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    Defense Forum Washington 2013

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    Physical Address: 555 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W., Washington, DC 20001

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    Welcome Remarks

    VADM Peter H. Daly, USN (Ret.) opened the US Naval Institute’s Defense Forum Washington 2013, “Shaping the Maritime Strategy and Navigating the Budget Gap Reality,” at the Knight Conference Center at the Newseum in Washington, DC on 10 December, with an expression of gratitude for those who came out for the event during inclement weather. He acknowledged the distinguished visitors attending the event, as well as the uniformed service men and women, and the forum’s sponsors USAA and Lockheed Martin.

    “We are a maritime nation,” said Daly, “Each day, units are deployed to the far corners of the earth. For the nation’s sake, and for their sake, we have an obligation to get this right.” The forum is an opportunity to address these critical issues, as the country’s longest war draws to a conclusion, a sense of isolationism is on the rise, aggression from China and the Arab world is growing, and efforts are being made to secure energy independence for the nation. Realistically, said Daly, we know that Defense will have a reduced role, but many of us realize that the sequester mechanism is exactly the wrong method to obtain budget cuts. “Both sides are looking for a way out,” he explained.

    RADM Daly then introduced Representative Forbes, the Forum’s first speaker.


    Representative J. Randy Forbes

    Representative J. Randy Forbes (R-VA), a Member of the Armed Services and Judiciary Committees and Chairman of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Seapower and Projection Forces, began by saying that RADM Daly should not feel that he had to apologize for the weather. “This is the kind of weather that we [in the Navy] love to have,” quipped Forbes. “It’s a challenge, but that’s what we’re facing today.”

    Rep. Forbes began by discussing the Congressional budget situation. “Ideally we’ll have the Defense Authorization Act out this week,” he said. “I really think we’ll see a bill come out of the House that will go over to the Senate and get passed.”

    “When I look at what we’re doing in national defense today, I can’t help but think back to the words of Thomas Jefferson, who said that this country is still the best hope for the world, a treasure beyond comparison,” said Forbes, “and I wonder if we’re doing everything today to defend and protect it.” He noted that $778 billion has been cut from national defense prior to sequestration, and that in the agreement to end the shutdown, Congress unwittingly cut an additional $55 billion. “My biggest fear is not that that happened, but that that people are starting to settle for that and saying that’s the new norm.” He argued that those numbers are insufficient to enable the military to defend the country. He asked attendees not to settle for these numbers until they’ve ascertained whether those resources are sufficient to protect the national treasure.

    Rep. Forbes observed that the country has gotten away from developing strategies that look beyond the immediate future, and has failed to make its strategies known to its allies so that they can work together. Furthermore, military leaders have failed to communicate that the role of the Navy extends beyond the wars that are being fought, and not to protect the global commons. Concerns about space and cyber warfare are also making it tougher for the United States to fulfill its mission of dominance. He noted that 85% of the world’s surface goods move over the seas, and that 95% of the world’s data is transferred by undersea cables. “The only Navy in the world that can protect [those resources] is the United States Navy,” he observed. And even brief interruptions to those channels can seriously disrupt the economy. Nevertheless, preparedness levels have declined precipitously.

    Over the next decade, China will have 8 submarines to our projected 32, but funding for more is in jeopardy. “We’ve got to stop this faucet on, faucet off approach,” he explained. “What we’re planning to do requires a sustained, predictable funding stream.” With regard to carrier strike capability, he expressed concern for the reduction in the F22 program and the proposal to reduce the F18 and F35 production lines. The risk from China is growing, and he assured the audience that his subcommittee will be looking at factors such as survivability and the number of ships available to meet these threats. It appears likely that the Navy could be reduced to 230-240 ships in the near future, he said, “and that’s just not acceptable. It is incredibly difficult to defend the global commons with only 230 or 240 [ships].”

    Rep. Forbes quoted ADM Locklear’s response to a question about why the nation was spending so much on the Navy when other countries were spending less on theirs. “If you want me to defend only San Diego and Norfolk, I’m good to go,” Rep. Forbes quoted, adding, “Don’t anyone lull you into believing this is the best we can do. It’s not.” Second, he said, it’s important to “paint pictures” for the general public about the importance of the Navy and its global mission. Third, there is a need to establish a larger grassroots network to respond to efforts to cut the military budget. “We need to ratchet that up and change that,” he argued. Lastly, he encouraged the audience to remember the reason that the Navy is there: “One, this [country] is the world’s best hope, and second, we are the backstop for freedom in the world, and we can’t get it wrong, because if we do, then none of the rest of what we do will matter.”

    Senator Tim Kaine

    Senator Tim Kaine (D - VA), a Member of the Armed Services, Budget, and Foreign Relations Committees and former Governor of Virginia, spoke next because he had to leave to make a Senate vote. He explained that while it may be a truism that former governors often end up feeling unhappy in Congress, he’s enjoying it very much so far, in particular because he is on committees that parallel his personal passions -- particularly as his son is currently serving in the Marine Corps. “Being on both the Budget and Foreign Relations Committees gives me a 360-degree view,” he explained. He recapped the problems in Congress in passing budgets, and is hopeful that the current Congress will be able to pass one.

