstay of our deterrent force.  The survivability of SSBN’s in the event of an attack was, and remains, the ultimate deterrent factor.

In recent times, however, there has been a significant adjustment in our deterrent posture, with capital ships, particularly aircraft carriers, providing deterrent and dissuasive value as well, offering the commander in chief a full spectrum of response options.  To that end, there has been a shift in assets to the West Coast in response to changing conditions, and recognition that a strategic dispersal of assets needs to be maintained.

Strategic dispersal of our fleet is both a protective measure and a passive deterrence measure, and it is one important factor in both our homeporting decisions and our maintenance of transient piers.  The vulnerability of critical assets to an attack—whether nuclear, chemical, biological, or conventional—requires strategic dispersal calculations to enter into the equation.

Given these conditions, the principle of strategic dispersal will be an important consideration in our Force Laydown decisions.

Another critical aspect of our deterrence posture concerns the Navy’s growing contributions to missile defense.  The nuclear triad—long the cornerstone of our nation’s strategic posture—has been redefined, and the Navy’s role in it is evolving.

The concept of strategic defense has been transformed into a need to execute both defensive and offensive operations.  This change—driven by real world events such as North Korea’s drive to achieve nuclear weapons capability—prompts an obvious question:  Should the surface component be a part of strategic deterrence?

Our assets are part of a layered defense structure, with AEGIS cruisers providing both sensors and shooters to our missile defense capability.  The geographical leverage that Naval forces provide gives us the potential capability to neutralize problems early—specifically, during the all-critical boost and near-boost phases of a missile launch.  Only the Navy has the access we need to intercept threats as far away from our shores as possible.

The leverage of sea-based missile defense also gives flexibility in dealing with a dynamic environment from both an adversary and coalition point of view.  The location of where today’s threats might emerge and where they may target is characterized by geographical uncertainties.  What is more certain is that the number of countries that possess ballistic and cruise missile capability continues to trend upwards, increasing the number of scenarios in which missile defense could be employed.  This makes missile defense provided by Navy ships a clear and compelling option.

The recent successful test in the Pacific performed by USS LAKE ERIE demonstrated that we could simultaneously defend the country against a ballistic missile while also defending the ship.  With this success, the Navy’s potential in this area has clearly moved to a much higher level.  It also calls into question the objective of the Navy’s missile defense capability—should it be used to protect the United States, its allies, and our interests, or should it be limited to protecting our own forces?

It is clear that we do need to broaden our perspective—the range of potential threats extends far beyond those posed by, for example, a North Korea.  National leaders, given that reality, will naturally turn to the Navy to address this challenge.

The success we have enjoyed in developing missile defense is dependent on our knowledge of the airspace, and the complete integration of sensors and shooters.  But that integration does not go far enough.  To have a complete sea-air-space picture, we also must develop a similar system, integrating sensors and shooters in the maritime domain.

We have already seen the value of the Automatic Identification System in terms of safety, information exchange, and navigation assistance.  In many ways, AIS is an extension of what has already been done with airspace, conferring benefits to all participating nations.  With Maritime Domain Awareness, we are seeing more and more nations willing to cooperate, sharing information that is in the interest of all who participate in this global tracking system.

We must also recognize, however, that there will be limitations and constraints on AIS when operations that go beyond trade and transport are involved.  There is a clear requirement to supplement AIS to provide combat support capability to our maritime forces.

MDA capabilities will greatly enhance our ability to conduct the core Navy and Marine Corps missions of force projection from the sea, supremacy in the littorals, and protection of vital sea lanes.  MDA will also enable us to work more effectively with our international and interagency maritime partners around the globe.

From the beginning, our MDA efforts have included the Coast Guard.    And as our MDA capabilities expand and evolve into a truly global capability, our cooperation and coordination with the Coast Guard and international partners will also grow.  MDA supports our engagement efforts with foreign nations, complements missile defense, and serves our national security interests in every vital region, thus making MDA a cornerstone of our overall maritime strategy.

I have briefly touched on several bigger-than-the-Navy areas which figure prominently in the overall strategy deliberations of our national security policy leaders.

