The International Navies Issue is one of my favorites every year—perhaps because some of my best memories from my Navy career involve working with allies and partners. The summer after commissioning, I participated in a Spanish language immersion program in Segovia, Spain. In 1996, during a large NATO exercise, I spent a month at sea on board the Italian Navy aircraft carrier Giuseppe Garibaldi in the Mediterranean. And in the mid-2000s, I was a naval attaché in Moscow—at what now appears to be the high point of U.S.–Russia relations.
This month’s Commanders Respond section includes answers from 26 international navy chiefs to the questions: How has your nation’s maritime security environment changed in the past two or three years? How have those changes impacted the operations, budget, manning, and future plans of your Navy and/or Coast Guard?
The leaders of European and Asian navies all made references to high-end warfare and great power competition, while the Latin American navies focused on the challenges of policing their nations’ exclusive economic zones and blending navy and coast guard capabilities to do so.
The commander of the Argentine Navy wrote about the lessons from the tragic loss of their submarine San Juan (S-42) in November 2017, the international search-and-rescue effort, and finally the discovery of her remains in 2018. This is a sad story worth reading, but if it has a positive element it is the impressive and rapid international contributions to the mission.
At their quarterly meetings, the Naval Institute’s board of directors provides topic suggestions for Proceedings. Last fall, as the large NATO exercise Trident Juncture was taking place in the North Atlantic and Scandinavia, our board suggested we find a junior officer who had participated in the exercise to write about it. Marine Captain Aric Ramsey’s article, “Trident Juncture 2018: Lessons from the North Atlantic”, is the answer to that suggestion.
Finally, I want to congratulate the winners of the Midshipmen and Cadets Essay Contest and the Leadership Essay Contest. Midshipman 3rd Class Christopher L. Rielage, an NROTC student at Stanford University, took first prize with his “Strength in Numbers: Returning the Fleet to a Wartime Deployment Stance.” Christopher is the son of frequent Proceedings contributor and retired Navy Captain Dale Rielage. Midshipman 1st Class Chase Hammer, an NROTC student at Norwich University, took second prize, and Midshipman 2nd Class Benjamin Chiacchia from Brown University took third. Special thanks to General Dynamics Information Technology for sponsoring the Midshipmen and Cadets Essay Contest this year. The winning essays will appear on these pages in the coming months.
In the Leadership Essay Contest, Lieutenant Commanders James Moore and Michael Silver, U.S. Navy, won with their article, “Correct the Navy’s Character Problem.” It was published in the February Proceedings. Major Nick Brunetti-Lihach, U.S. Marine Corps, took second prize, and Lieutenant Commander Steven Baldovsky, U.S. Coast Guard, took third. The Leadership Contest authors were honored at the WEST Conference in San Diego last month, and it was great to meet them. Major Brunetti-Lihach is working on a winning streak; he took first place in the 2018 Marine Corps Essay Contest. His leadership essay, “Leaders Must Bridge the Digital Divide,” is on pages 72–74. Many thanks to Dr. Phillip London and CACI International for sponsoring this year’s Leadership Essay Contest.
Captain, U.S. Navy (Retired)
Life Member since 1993