    “Of course Virginia is very closely connected with the military,” explained Sen. Kaine, “and I’ll state that proudly in a room full of senators from anywhere.” Furthermore, he noted, many Virginia residents are involved directly or indirectly to the military. “But, if there’s a first among equals in Virginia, it’s the Navy,” he said. “We are a Navy state.” So he agrees with the President that the coming decade will be about the Navy. “This is a world that needs a flexible force more than a fixed force,” he observed. “The way to address those problems is through a expeditionary force.” Strategically, be believes it’s an important but also a very good time for the Navy.

    He does not like the term “pivoting toward Asia,” however. The threat is very real, and is being addressed, but the challenge is that our allies in Asia and the Gulf States are concerned that such a move would be at their expense. “I think the focus is on the more our forces are truly flexible, the more we can be when we need to respond wherever we need to respond.” He reminded the audience that there is a perception that national security is a zero-sum game, but pointed out that our economic and military outreach efforts are continuing where they are welcomed. It is in those countries where the United States is being asked to leave where reductions in US presence is occurring, not elsewhere. “That’s not to underestimate our challenges in Asia, or our nation’s ability to respond to them,” said Kaine. “The Navy can respond to them.” Taking Iran as an example, Kaine pointed out that “the diplomatic solution can only be possible with a credible military threat. And the Navy is critical to that.”

    With regard to the budget process, he said that he is optimistic that Congress will reach a “good, solid deal” that, while not as comprehensive as he would have liked, provides some much-needed certainty to the Navy, the military, and the nation. The committee is dedicated to normal-order budget as established in the law. “I view it as incredibly important that we do budgeting in the normal order to give certainty to our Pentagon and to our broader economy,” said Kaine. Ideally, he said, strategy would drive the budget; the second preference would be for the budget to drive strategy. The “far distant third” option, he explained, would be to let budgetary indecision drive strategy -- “and that’s the situation we’re in right now,” he said. “That’s what Congressional budgetary indecision has done.” The result is harm to not just military readiness, but also to morale. The absence of certainty also affects the economy broadly because it can cause people to hold off on making investments and hiring people. However, he believes that there’s a widespread recognition that it’s time to provide certainty to the military and the country at large, for at least the remainder of FY14 and through FY15. He hopes that the committee will also perform two-year budget reviews to ensure the process remains on track.

    The budget deal will smooth out the sequester-induced budget cuts by allowing the services to return funding as line items. Sen. Kaine ended his remarks by expressing confidence that the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) is on track for being passed by the House and then the Senate. “Stay tuned on that as well,” he said.

    The Honorable Ray Mabus

    The Honorable Ray Mabus, Secretary of the Navy, opened his remarks by reminding the audience of the mission of the US Naval Institute: “...to provide an independent forum for those who dare to read, think, speak, and write in order to advance the professional, literary, and scientific understanding of seapower and other issues critical to national defense.” “Today, more than ever, we need that kind of daring thinking,” said SECNAV Mabus. “We need innovative ideas, we need creative solutions.” He noted that the preceding speakers may have been on opposite sides of the aisle, but shared with him a dedication to ensuring that the Navy received the resources it needs to carry out its mission successfully.

    SECNAV Mabus echoed Sen. Kaine’s observation that state governors -- as both he and the Senator have been -- are required to pass a budget. “You don’t have the luxury to say, ‘We’ll get to that someday.’” Budgets and laws are passed by state legislatures all the time, so it can be done.

    The Secretary explained that the past 4 1/2 years has afforded him a unique opportunity to observe the Navy and Marine Corps, and he shared that perspective with the audience. “The value of the Navy and Marine Corps is as apparent today as it was when the nation was founded,” he said. “The framers of the Constitution understood that we have to maintain a constant and persistent presence,” he explained, recounting the many campaigns in which the services have fought through the nation’s history. “In each of those the American Navy has maintained control of the seas and guaranteed freedom of navigation between those wars, and peaceful free trade, and in doing so, has underwritten its contribution to the growth of the world economy.” The Navy responds to every call, whether combat or humanitarian aid disaster relief, recalling recent aid missions to the Philippines, Japan, and Haiti. “It’s one of the things that we do, and we are very good at it.” In fact, he noted, the US receives requests for humanitarian assistance every two weeks -- and is the only naval service in the world being capable of performing that role. That also precludes the need for securing overflight rights or permission to base. Instead, he notes, “We [the Navy] don’t have to come in from anywhere; we are already there.”

    How do we keep that presence? SECNAV Mabus explained that it requires four things: people, platforms, power, and partnerships. People are first because they are the most important asset, as the machines can’t operate without them. “We push responsibility, and we push authority down,” he explained. “We expect from junior sailors and junior officers great decision-making. We expect them to do these incredibly complex jobs and we expect them to do it every single day.”

    With regard to platforms, the Secretary observed, “at some point quantity becomes a quality all its own. We have arrested the decline of the fleet.” The post-9/11 climate saw one of the greatest buildups in the Navy’s history. In his term, the Navy has put 60 new ships in service through innovative partnerships and collaborations. In turn, the partners owe us the investment and the training to carry out their work. “There ought to be a learning curve,” he said, noting that that is happening with the work being done on the Virginia-class submarines.

