2016 Ended Well.
I am delighted to report the Naval Institute closed out 2016 well in numerous categories.
For the fifth year in a row, our membership grew. For the fourth consecutive year, the Naval Institute Foundation scored impressive numbers. Once again Foundation’s performance builds resiliency in our organization by attracting donors to “invest” in the Naval Institute through sponsorships for essays contest and underwriting other important mission work.
We substantially increased our outreach with USNI News and social media. The numbers of members and others attending our conferences increased.
The growing number of sponsored essay contests—and submissions—is rewarding and is generating great energy and content on current issues.
We are off to a good start in 2017 and look forward to serving you by expanding the forum with quality books, magazine content, news, and conferences. We welcome any suggestions you have on how we might better serve.
Defense Forum Washington Was a Success
Our annual Defense Forum Washington, held 7 December at the Newseum, attracted a packed house of attendees. The Naval Institute was honored to host the Director of the Navy Staff Vice Admiral James Foggo; Marine Corps Commandant General Robert Neller; National Counterterrorism Center Director Nicholas Rasmussen; House Armed Services Committee Ranking Member Representative Adam Smith (D-WA); Chair of the House Armed Services Readiness Subcommittee, Representative Robert Wittman (R-Virginia); and House Committee on Armed Services (and newly nominated Secretary of the Interior) Representative Ryan Zinke (R-MT), who all provided perspectives on the event’s theme, “Competing Global Threats: What Are the Priorities?”
Highlights of the forum included General Neller’s insights on the evolution of the battlefield, which he believes requires a stronger emphasis on information operations, intelligence analysis, targeting, and electronic and cyber warfare. He expressed concern that the Marines’ capabilities in these areas are insufficient or nonexistent. He said that the battlefield had changed since Afghanistan and Iraq, and that the leadership was in agreement that these skills will be necessary for future combat-effectiveness.
Representative Wittman maintained that a threat analysis was needed to support President-elect Donald Trump’s plan for a 350-ship Navy. He stated that increasing the size of the fleet was achievable but should only be executed to meet warfighting requirements. He also pointed out that the number 350 could be reached in a timely manner only if it consisted of ship classes already in production.
The event concluded with Representative Zinke and Naval Institute Trustee Ellen Lord of Textron Systems Corporation presenting awards to the winners of the Institute’s Enlisted Prize Essay Contest, sponsored with Textron Systems.
Join Us at WEST 2017
For the 27th year, U.S. Naval Institute and our partner AFCEA International will co-host WEST in San Diego on 21–23 February. This annual three-day conference is the premier Sea Services event on the West Coast that is focused on operations in the Asia-Pacific region.
The theme of WEST 2017 is “Ready for Today, Modernize for Tomorrow: How Can We Maintain the Edge?” More than ever, given the changing landscape, this conference will be the place to discuss important and timely issues relating to global defense and the future of the Sea Services. Senior military leaders, defense industry and civilian experts will gather outside of the Beltway to share with attendees their insights and perspectives on the readiness of the force, modernization, and innovation. New to WEST this year is a panel with the three-star Navy Numbered Fleet Commanders, the Coast Guard Pacific Area Commander, and the III Marine Expeditionary Force Commanding General from Okinawa, who will discuss “Are We Ready to Fight—Today and in the Future?”
Another highlight of the conference is a town hall discussion led by retired Navy Admiral Jim Stavridis with the three Sea Service Chiefs.
Do not miss this conference if you want insider information on the future of the Sea Services. Find out details and register at www.westconference.org.
Also timed with WEST is our annual Member Event, which will take place on 22 February in San Diego. Members and supporters of the Naval Institute will have the opportunity to meet and network with conference participants, one another, and Institute staff. For more information and to register, go to www.usni.org/memberevent.
Peter H. Daly, VADM, USN (Ret.)
Life Member and Member since 1978