This is not to suggest that any of our more traditional roles will become less important in the decades ahead.

The truth is, commanders-in-chief have always—especially since Theodore Roosevelt—looked upon the Department of the Navy differently.

As a maritime nation with maritime interests, the United States Navy and Marine Crops are destined to figure prominently in our overall military strategy across the entire range of military and diplomatic operations.

I urge all of you include in your discussions of our maritime strategy a discussion of that strategy from a non-maritime, more global strategy perspective as well.

Presidents since the Founding Fathers—who had a visceral understanding of the need for a strong military against capricious tyrants—have turned to the Navy and Marine Crops to meet this country’s national security challenges.  And there can be no doubt that they will continue to do so in the future.  Thank you.



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Danny Deitz Memorial Dedication

Danny Deitz Memorial Dedication

Remarks by Dr. Donald C. Winter Secretary of Navy

Berry Park Extension, Littleton, CO Wednesday – July 4, 2007

Patsy, Cindy, Dan and the rest of the Dietz family, Congressman Tancredo, Admiral Kernan, Mayor Taylor, Mike Thorton, ladies and gentlemen, I am greatly honored to join you in paying tribute to an American hero on a day when all Americans are called upon to consider the meaning of the American story.

231 years ago, with a stirring declaration of independence from the most powerful country on the globe, America was born and the world changed in ways that could not possibly have been imagined.

13 small, squabbling, weak mini-states stood up to their colonial masters and announced to the world that they would go their own way.

It was an audacious act of defiance.

Though young and in a position of extreme disadvantage relative to the great powers of the day, the people who called themselves Americans held a trump card that has always been underestimated throughout history—they had an irrepressible spirit.

It was a spirit of rebellion, and a spirit that simply could not abide restrictions on the liberties granted them—granted not by government, but by God.  Their rights were “inalienable”—no government could take them away.  And the truths that they put forward were “self-evident”—so clearly obvious that they needed no arguments in support of them.

What kind of people, the world must have wondered, would declare their independence in such an unprecedented manner!

Then, after detailing their specific grievances against their colonial masters, the signers of the Declaration pledged to each other their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor.  In making that pledge, they made a solemn commitment to defend what they had created.  They knew that liberty had a price.  The republic would need to be defended, and it would require fellow patriots to sacrifice on behalf of freedom.

Today we honor the kind of patriot whom the Founders would have been immensely proud of, and would have extolled as a guardian of their hard-won achievement.   Gunner’s Mate Second Class Danny Dietz was with us for only 25 years.  But Danny’s short life was touched with greatness.  The people who knew him best—those with whom he served, those who grew up

alongside him, and those who molded his character along the way in this very community—were not surprised that Danny was able to reach the greatest heights before his life was cut short by a terrorist enemy.  They were not surprised that the Navy saw in him something that they saw too—that here was a young man who had a special, rare quality that separated him from his peers.  He had an irrepressible spirit—and courage, and inner strength, and a devotion to the warrior ethos.

And so Danny was invited to follow the path of true warriors—that of a Navy SEAL.  The elite community of Navy SEAL’s are the bravest of the brave, the most daring, and the most tenacious fighters to be found.

Indeed, SEAL’s are famous the world over for their ability to accomplish the near impossible—on land, in the air, and at sea.  Only the best are qualified to join their ranks.

Danny Dietz, it was soon clear, belonged among them.

Danny Dietz’s career as a SEAL took him on missions far from home, where he was assigned to take part in some of the most sensitive, important military operations of our country.  Having proven himself again and again as a Navy SEAL, Danny Dietz was assigned to serve in a four-man Special Reconnaissance element operating in a remote region of Afghanistan in June 2005 when fate intervened to reveal the full extent of his heroic character.

On 28 June, Danny Dietz and his team found themselves face to face with the enemy.  They took fire from a numerically superior force operating from higher ground, and Dietz was wounded in a barrage of enemy fire.

Despite his injuries, the warrior in him—his irrepressible spirit—would not allow him to take leave of the field of battle.  His teammates would come first.  And so he continued to fight on bravely until mortal wounds at last put an end to this heroic, final chapter of his life.