    Power, in the form of energy, is critical to ensuring naval assets can be put on station and sustained. “Fuel prices surge whenever there’s an international crisis,” he noted. The “security premium” of oil price spikes since the start of the Syrian crisis have cost DOD $5 over what had been budgeted for fuel, and cost the Marines $2 billion over what the Navy had budgeted for its fuel needs. That means taking money out of operations and training, and if that’s insufficient, then that means taking money out of platforms. “I don’t think either one of those is a good choice,” the Secretary said. “I think there needs to be a third choice.” For every one-dollar spike in the price of a barrel of oil, it costs the Navy $30 million, he noted. Therefore, the Navy has set a goal that by 2020 at least half of the Navy’s fuel needs will be met by non-fossil fuel sources. He noted that the Great Green Fleet, which participated in RIMPAC 2012, used a 50/50 blend of biofuels and diesel or avgas. “You know what the good news was?” he asked. “No news.” There was no difference, other than “less gunk on the engines.” Partnerships are now being signed to scale this effort fleet wide, reaching 170 million gallons a year by 2016 for less than $3.50 a gallon. He reviewed recent progress with hybrid ships and changes in the culture as evidenced by young seamen proposing ideas for how to save fuel and energy. “That’s what we’re beginning to do around the world.”

    The defense strategy requires the Navy to focus on the Western Pacific, the Arabian Gulf, and on building partnerships. “That’s a description of the United States Navy and Marine Corps,” said SECNAV Mabus. “We are uniquely suited to going in and building partnerships.” And he added that interoperability allows the Navy to be better prepared when those times come.

    Like Sen. Kaine, the Secretary is optimistic about getting a budget deal and the NDAA. “The way we’re going puts at risk all the progress we’ve made, it puts at risk the ability to provide that presence, it puts at risk the options that we give the President.” By requiring the services to cut indiscriminately, sequestration is “just a dumb way to cut.” Just as harmful, he said -- and particularly to the Navy -- are continuing resolutions. “I have never seen a budget on time since I’ve had this job,” he said. “And when you have a continuing resolution, strange things happen. We can’t put a ship in a shipyard because it’s a new start. If we’re going to spend more money building a ship than we did the previous year, when we reach the previous year’s amount, we have to stop. Makes no sense.” Certainty, which passing the budget and the NDAA would provide, is absolutely essential. However, that does not mean that we should not spend less on defense “The American people have the right to expect that after we come out of two very long wars that we will spend less on defense,” he argued. “But, what I am saying, is that you ought to do it in a smart way, you ought to do it in a way that supports strategy, it shouldn’t be with a blunt object, and it should be with a thought of, ‘What kind of force do we want? What kind of force do we need? What would the force be able to give this country, in terms of options for this country and options for the President?’”

    Since their establishment, the United States Navy and Marine Corps have answered every call that has been asked of it, and they will continue to do so. And the work of the US Naval Institute will help it continue to do so. “It is my hope, and in fact it’s what I’m obligated to do, it’s my charge as Secretary to do everything I can to ensure that the options that the Navy and Marine Corps give to the President are there as long out as we can see.”

    “For the life of this republic, the United States Navy and Marine Corps have proven themselves to be an agile, professional, adaptable force, forward deployed,” he concluded. “There are no true homecomings for sailors and marines. Once we come home, we turn around and go back out. People who join the Navy and Marine Corps want to see what’s over the horizon. They want to see what comes next. They’re willing to sacrifice; their families are willing to sacrifice. To do that, and by doing that, they protect us all. With this forward footing, with this presence, we remain the most responsive option to defend, to represent, to protect the United States of America. And we have to endeavor, even in these difficult times, to keep it so.”

    “So from the Navy, Semper Fortis, and from the Marine Corps, Semper Fidelis, Thank you.” 

    LtCol Frank Hoffman

    Following SECNAV Mabus’ remarks, LtCol Frank Hoffman, USMCR (Ret.), a Senior Research Fellow at the National Defense University, spoke to the audience about his faith in the Marines and the value of seapower. “We sometimes have our own rites and our own sacred liturgies and our own lexicon,” he observed. “But our faith in seapower is not universally held, particularly by some outside the room.” Referring to the work of Alfred Thayer Mahan as the “Old Testament” of naval seapower, LtCol Hoffman remarked that “What we need to do now is to work on the New Testament for the 21st century.”

    He began by observing that faith in seapower is based in logic, international economics, and geopolitics. “Our security and our interests are entirely dependent on access to the seas,” he said. He noted that although the focus of the forum is on the future of maritime strategy, it is in fact not possible to know what that future is because of the budget situation and a lack of consensus. “We need a new military strategy and a new maritime strategy to support that,” he argued. However, it is not possible to make strategic decisions without the flexibility to allocate resources or appreciation for the cuts that the military has already made.

    He noted that previous speakers all expressed agreement about the importance of the Navy’s role in national defense. “No other component of American power is as flexible, adaptable, or relevant as seapower,” he said, because it extends our perimeters to protect American citizens and allies, prevents terrorist threats, and enables humanitarian intervention. But, LtCol Hoffman noted, there has not been as much discussion about the purpose or content of a maritime strategy. “I’m not sure we have a common agreement, even among those of us in the room about what a maritime strategy is or what elements should be constituents of that strategy,” he said. “A strategy isn’t about just a number and it isn’t just about an articulation of objectives that we want. A strategy is a set of implementable actions toward some defined end state with clear steps and clear resources. It’s more than a simple list of interesting goals.”

