Recognizing the important and growing role of unmanned systems under, on, and above the sea in the coming years, Textron Systems and Bell Helicopter have, with great foresight, generously sponsored the Naval Institute’s 2013 Unmanned Maritime Systems Essay Contest and Forum. The winning essays—with a tie for first prize—are “Unman Your Battle Stations!” by Commander Michael J. Dobbs, USN (Ret.) and “A Few Disruptive Thoughts” by Lieutenant Ryan Hilger, USN. Both were awarded a first prize of $5,000, one-year Institute memberships, and are published in this issue of Proceedings. The third-prize winners, with an award of $1,500 and one-year memberships, are co-authors Ensign Chris O’Keefe and Ensign Shane Halton, USN, for their essay “Beyond Sensors and Batteries: The Future of Unmanned Operations Is Unmanned Analysis.”
The third-prize winner will be published on the U.S. Naval Institute blog, as will other honorable-mention essays from the contest. With the prize winners’ writings now available for all to read, an online discussion will be offered through the blog to encourage further thought on unmanned maritime issues. We again thank Textron Systems and Bell Helicopter for underwriting this fresh dimension of the Institute’s open forum.
Please be sure to register—www.defenseforumwashington.com—for our 10 December Defense Forum Washington 2013 conference, “Shaping the New Maritime Strategy and Navigating the Budget Gap Reality,” at the Newseum in Washington, D.C., from 0800-1230. It is shaping up to be a very special event. The all-star cast of confirmed speakers includes Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA), Representative J. Randy Forbes (R-VA), and Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus. We thank USAA and Lockheed Martin for their generous sponsorships and look forward to seeing you there.
On 11-13 February 2014, the Naval Institute and AFCEA International will cohost the WEST 2014 Conference at the San Diego Convention Center. Service chiefs Admiral Jonathan Greenert, USN, General James Amos, USMC, and Admiral Robert Papp, USCG, have been confirmed as speakers. An additional lineup of outstanding panelists will address key issues throughout the conference, and you will have the opportunity to preview hundreds of state-of-the-art technologies in the WEST 2014 exposition. To register, go to www.westconfexpo.org, and plan on a very authoritative, informative, and rewarding three days.
Earlier this year, I promised you updates on the Naval Institute Press’ notable 2012 title Circle of Treason: A CIA Account of Traitor Aldrich Ames and the Men He Betrayed, by Sandra Grimes and Jeanne Vertefeuille, two career CIA counterintelligence professionals who played key roles in the hunt for and successful capture and conviction of the mole Ames. Television rights have been purchased by Lincoln Square Productions, a division of ABC News, for a miniseries to be titled The Assets, scheduled to air in 2014. Production has started with filming now under way in Lithuania. More recently, Focus Features, a division of Universal Pictures, has purchased the film option.
We are very proud that this year’s Holiday Catalog weaves Naval Institute history and naval history together. See the scuttlebutt features to find out more about Lieutenant Nimitz, Commander Mahan, and others!
The year 2013 has been a good one at the Institute, and we are on track to gain Members for the second year in a row. This is wonderful news. We are not only gaining Members, we are gaining more active-duty Members. As we update the publications, products, and services of the Naval Institute to embrace the new digital era, our initiatives require some increased support in the form of donations and gifts. Your contributions provide us the resources to innovate and improve our technology in support of our nonprofit mission. I ask each Member to consider making a 2013 gift in an amount that’s right for you. Watch for my end-of-year letter, and we look forward to a donation from our Members who care about the outcomes the Naval Institute delivers. Your gift does make a difference!
On behalf of the staff of the Naval Institute, we wish you all Happy Holidays!