Danny Dietz’ soul now belongs to God, but his acts of valor belong to history.  He was taken too soon from us, but he leaves behind a legacy that inspires us today, and serves as a shining example of heroism and courage for future generations to follow in his footsteps.

For his valor, Danny was awarded the Navy Cross last September in a ceremony in Washington, DC, and I was deeply honored to have had the opportunity to present that truly distinguished award to his family.

Today, it is particularly gratifying to see that his sacrifice is being recognized by the people of Littleton with a statue that does justice to the heroic nature of his service.  We build monuments when we, as a society, wish to make a statement about the enduring values that we hold dear.  Courage, sacrifice, heroism, selfless service—these are values that led to our independence more than two centuries ago, and they are values that we will always cherish in the future.

This beautiful memorial, with echoes of that American icon—the Minuteman Statue on Battle Green Square in Lexington, Massachusetts—is a fitting tribute to a great defender of freedom.  Today we look at the Minuteman Statue and we are reminded of the heroes who made our freedom possible more than two centuries ago.  Years from now, people will look upon this statue and be reminded of the heroism of a son of Colorado whose country he was proud to serve.

On this day of our nation’s birth, let us remember the audacious spirit of defiance and courage of our Founders—the same spirit that animated the life of an American hero who died to keep it alive: Danny Dietz.  Thank you for coming here today to honor one of your own, and one of our nation’s finest.

May God bless the Dietz family, and may God bless America.


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Recruit Training Center Graduation

Recruit Training Center Graduation

Remarks by  Dr. Donald C. Winter Secretary of the Navy

Naval Station Great Lakes Great Lakes, Illinois Friday – August 3, 2007


Captain Andrews, graduates, ladies and gentlemen, I am honored to be here today to personally congratulate this class of graduates, and to welcome you to the Fleet.

First, I would like to say a special thanks to the Recruit Division Commanders.

I know that your official job descriptions do not mention your roles here as disciplinarians, mentors, role models, mothers, fathers, as well as leaders to those entrusted to your care.

But you know that you are all of those things and more.

You have developed a keen appreciation for the many roles of an RDC, and for the importance of your leadership position in molding recruits into the best-trained, most capable Sailors in the world.

I want you all to know that you have done a superb job in pushing this class of boots.

The Navy puts so much emphasis on getting the right people assigned to Great Lakes for a reason—and today you can begin to see why.

Thank you, and well done!

Next, I would like to say a word to the parents of the graduating class.

Welcome to the Navy family.

Many of you are already members of the Navy family, and many of you were instrumental in encouraging today’s new members to consider a military career.

Whatever your previous connections to the Navy, it is important that all of you understand that your support is critical to the Sailor’s success, and to the effectiveness of the Navy.

Thank you for coming here today.  Your presence speaks volumes.

By leading your young charges onto the path of service in the U.S. Navy, you have played an important role in raising the generation of young patriots who will keep America free in the years ahead.

I urge you to continue to support these fine young Sailors throughout their many adventures in the Navy at home and abroad.

And now I would like to address the graduates.

I know that since the day you walked into that recruiter’s office—perhaps with no small degree of apprehension—much has changed in your lives.

Many of your parents and close relatives—so many of whom traveled great distances to be with you today—may have shared in those feelings of apprehension when you signed the bottom line.

But I daresay that all of them, seeing you standing before us today with such confidence and professional bearing, are filled with pride in your achievement, and excitement over the adventures that lie ahead.

I find that it is always an interesting question to ask the Sailors I meet, “Why did you join the Navy?”

The most common answers I hear are:

“I wanted to see the world.”

“The Navy will help me get a college education.”

“After 9/11, I felt a desire to serve.”

“I wanted to do something with my life.”

“I wanted something besides a 9-5 desk job.”

“Serving in the Navy is a family tradition.”

I hear such responses again and again everywhere I go.

More interesting still is when I ask some of the older Sailors, “Why did you stay Navy?”

The answers vary, but I am struck by the fact that virtually all of them believe that joining the Navy was the right thing to do, that when they go home they feel proud to tell friends and family about their careers, and that service in the Navy has been a benefit to their lives and to the Nation.

