Then-Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Admiral Mike Mullen introduced the notion of what is known today as the Global Maritime Partnership at the 2005 International Seapower Symposium in Newport, Rhode Island, as the 1,000-Ship Navy. Later enshrined in the new U.S. maritime strategy, A Cooperative Strategy for 21st-Century Seapower, the partnership is rapidly gaining worldwide currency, as like-minded nations and navies seek to work together in the maritime environment to combat global terrorism and resolve a host of other issues.
One of the biggest obstacles to realizing an effective partnership is technical. How do navies of various nations, aiming to operate together at sea, secure compatible command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (C4ISR) systems that will facilitate a true network and make the partnership a reality? Unless or until the U.S. Navy and likely coalition navies address these challenges, such a partnership will never be achieved.
In introducing his original concept—a global navy composed of 1,000 or more ships from various nations working cooperatively—Admiral Mullen stated: