Sea-Service Leaders Chart
By Terri Moon Cronk, DoD News,
Defense Media Activity.
Washington D.C. – (DoD
News) – February 13, 2015 – Producing more amphibious ships, staying on top
of cybersecurity needs and facing new challenges in the Asia-Pacific region are
some of the priorities of the sea-service leaders, a panel concluded at the
Western Conference and Exposition in San Diego yesterday.
Panel members included Marine Corps Commandant Gen. Joseph F.
Dunford Jr., Vice Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Michelle J. Howard and Coast
Guard Commandant Adm. Paul F. Zukunft. The Armed Forces Communications and
Electronics Association International and the U.S. Naval Institute organized the
“Making sure we have Navy ships for the future is the most
important part of our budget,” Howard said.
Navy and Marine Corps strategies come from the seas, Dunford
added. And the Marine Corps needs about 20 more amphibious warships than the 31
now in existence, he added.
More Amphibious Ships
“There is a requirement for over 50 [amphibious] ships on a
day-to-day basis,” Dunford said, adding that number is what combatant commanders
Connectors to move Marines from sea to shore, whether for
forward operations or crisis response, also is a critical need, the Marine Corps
The Navy is looking at its “best balance” in ship building,
given budget constraints, Howard said. “We’ll continue to [look at] how to build
[ships] for the long term,” she said.
The Coast Guard sees as challenges the rising poverty,
corruption, increased cocaine trafficking and smuggling in some Central American
countries, Zukunft said. Crime in the region is putting strain on Coast Guard
capabilities and assets, he said.
Rising crime and instability in some Central American
countries has also led to a significant increase in the amount of cocaine the
Coast Guard intercepts, Zukunft said. Meanwhile, he said, the Coast Guard’s
acquisition budget has declined 40 percent.
Cybersecurity is another top concern of the three sea-service
leaders. “The Navy has a big focus on cybersecurity,” Howard said. “[But,] we
must have better systems. We’re working to be premier warfighters in the [cybersecurity]
Dunford agreed that cybersecurity concerns present numerous
challenges. Zukunft noted that private industry has solicited the Coast Guard
for cybersecurity tips following the Sony attack.
“Cybersecurity is critical to our economy,” Zukunft said. The
Coast Guard, he added, expects to roll out its latest cybersecurity strategy
(Follow Terri Moon Cronk on Twitter: @MoonCronkDoD)
Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr.
Adm. Michelle J. Howard
Adm. Paul F. Zukunft
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