I am reminded of a recent encounter I had with a first class petty officer in Detroit who had gotten out of the Navy, but who had then decided, upon further reflection, that getting out had been a huge mistake.

I asked him why.

He said that he missed the camaraderie, he missed being a part of something larger than himself, and he missed the feeling of pride he felt as a member of the military.

I think that all of you today, surrounded by family and friends, are getting a first taste of what being in the Navy means to those who serve in uniform.

I know that when I think about my own father and grandfather, who enlisted in World War I and World War II, I am always filled with pride.

They were always proud to have served, and to have devoted so many years to the United States Navy.

All of you voluntarily joined the Navy after 9/11—during a time of war, and during a time when great demands are being made on those who wear the uniform.

War is an ugly thing, but America is a great country—and our freedoms and our way of life are worth defending.

Do not forget that we have been tested before and that we have faced great challenges in our history.

Thanks to people like you, we will again rise to the occasion—and prevail.

In dangerous times, and on occasions such as this one, I am reminded of one of my favorite Theodore Roosevelt quotes.

Theodore Roosevelt, by the way, before he became president, was an Assistant Secretary of the Navy and a passionate believer in the importance of having a strong Navy.

In any case, President Roosevelt was also a constant supporter of those who acted—as opposed to those who stood back and criticized those who did.

In Roosevelt’s words:

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better.

The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends 3himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

I say to you that you are all in the arena, doers of deeds, and making history as a part of the United States Navy.

You are embarked on a noble endeavor, and I challenge you to dare greatly as you carry out your duties in defense of a great Nation.

Congratulations to all of you.

God bless you and your families, and may God bless America!



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25th DARPA Systems and Technology Symposium

25th DARPA Systems and Technology Symposium

Remarks by  Dr. Donald C. Winter Secretary of the Navy

Anaheim Marriott Anaheim, CA Wednesday – August 8, 2007


Dr. Tether, thank you for that kind introduction, and thank you for your work leading an institution that has been critical to US national security since its creation in 1958.

With great successes in achieving military technology breakthroughs, DARPA has earned a reputation as an organization where brilliant minds gather to solve problems that once seemed insurmountable.

Our nation has benefited from DARPA’s work, but this is no time for DARPA to rest on its laurels.

The enemy we face today makes no secret of his goals and intentions.

It should hardly be necessary to review the countless statements of global jihadists who have called—repeatedly—for our destruction.

The single most dangerous and naïve idea that blinds some to the dangers we face is that very American idea of “live and let live”—that if only we are nice to the tiger, the tiger will leave us alone.

No, the tiger cannot be persuaded to let us live in peace.

It is not in his nature.

Similarly, there is no evidence that the nature of our enemy can somehow be changed or persuaded by words.

The enemy’s actions—from the Beirut bombings to Khobar Towers to USS COLE to 9/11—make it clear that he will come after us, regardless of changes in our policies.

And so, if you believe that America is worth defending, and that the achievements of Western civilization are valuable and precious, then we must defend ourselves against those who wish to do us harm.

Here DARPA can, once again, play a heroic role in the defense of the nation.

Over the years, DARPA’s scientists and technologists have often met with leaders of the defense community and asked them, “What keeps you up at night?”

Today, I would like to share with you some of my thoughts on sleepless nights.

* * *

Our enemy today is very different from enemies we have faced in the past, and will look different from enemies we will face in the future.

And, significantly, the old rules of war no longer apply.

The terrorism challenge we face, however, is not one of a stronger enemy or an enemy with a technological advantage.

9/11 and IED’s, for example, were not technology surprises.

Rather, they were unanticipated tactics and uses of technology, not unlike the use of kamikaze pilots in World War II.

This situation is further complicated by the Information Warfare/Public Relations offensive enabled by the enemy’s creative use of the internet.

But the use of technology is not even the main point.

We are dealing with a media-savvy enemy whose focus on killing Americans and other Westerners is combined with a very sophisticated media perspective.

Attacks are timed, designed, and located in order to maximize the media impact of their acts of mass murder.

Indeed, the enemy exploits the worldwide media to win in the court of public opinion.