    LtCol Hoffman summarized four benefits of having a comprehensive maritime strategy: to define the shared vision of seapower, to create an awareness to the core challenges to the national interest and to naval power as it is employed, to identify the way those core challenges are deflected and defeated, and most importantly to guide the development of the capabilities and capacity of the fleet. And while a bad decision on any one of these factors can affect the Navy for 20-30 years, a good decision can affect it for much longer. He is in favor allowing design principles such as modularity, open architectures, commonality and interoperability, endurance, and versatility to guide the development of the fleet rather than a focus on a specific number of ships. As budgets continue to be squeezed, flexibility will be a vital consideration. With regard to technology, it is as important as personnel for the future of naval capabilities. The fleet must articulate strategies for leveraging such game-changing technologies as unmanned systems and robotics.

    With reference to threats, the Asian Pacific theater is important to discuss squarely as China broadens its reach, and our maritime strategies should take these scenarios and threats into consideration. Resource limitations may affect the speed with which the Navy can respond to threats such as this, however. “We need to keep the final destination in mind,” he said. As defined, that destination is a balanced, forward-operating fleet that can project power where it is needed, at great distance from our shores, promptly, and with options for the President.

    “Let us praise seapower and lift our voices in song about the Navy and Marine Corps team, but let us also get Congress to pass the plate and the basket, pass a budget, and put more than just coins in the plate,” he quipped. “We need shipbuilding that is a match for our aspirations. Our fleet is in need of investment capital. The CNO should not be asked to make fishes and loaves from saltwater and sand, as he has been asked to for the past several years.”

    Senator Kelly Ayotte

    Rounding out the remarks at Defense Forum Washington 2013 was Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), a Member of the Armed Services and Budget Committees. She began her remarks by noting with pride that Maine, too, has a long and proud association with the Navy.

    Recalling Oliver Hazard Perry’s famous observation that “We have met the enemy and they are ours,” Sen. Ayotte expressed the opinion that had Perry written those remarks today, he might have written instead, “We have met the enemy and they are us.” She said that the President and Congress have “failed to make the difficult decisions to put the nation’s fiscal house in order and to put the nation on a stable fiscal path.” The failure to pass a budget and to reform entitlement programs, and the reliance on continuing resolutions, has affected the nation’s military readiness by denying them the certainty they need to plan.

    She noted, for example, that in October 2007, the CNO, the Commandant of the Marine Corps, and the Commandant of the Coast Guard met to prepare “A Cooperative Strategy for 21st Century Seapower,” yet the ongoing budgetary uncertainty has precluded them from preparing a planned update to the strategy. “At a time when challenges to our naval supremacy and threats to our national security are growing, the failure of Congress and the Administration to do the basic work of governing has really resulted, I think, in declining naval readiness.” She reports that the chief problem is that strategy is not driving the budget in Congress or at DOD. Under sequestration, for example, even though defense spending accounts for approximately 18% of the federal budget, defense spending is absorbing 50% of the sequestration cuts. “It’s difficult to identify any strategic rationale that would justify this approach, particularly when the defense of our nation is our foremost Constitutional responsibility and without it, we can’t guarantee any other freedom, we can’t guarantee a strong economy, we frankly can’t guarantee anything else for the American people.”

    The budget situation has also resulted in a growing gap between the Navy we have and the Navy we needs, added Sen. Ayotte. To answer the question of how much we should spend on the Navy, Marines, and Coast Guard, it is important to identify the threats to national security and determine what those services need to protect us against those threats. Yet, that analysis. has not been happening. Sen. Ayotte proposed five key interests that affect the determination of America’s seapower needs: preventing a catastrophic attack on the homeland; maintaining access to the global commons; preserving a favorable global balance of power; and restoring America’s economic health and maintaining and extending the open economic system that benefits Americans and prevents conflicts; and promoting the expansion of constitutional democracies and the observance of human rights. “No matter how you look at it,” Sen. Ayotte argued, “continued US naval supremacy is central to these key national security interests.”

    Approximately 90% of the world’s commercial goods traverse the oceans, and the Navy has been essential for keeping those sea lanes open. “Thanks to American naval power, the United States has been one of the greatest forces for global economic growth and the open international economic system,” she observed. “We have been probably its greatest beneficiary, but we have also elevated many other countries around the world. And I think there’s not often that connection made [by] your average American.” Yet, sequestration cuts forced the Navy to cut its budget by $11 billion, though some were mitigated by drawing on unobligated balances. Nevertheless, five ship deployments had to be cancelled in FY13. “And [FY]14 is going to be a lot tougher,” she noted.

    Because the sequestration budget cuts were not across the entire federal budget, they were disproportionate in terms of defense. Continued sequestration-related budget cuts could cost a Virginia-class submarine, a littoral combat ship, and an afloat forward base ship, as well as delay the delivery of the aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford and the midlife overhaul of the aircraft carrier USS George Washington. Furthermore, aircraft procurement and maintenance as well as personnel hiring would be put at risk as well. Eventually, many talented shipyard workers may choose to leave defense work for other STEM related fields, and the number of ships in the Navy may dip far below the minimum requirements to meet global strategic needs.

    “In light of the difficult budget environment for the Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard, it is more essential than ever that the services rethink how they do things to ensure that every dollar spent is maximized for the defense of this nation,” Sen. Ayotte continued. “It is more essential than ever that the services scrutinize every budget line to identify savings, eliminate waste, [and] prioritize spending.”

    “And no more acquisition debacles,” she added. “We just cannot afford it and we have to be smarter about it.”

    Referring to a recent op-ed by former SECNAV John Lehman in the Wall Street Journal that noted the decline in the size of the US Navy’s fighting fleet has shrunk dramatically since the early 1990s, yet the civilian and uniformed bureaucracy has more than doubled. “And so that needs to be reviewed as well,” she argued. “We need to be focused on how to do better with less, particularly those of us who are going to advocate when you need more.” She praised the collective expertise in the room, which can address the issues.

    Sen. Ayotte concluded her remarks by urging Congress to resolve the budget impasse and pass a budget in order to allow the military to have the certainty it needs to develop a sound strategic plan. “I certainly hope that at a minimum we get some decisions made for this country so that we don’t find ourselves in another foolish shutdown situation or something that leads to more uncertainty for our military at a time when they need certainty.” Even a short-term doesn’t enable the nation’s fiscal view to extend beyond immediate needs that will lead to the exhaustion of funding for Medicare and Social Security. “If we do not take on those big problems with a large fiscal deal for the nation -- which, by the way, is going to be tough for Republicans and tough for Democrats or it won’t get done -- if we don’t do that, we’re going to find ourselves having this conversation again on Groundhog Day over and over again, and ultimately we end up sacrificing the readiness of our Navy, the readiness of all our armed forces, and our nation becomes less safe because we’ve not taken on the difficult questions of really getting our fiscal house in order and making some tough calls on behalf of the American people.”

    “We can never assume that the shipping lanes will remain open in the absence of America, that peace between great powers will hold if America is weak, and that rising powers will not challenge our core interests,” said Sen. Ayotte. “If the United States wants to maintain the security of the American people and its allies, as well as the open international economic system that is the lifeblood of our nation’s prosperity, there is simply no substitute for United States naval supremacy.”

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    Printer Friendly Schedule

    Shaping the Maritime Strategy and Navigating the Budget Gap Reality

    Tuesday, December 10, 2013
    8:00AM - 8:30AMRegistration and Coffee
    8:30AM - 8:45AMWelcome Remarks
    8:50AM - 9:30AMSpeaker
    • Featured Speaker: Representative J. Randy Forbes (R-VA), Member, Armed Services Committee and Judiciary Committee and Chairman, House Armed Services Subcommittee on Seapower and Projection Forces (Confirmed)
    9:30AM - 10:00AMBreak
    10:00AM - 10:40AMSpeaker
    10:40AM - 11:20AMSpeaker
    • Featured Speaker: Senator Tim Kaine (D - VA), Member, Armed Services Committee, Budget Committee and Foreign Relations Committee, former Governor of Virginia (Confirmed)
    11:20AM - 12:00PMSpeakrer
    12:00PM - 12:30PMClosing Remarks

    Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-NH)
    Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-NH)

    Featured Speaker

    Member, Armed Services Committe and Budget Committee


    Kelly Ayotte is a New Hampshire native who has devoted her life to public service - first as a long-time prosecutor and now in the United States Senate.

    In her first bid for public office, she was elected to the Senate in 2010 with 60 percent of the vote. Kelly currently serves on the Armed Services, Budget, Commerce, Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, and Aging Committees. She is the Ranking Member - top Republican - on the Armed Services Subcommittee on Readiness and the Commerce Subcommittee on Aviation Operations.

    Kelly's top priority is to get America's fiscal house in order. She has stood on principle to vote against bloated budget bills that have included money for programs we don't need and can't afford. She is a staunch advocate for common sense budget reforms, including a permanent ban on earmarks, a Balanced Budget Amendment, and strict spending caps.

    As a member of the Armed Services Committee, Kelly has quickly established herself as a leading voice in Congress on national security issues. She has written legislation with senior members of both parties to create workable terrorist detention policies that keep Americans safe. And as part of her strong commitment to reducing wasteful spending, Kelly has led efforts in the Senate to save over $1 billion in the Pentagon's budget - successfully passing legislation to stop the Defense Department from spending money on unnecessary programs.

    In her capacity as Ranking Member of the Armed Services Subcommittee on Readiness, Kelly is well-positioned to highlight the national security value of the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard and the Pease Air National Guard Base. The panel's oversight responsibilities include military readiness, military construction, base realignment and closure, and industrial operations - including shipyards.

    Coming from a small business family, Kelly understands that decisions made in Washington have serious consequences for New Hampshire's small business economy. Having helped her husband launch a family landscaping and snow removal company, she knows that high taxes and burdensome federal regulations discourage investment and job creation. In the Senate, Kelly is a strong voice for lower taxes and a simplified tax code. She also supports legislation to eliminate burdensome federal requirements that tie up small business owners with unnecessary red tape.

    A prosecutor at heart, Kelly served as the chief of the state's Homicide Unit and Deputy Attorney General before being named in 2004 as New Hampshire's first female Attorney General. First appointed to that position by a Republican governor, she was twice reappointed by a Democratic governor. During her time as Attorney General, she successfully led efforts to secure the first capital murder convictions in New Hampshire in over 60 years - for which the Union Leader newspaper named Kelly "Citizen of the Year" in 2008.

    Kelly attended public schools in Nashua, where she was born. She graduated with honors in 1990 from Pennsylvania State University and earned a Juris Doctor degree in 1993 from the Villanova University School of Law.

    She is married to Joe Daley, a Nashua native who flew combat missions during the Iraq war. He retired from the Air National Guard as a Lieutenant Colonel.

    Kelly and Joe live in Nashua with their two young children, Katherine and Jacob.


