The U.S. Naval War College (NWC) kicked off the 65th annual Current Strategy Forum (CSF) with a keynote address from the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. Jonathan W. Greenert, June 17, at the NWC in Newport, Rhode Island.
As NWC’s capstone academic event, the two-day forum brings together distinguished guests and students to explore issues of strategic national importance. This year’s theme, “American Grand Strategy and Sea Power: Challenges and Choices,” focuses on challenging assumptions and undertaking a strategic assessment of the future.
“We’ve gathered a diverse group of individuals here,” said Greenert. “Everyone from junior, mid and senior officers to scholars, civilians and retirees owns a piece of this [strategy] and we’re here right now to roll up our sleeves and get to work.”
In his opening remarks, Greenert stressed upon leaders the importance of coming together regularly to ensure that the conversation to develop naval strategy doesn’t end at the completion of the event.
“We need to come together periodically to keep the conversations and forums going so that we share more thoughts and ideas to develop these strategies,” said Greenert.
For the first time in its 65-year history, CSF is being co-sponsored by the CNOs office for operations, plans and strategy. The underlying premise is to connect the fleet with the strategy being discussed.
“A lot of what we’re doing is looking out to make sure we have the right mechanisms in place to develop future strategists for the Navy,” said Rear Adm. Walter E. “Ted” Carter Jr., president, NWC. “Making sure that we are connected with the fleet, we can’t do that here without having a significant partnership with our OPNAV staff.”
To bridge this connection, 25 junior officers from around the fleet and three midshipmen from the U.S. Naval Academy were invited to participate in the forum.
“We are reinvigorating the way that we develop our strategy and it starts here,” said Rear Adm. James G. Foggo III, assistant deputy chief of naval operations for operations, plans and strategy. “Our intent for this reinvigoration is to push strategic thinking down to the deckplates.”
Day two of CSF convenes Wednesday, June 18.
Press Release, June 18, 2014; Image: Wikimedia