Here we note a rather astonishing, even bizarre phenomenon.

How is it possible, as the columnist Thomas Friedman recently asked, that we could be losing a Public Relations war against people who blow up school buses, deliberately murder civilians, take people hostage, behead innocents, admire Hitler, and recruit new terrorists by making videos of their crimes?

Conceiving of an enemy more evil, more inhumane, more morally repugnant would be difficult, if not impossible.

And yet, moral confusion still reigns in certain quarters.

Nevertheless, for those who believe that America has a right to defend itself, we must focus on ways to use technology—one of our greatest strengths—to our advantage.

2America’s technological superiority, however, has thus far not proven decisive in this war.

Indeed, a key difference between today’s war and past conflicts is, in fact, the role of technology.

Much technology is available—often simultaneously—to all parties.

It knows no boundaries, and is limited to no one.

The same age of the internet and wireless communications that allows a teenager in Sacramento to chat with a friend in Sydney has also put innovative technologies into the very back-pocket of our adversaries.

Because of the stark differences in literacy rates, in economic development, and in technological advances between those seen in the West and the rest, we have a tendency to underestimate the ability of the enemy—whether a country or a non-state actor—to use technology.

Our image of a terrorist is, too often, that of an evildoer in a cave, not a sophisticated, well-educated engineer in a lab.

That image is very misleading, and it is very dangerous.

TV images often give us the impression of a few militants in Baghdad setting off crude devices that kill our soldiers and innocent bystanders.

On the contrary, we are seeing very sophisticated methods of recruitment, training, financing, and targeting—with video productions in support of their terrorist campaign that reflect a degree of PR expertise that is simply first-rate.

Do not forget that there are elements of the insurgency that are comprised of career intelligence officers and assassins who have decades of professional experience in running a police state.

Our image of the terrorist enemy as unsophisticated or ignorant is also misleading in another way.

People forget how much impact even just one man—take A.Q. Khan, for example—can have on the fate of nations and of the world.

Highly specialized technical knowledge, in the wrong hands, can be instantly transferred to masterminds whose lives are devoted to plotting our destruction.

With the simple click of a mouse, terrorists can transmit blueprints of attack across the globe to millions of individuals.

This technology enables them to train their followers not only in military tactics such as suicide bombings, it also allows the propagation of an ideology whose end state is our complete demise.

We must find innovative ways to defeat, disrupt, and deter their communications—and their use of asymmetric technology to attack our forces.

We need to defeat this enemy’s ability to make tactical use of technology to strategic effect.

But, as we focus on the challenges of today’s enemy, we must not ignore the possibility of future enemies or peer competitors.

In one sense, this may be our biggest challenge of all, as future adversaries have access to militarily useful technology as readily as we do.

* * *

Given these conditions, how then do we achieve technological differentiation across a wide spectrum of potential or actual enemies?

During the Cold War, the difficulty of acquiring the technology was a daunting obstacle to all but the richest and most advanced countries.

Due to the enormous resources that one needed to invest, and the limited applications of the technology, the military sector actually led the civilian sector in most areas relating to weaponry.

The capital investment required to build, for example, an ICBM missile—let alone a nuclear warhead—was huge.

The strongest economy, over time, would almost certainly prevail.

Which is precisely what happened.

What finally defeated the Soviet Union was the wide and growing gap that emerged in the technology race, coincident with the evolving economic gap.

Big science, it turned out, could be a game-changer.

In contrast to the role of technology in that epic struggle, however, today’s technologies are often available commercially.

In addition, the enormous increase in computing power capability has reduced the technical hurdles that once challenged our development of advanced weapons systems such as ICBMs.

During the Cold War, that technological achievement was produced over many years by our brightest minds.

With today’s computers, the technology edge produced by years of research has, in many cases, almost entirely evaporated due to advances in computing power alone.

We are near parity in many areas, and not differentiating ourselves as in the past based on our early access to key technologies that we translated into warfighting capability.

Today our enemies and potential adversaries have wide access to technology combined with significant financial resources, and they are developing novel ways to deploy technology before we develop new ways to counter it.

Indeed, in some areas, novel ways of deploying technology is providing a differentiator for the enemy!