    Representative J. Randy Forbes (R-VA)
    Representative J. Randy Forbes (R-VA)

    Featured Speaker

    Member, Armed Services Committee and Judiciary Committee and Chairman, House Armed Services Subcommittee on Seapower and Projection Forces


    Placed prominently on the wall of Congressman Randy Forbes’ Washington office is a framed copy of the Declaration of Independence surrounded by portraits of the fifty-six founding fathers who signed the document asserting our nation’s freedom. Frequently when Randy is in our nation’s capital, he can be found personally escorting constituents through his office to tell the story of how this powerful document and its signatories serve as reminder of the sacrifices that were made during birth of our nation and the weight of responsibility on elected officials to preserve the freedom for which so many have fought and died.

    Since his constituents elected him to Congress in 2001, one of Randy’s key priorities has been to protect and defend our nation. As Chairman of the House Armed Services Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee, Randy is responsible for the research, development, acquisition, and sustainment of Navy and Marine Corps programs as well as the Air Force's bomber and tanker fleets. Randy’s position is central in developing the nation’s long-term strategies to meet our future security needs. As a result of his work on behalf of our military, in 2009, Randy became one of only a few individuals to have been honored with the highest civilian award offered by both the United States Army and the United States Navy.

    In a time of broken government and stale ideas, Randy has focused on legislative solutions that have proven to be refreshing alternative to the status quo. His much-hailed New Manhattan Project for Energy led the Wall Street Journal to ask: “Why is Randy Forbes all alone? ... The surprising thing is that there aren't 100 Randy Forbes out there, issuing similar calls to arms to seize this moment and finally cure the country's oil addiction.” The Virginian Pilot, similarly, commented: “Outrage won't solve the nation's energy troubles, or safeguard jobs. For that, you need something else, something Forbes is displaying: Leadership.”

    Randy has rejected Washington political rhetoric and has instead focused on solutions-based leadership to tackle issues such as economic recovery, health care, tax reform and government spending. In health care, Randy has introduced proposals to protect seniors and individuals with preexisting conditions from health insurance cancellation, to harness the potential in ethical stem-cell research, and to double the investment the federal government is making in research to cure diseases such as cancer, diabetes, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. His work has earned him the award, “Guardian of Seniors’ Rights.” In addition, Randy has introduced legislation to improve efficiency in government agencies, and he has been named a “Hero of Taxpayers”. Instead of abandoning sound fiscal policy in the face of economic challenge, Randy was one of only 17 Members of Congress to vote against each stimulus and bailout package under both the Bush and Obama Administrations.

    Randy founded and chairs the Congressional Prayer Caucus and has led this group of bipartisan Members in national efforts to protect prayer and our nation’s spiritual history. He is known as a skilled orator on the Judiciary Committee and, as the former Ranking Member of the Crime Subcommittee, Randy is often called upon to lead the debate on national issues such as gang crime or immigration reform. As founder and chairman of the Congressional China Caucus, Randy has introduced legislation to combat Chinese espionage and is frequently tapped as a national commentator on Sino-American relations. Groups as diverse as the US Chamber of Commerce, the NAACP, the National Taxpayers Union, and the American Farm Bureau Federation have all recognized the work Randy has done in Congress - a testament to Randy's independent problem-solving and focus on bipartisan solutions.

    While Randy’s legislative proposals have received significant national and local attention, Randy’s commitment to improving quality of life for his constituents has been the hallmark of his career in Congress. Randy places a high-priority on partnering with community leaders and elected officials of all political persuasions to bring about greater economic prosperity, increased educational opportunities, safer communities, and improved local transportation and infrastructure for the Fourth District. His work to position Fort Lee through the last BRAC round led to the arrival of nearly 12,000 jobs in the Chesterfield/Tri-Cities area and his work as founder and chairman of the Congressional Modeling & Simulation Caucus has elevated Hampton Roads as a premier destination for high-paying tech jobs.

    Working in Washington has not changed Randy’s enthusiasm for serving those that elected him. Richmond Times Dispatch noted Randy has “earned a reputation for constituent service” for his ability to cut through red tape and for his unparalleled constituent communications. Randy publishes a weekly email newsletter with over 85,000 subscribers that includes commentary and as well as factual information on the issues before Congress.

    Randy has long worked under the belief that transparency is a key condition of good government. In addition to his unparalleled work to inform and solicit input from his constituents, Randy was one of the first members of Congress to publish appropriations requests to his website, causing the Richmond Times Dispatch to call him, “an admirable example for openness.” His website was selected by the Congressional Management Foundation as one of the best websites in Congress and was specifically commended for offering constituents a “clear understanding of his work in Congress”.

    A life-long resident of Virginia, Randy began his career in private law practice helping small and medium-sized businesses and ultimately became a partner in the largest law firm in southeastern Virginia. From 1989-2001, he served the Commonwealth of Virginia in the General Assembly. As a member of the House of Delegates, he served 7 years, quickly establishing himself and serving as the Floor Leader until his election to the State Senate in 1997. One year later, he became the Senate Floor Leader. He served in the State Senate for 3 1/2 years, until his election to the U.S. House of Representatives.

    Randy graduated from Great Bridge High School in Chesapeake in 1970. He was valedictorian of his 1974 class at Randolph-Macon College. In 1977, Randy graduated from the University of Virginia School of Law.

    Randy attends Great Bridge Baptist Church, where he has taught adult Sunday school for over 20 years. He was born and raised in Chesapeake, Virginia where he still resides with his wife Shirley. He and Shirley have been married since 1978 and have four children: Neil, Jamie, Jordan, and Justin.

