CRYSTAL CITY, Va (NNS) -- The 30th annual Surface Navy Association (SNA) National Symposium kicked-off Jan. 9 in Crystal City, Virginia with keynote addresses and remarks from Navy leadership and roundtable discussions with Sailors and midshipmen.
This year's theme is Surface Forces and Cross-Domain Integration, and leaders from the surface community joined Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson on the stage to begin the symposium. During the first keynote address of the three-day symposium, Richardson discussed leadership and the vital role naval leaders play in ensuring the U.S. Navy remains the world's most powerful naval force.
"Winning in this competitive environment demands action. That starts with leaders in this room and with those listening around the fleet," said Richardson. "Everyone has a role to play — and you never know when your number will be called. Luckily, toughness is nothing new for our force — it's ingrained in our warfighting ethos."
Speaking at his final SNA symposium as Commander, Naval Surface Forces, Vice Adm. Thomas Rowden highlighted the need for a powerful navy, which he describes as necessary for establishing and maintaining control of the sea.
"The universal purpose of the United States Navy is to develop surface warfare strategies that will achieve and maintain sea control," said Rowden. "There is a formula for remaining the most powerful Navy on the planet. And the country needs just that: a powerful, forward deployed, lethal, and resilient surface force as an integral part of the Navy's unique role in providing global freedom to the seas. Freedom of the seas is the irreducible minimum condition necessary for global trade, that has in the past 25 years, lifted more human beings from poverty than any other force in human history. Freedom of the seas enables other nations to sell their product here, which brings wealth and prosperity to both sides of the transaction."
Roundtables and mentoring sessions for junior officers, enlisted Sailors and midshipmen highlighted the scheduled events for the first day, and provided an opportunity for those attending to ask questions and receive guidance from leaders throughout the surface community. Those unable to attend today's sessions will have additional opportunities throughout the three-day event to interact and learn as panels, briefings and keynote addresses continue throughout the symposium.
The Surface Navy Association was incorporated in 1985 to promote greater coordination and communication among the military, business and academic communities who share a common interest in naval surface warfare and to support the activities of Surface Naval Forces.
The SNA symposium will continue through Jan. 11. View the symposium live stream on the Navy live blog and join the conversation on social media using #SNA2018.