There is tremendous irony in this situation—the most technologically advanced country in the world is finding that its technological edge is not always a decisive advantage.

That technological edge has been eroded by those who are not competitive in technology development, but who are focused on the application and employment of technology.

The playing field has thus been leveled, and technological differentiation takes on a new context in today’s world.

The enemy’s access to and use of technology holds true whether the enemy is a state or a non-state actor, for it is the asymmetric aspect of this competition that is the critical issue.

Not only does the enemy enjoy freedom from any legal or moral restraints, but it also benefits from a revolution in command and control possibilities in the age of the internet.

We painstakingly built a command and control infrastructure costing billions of dollars, using satellite technology and highly sophisticated systems of communication.

Non-state actors could not hope to even get in the game, at least on a global scale.

But with the internet, the barriers to entry have collapsed.

5Even a worldwide insurgency is now possible.

Thus, we must come to the inescapable conclusion that technology may not always be a decisive differentiator for us, at least in the war on terrorist enemies.

With computing power, the ability to buy technology, geographical dispersion, and the internet, fourth-rate powers willing to adopt barbaric tactics can challenge a country whose GDP now stands at over $13 trillion.

Truly, this a sobering thought, but one which should inspire us to find a more promising way forward.

* * *

Given this reality, our challenge—and DARPA’s challenge, therefore, is:  How do we re-establish our advantage?  Since DARPA is in the technology business, this implies, how do we re-establish our advantage using technology?

That, of course, assumes that we can.

Based on America’s ability to surmount great odds in the past, and our enormously resourceful and creative population, I believe that we can—and we must.

Our efforts must continue to be aimed at preventing technology surprise.

We must also prevent or counter potential enemies from gaining an advantage by using commercially available technologies.

Many of the weapons that threaten us today are different from those that threatened us in the past, although the weapons produced by big science are still with us.

From the suicide bomber to nuclear weapons, we must be prepared to counter them, and the Department of the Navy continues to look to DARPA for solutions.

* * *

Clearly, there are a number of areas where DARPA could help us address the challenges posed by today’s enemy and tomorrow’s potential adversaries—some of whom openly speak of challenging us through “unrestricted warfare.”

The very fact that we must confront today’s enemy—while simultaneously building the future fleet—means that we must focus on both long and short-term challenges.

The obvious conclusion from this brief discussion—aside from the fact that sleepless nights are part of my job description—is that I think we need to do a lot more to use technology to our advantage.

Technology has thus far not been the decisive factor in this war.

But I do believe that technology has the potential to help us win this war, and that DARPA can be an enormously valuable asset in this great struggle against an enemy that threatens every liberty we hold dear. We need you, and we need DARPA to again play the heroic role it played in bringing the Cold War to an end in helping us fight today’s war on the terrorists who threaten us.

With your help, I remain confident that the side whose people have possessed a can-do spirit from its very birth will find a way to overcome the dangers in our midst.

Thank you for all your hard work, and may God bless America.



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Chief of naval Operations Assumption of Office Ceremony

Chief of naval Operations Assumption of Office Ceremony

Remarks by Donald C. Winter, Secretary of the Navy

Washington Navy Yard Washington, DC Thursday, October 11, 2007


Admiral Roughhead, General Conway, Admiral Gay, ladies and gentlemen, I am very pleased to be here today to welcome Admiral Gary Roughead as Chief of Naval Operations.

Admiral Roughead assumes this responsibility during a time of war, taking over from Admiral Mike Mullen, who has been called to serve in a new capacity, as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

For the past two years, Admiral Mullen served with distinction as the CNO and a lead partner of the Navy-Marine Corps team.

He brings with him to the job of Chairman a tremendous wealth of experience, strategic thinking, and a level of dedication that is simply inspirational.

I would like to thank him for his service, his guidance, and his friendship.

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Deborah for her tireless efforts on behalf of Sailors and Marines and their families wherever they are found.

I wish them well, and I look forward to working with both of them in their new roles.

As Admiral Mullen moves forward, Admiral Roughead is faced with the daunting challenges of taking the helm of the Navy at a challenging time in our nation’s history.