    LtCol Frank Hoffman, USMCR (Ret.)
    LtCol Frank Hoffman, USMCR (Ret.)

    Featured Speaker

    Senior Research Fellow, National Defense University


    Senior Research Fellow, Institute for National Strategic Studies, National Defense University

    Effective June 20, 2011, Mr. Hoffman is serving at the National Defense University as a Senior Research Fellow with the Institute for National Strategic Studies. He directs the NDU Press operations which includes the journals Joint Force Quarterly and PRISM. From August of 2009 to June 2011, he served in the Department of the Navy as a senior executive as the Senior Director, Naval Capabilities and Readiness.

    Born and raised in Philadelphia, Mr. Hoffman began his public service career when he was commissioned out of the NROTC program at the University of Pennsylvania where he graduated as the Distinguished Military Graduate and was commissioned a 2ndLt, USMC. From 1978-1983, after graduating both the Basic School and Infantry Officer Course as an honor graduate, he served in a variety of line and staff positions in the Second and Third Marine Divisions. In between tours in the Fleet Marine Force, he was the Adjutant, Company Commander and Head Tactics Instructor at the School of Infantry at Camp Lejeune.

    In 1983 he was assigned to the then Requirements and Programs Division at HQMC. Frank served as a Defense Systems Analyst, Force Structure analyst and Supervisory Resource Analyst at Headquarters Marine Corps until 1991. During this time he was responsible for Marine force structure and manpower studies and analyses. In his tours in R&P, he served as editor of the Marine Corps annual document Concepts & Issues.

    In 1992 Frank transferred to Quantico, where he served as a program analyst for the Training and Education Command. Here he was responsible for successfully introducing ground simulators into the Marine Corps. After graduating from the Naval War College with highest distinction in 1994 he transferred to the Studies and Analysis Division at Quantico as their historical analyst, and represented the Marine Corps on the Defense Science Board and at the Commission on Roles and Missions in 1995.

    Up to 1998, Frank continued to serve at Quantico as the national security analyst and Director of the Marine Strategic Studies Group. As a Marine Reservist he also worked at the HQMC Strategic Initiatives Group at the same time. In 1999 Frank was named to the National Security Study Group which was the professional staff supporting the U.S. National Security Commission for the 21st Century. There at the Hart-Rudman Commission Frank was responsible for crafting the Commission's future security assessment, military strategy, and homeland security recommendations which eventually were implemented with the creation of the Department of Homeland Security.

    That appointment was concluded in 2001, and Frank returned to work at Quantico as a strategic planner and concept developer for the Marine Corps Warfighting Lab. He served as a Research Fellow at the Center for Emerging Threats and Opportunities, where he was responsible for leading and conducting assessments and developing concept papers on future threats and emerging opportunities. While at Quantico, Frank  authored numerous Marine concepts on distributed operations, urban ops, and hybrid threats, as well as contributing to the Marine Corps newest vision and strategy, and penning chapters to the Army/Marine Corps COIN doctrine. While at Quantico he worked with Joint Forces Command and our British, Australian and Israeli partners on alternative futures, concepts, and a number of wargames and experimentation activities.

    He retired from the Marine Corps Reserve in the summer of 2001 at the grade of Lieutenant Colonel.

    In addition to his formal duties, he has lectured extensively at institutions in the United States, the Middle East and Europe. He has authored one book (Decisive Force; The New American Way of War, Praeger, 1996), over 100 essays and articles, and frequently contributes to Orbis, Joint Force Quarterly, the Journal of Strategic Studies, Parameters, the Naval Institute Proceedings and Marine Corps Gazette.

    Senator Tim Kaine (D - VA)
    Senator Tim Kaine (D - VA)

    Featured Speaker

    Member, Armed Services Committee, Budget Committee and Foreign Relations Committee, former Governor of Virginia


    Tim Kaine has served people throughout his adult life as a missionary, fair housing attorney, teacher and elected official.  He is running for the United States Senate because America needs optimistic doers who know how to find common ground.

    Tim grew up in Kansas City, working in his father's ironworking shop, where he learned the values of thrift and hard work.  He graduated from the University of Missouri and Harvard Law School.

    Tim began his public service career when he took a year off law school to work with Jesuit missionaries in Honduras.  He served as principal of a technical school that taught teenagers carpentry and welding.  There, Tim committed his life to serving others and grasped the power of education to enable each person to live up to their God-given potential.

    After finishing law school, Tim practiced law for 18 years, specializing in representing people who had been denied housing due to their race or disability.  He also began teaching at the University of Richmond, an association that continues to this day.

    Tim entered political life in 1994, running for the Richmond City Council in order to bridge divisions in city leadership.  He served until 2001 as a Councilman and Mayor.  During his service, Tim helped implement targeted tax cuts for small businesses and homeowners, built the city's first new schools in a generation and dramatically cut the city's crime rate.  Richmond saw an economic renaissance that led to increasing population, a bond rating upgrade and recognition by Forbes Magazine as one of America's ten best cities for doing business.

    In 2001, Tim was elected Lieutenant Governor of Virginia.  He worked for four years with then-Governor Mark Warner to reform Virginia's budget and improve Virginia's education system.  During this time, he was co-chair of the 2002 statewide campaign to expand higher education facilities and helped create the New College Institute in Martinsville, greatly expanding opportunities in historically underserved Southside, Virginia.