Those who serve in uniform never forget that we are at war with a ruthless enemy that makes no secret of his goals.

Our Navy is today supporting military operations against terrorists at sea, and conducting operations against the same enemy on land—in Iraq, in Afghanistan, and on other fronts around the world.

With more than 25,000 Sailors in the Central Command Area of Responsibility, the Navy today is directly engaged in the war effort on land and at sea in a manner and magnitude that is unprecedented.

From providing maritime security in the Northern Arabian Gulf, to deploying to 1the Euphrates the first Riverine squadron since Vietnam, to conducting carrier operations off the coast, to working alongside Marines and Soldiers as corpsmen, Seabees,

Electronic Warfare Officers, and Explosive Ordnance Disposal crews, our Sailors are executing missions that are indispensable to the war effort, and they are performing heroically in difficult conditions.

But make no mistake—this war is global in nature, affecting operations far beyond the CENTCOM AOR.

Intelligence gathering, interdiction, and other anti-terrorist missions are being carried out worldwide, and although they rarely make headlines, they are critical to our success in defeating this enemy.

But while the Navy is at war, we also must prepare for future challenges.

We must never lose sight of the singular importance of Naval power in deterring aggression and providing combat power when and where needed.

We do not have the gift of clairvoyance.

We cannot plan for a future along known paths.

We must be prepared for many future paths, many dangers, and many potential threats.

And that requires, above all, a long-term perspective and a long-term commitment to building a Navy capable of meeting 21st century challenges.

Given the uncertain future path of potential adversaries, the growing concern over nuclear and missile technology proliferation, and the increased focus on Naval power by many nations, we simply cannot afford to reduce our historical commitment to supremacy at sea.

Our new Chief of Naval Operations shares this point of view.

We both believe that America is a maritime nation with maritime interests that are growing in importance in this age of globalization.

We both believe that we must modernize our fleet, transform the way we acquire those assets, and remain committed to our ambitious shipbuilding plan.

We both believe that the Navy-Marine Corps team and our expeditionary capability represent a unique and invaluable component of our national defense.

And we both believe that our cooperative engagement policy is critical to our 2future national security.

Admiral Roughead is a man with a long-term, strategic perspective, and a long track record as an exceptionally talented leader in challenging positions of responsibility in command at sea and on shore.

He is the right leader to assume command of the Navy during these challenging times, and he takes the helm of an organization of which America is justly proud.

A brilliant strategist, a visionary leader, and a skillful navigator of the ways of Washington, Admiral Roughead is superbly qualified to build on the legacy of his predecessor as the Navy faces the dual challenge of fighting today’s war while also building the fleet of the future.

It is clear that Admiral Roughead’s work as Commander, Pacific Fleet is having a real impact on that region.

His policy of active and deeper engagement with the nations in the Pacific Area of Responsibility, and his tireless efforts to broaden our cooperative security relations in maritime domain awareness, missile defense, and intelligence-sharing with partner nations, have improved America’s position in this increasingly important area of the world.

He is a pragmatic internationalist who understands the necessity of working cooperatively with other nations, as partners, in support of common interests, in fighting terrorists, serving security interests, and promoting economic prosperity among peoples of every nation.

It is a perspective he brought to Fleet Forces Command as well, and one that he will apply to our ever-expanding engagement efforts.

In his new role as CNO, Admiral Roughead also brings a perspective that puts great emphasis on recruiting, developing, and supporting our people.

America is lucky to have young patriots willing to volunteer and serve their country in a time of war, at a time of low unemployment, and at a time when many other opportunities and paths beckon.

And yet they and their families serve.

Admiral Roughead leads a Navy that is comprised of a generation of young Sailors who continue a nearly 232 year old tradition of standing watch in defense of a great nation.

It is impossible not to feel enormous pride in serving alongside them.

Admiral, congratulations on your new assignment.

I treasured the close relationship I enjoyed with your predecessor, and I trust that we will continue in the same spirit.

Finally, Linda and I would like to welcome Ellen onboard.

We are delighted to have you on the team, and we look forward to working with you both in the days and months ahead.

Thank you.



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