    In 2005, Tim was elected Virginia's 70th Governor. In the midst of America's deepest recession in 70 years, Tim led the state to national recognition.  Virginia was honored as the best managed state in America (Governing Magazine), the Best State for Business (Forbes.com -- four years in a row) and the best state to raise a child (Education Week).  Virginia maintained its Triple A bond rating for fiscal management -- an honor shared by only 7 states -- and had one of the nation's lowest unemployment rates and highest median incomes.

    During his tenure as Governor, Tim demonstrated true fiscal stewardship by cutting the state budget by more than 5 billion dollars, including a reduction in his own salary.  But Tim also expanded early childhood and technical education, passed the largest bond package for higher education construction in Virginia history, reformed the state's mental health and foster care programs, reduced the infant mortality rate, protected open space and the Chesapeake Bay, banned smoking in bars and restaurants, and pushed major rail and public transit improvements throughout the state.  Tim also brokered the deal to eliminate Virginia's estate tax and cut income taxes for tens of thousands of low-income residents.

    Tim was the Chairman of the Southern Governor's Association in 2008-09 and served as Chairman of the Democratic National Committee from 2009 through 2011.  He has received numerous awards and honorary degrees from organizations such as the Richmond Bar Association, Virginia Military Institute, the National Fair Housing Alliance, the Virginia Holocaust Museum and the Virginia Council of Churches.

    Tim has been married for 27 years to Anne Holton.  Anne -- the daughter of former Republican Governor Linwood Holton -- served as a legal aid lawyer and juvenile court judge before becoming First Lady of Virginia.  After working with Tim to reform Virginia's foster care system, she now helps other states as a child welfare consultant with the Annie E. Casey Foundation.  The Kaines have three children -- Nat, Woody and Annella -- all of whom attended Richmond Public Schools.  The family is active in their church and spends all the time they can camping, hiking, canoeing and biking in Virginia's outdoors.

    The Honorable Ray Mabus
    The Honorable Ray Mabus

    Featured Speaker

    Secretary of the Navy


    Ray Mabus is the 75th United States Secretary of the Navy and leads America's Navy and Marine Corps.

    As Secretary of the Navy, Mabus is responsible for conducting the affairs of the Department of the Navy, including recruiting, organizing, equipping, training and mobilizing. Additionally, he oversees the construction and repair of naval ships, aircraft, and facilities, and formulates and implements policies and programs consistent with the national security policies established by the President and the Secretary of Defense. Secretary Mabus is responsible for an annual budget in excess of $170 billion and leadership of almost 900,000 people.

    Upon assumption of office and throughout his tenure, Mabus has prioritized improving the quality of life of Sailors, Marines and their families, decreasing the Department’s dependence on fossil fuels, strengthening partnerships and revitalizing the Navy’s shipbuilding program.

    Leading the world's only global Navy, Mabus has traveled nearly 715 thousand miles to over 95 countries to maintain and develop relationships with national and international officials and visit with Sailors and Marines forward deployed or stationed around the world.  He has traveled to Afghanistan on 11 separate occasions, in recognition of the sacrifice and service of Sailors and Marines deployed in combat zones.

    To prepare service members and their families for the high tempo operations of today’s Navy and Marine Corps, Mabus announced in 2012 the “21st Century Sailor and Marine” initiative, designed to build and maintain the most resilient and ready force possible.

    Mabus also directed the Navy and Marine Corps to change the way they use, produce and acquire energy, and set an aggressive goal that no later than 2020, the Navy and Marine Corps obtain at least 50% of their energy from alternative sources. In pursuit of that goal the Department has achieved several milestones. In 2012, President Obama announced in his State of the Union address that the Department will purchase or facilitate the production of 1GW of renewable energy for use on Navy and Marine Corps installations. The Navy also demonstrated the Great Green Fleet in 2012, a carrier strike group in which every participating U.S. Navy ship and type of aircraft operated on alternative energy sources including nuclear energy and biofuels.

    Secretary Mabus has made increasing the size of the naval fleet and protecting the industrial base a top budget priority of the Department. During his tenure, the Navy went from building fewer than five ships a year to having more than 40 ships under contract, most of them in fixed-price, multi-year deals that assure value for taxpayers, certainty for industry partners and strength for our nation.

    In June 2010, as an additional duty, President Obama appointed Mabus to prepare the long-term recovery plan for the Gulf of Mexico in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Mabus’ report was released in September 2010 and met with broad bi-partisan support with most recommendations passed into law by Congress as the Restore Act. Included in the legislation was a fund to aid in the Gulf Coast’s recovery by distributing 80 percent of any civil penalties awarded as a result of the damage caused by the disaster. To date, civil penalties total more than one billion dollars.

    Before his appointment, Mabus held a variety of leadership positions. From 1988 to 1992, Mabus served as Governor of Mississippi, the youngest elected to that office in more than 150 years. Mabus was Ambassador to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia from 1994-1996 and later was Chairman and CEO of a manufacturing company.

    Mabus has been recognized for his leadership of the Navy and Marine Corps on multiple occasions.  In 2013, he was named one of the top 50 highest rated CEOs by Glassdoor, an online jobs and career community.  Mabus was the only leader of a federal agency to receive this award.

    Secretary Mabus is a native of Ackerman, Mississippi, and received a Bachelor's Degree, summa cum laude, from the University of Mississippi, a Master's Degree from Johns Hopkins University, and a Law Degree, magna cum laude, from Harvard Law School. After Johns Hopkins, Mabus served in the Navy as an officer aboard the cruiser USS Little Rock.

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