Australia: The Future of Sea Power

Against the backdrop of Sydney Harbour, the ninth Royal Australian Navy Sea Power Conference was held this week, hosting visiting navy Chiefs, service representatives, academics and dignitaries from over 40 nations.

Coordinated by the Royal Australian Navy’s Seapower Centre, the conference was held alongside the Maritime Industry Pacific Exposition 2015 at Sydney’s Glebe Island.

Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Tim Barrett, said the conference had been a resounding success from its international engagement and strategic presentations.

It provided the ideal forum to discuss the theme of ‘The Future of Sea Power’ as we face regional and global security challenges at sea.

Navy is undertaking significant introduction of new capabilities which will define it as an extremely agile and capable force.

Only this week we have seen HMAS Canberra, our newest commissioned ship is alongside at Townsville after completing a most successful series or exercises with the Amphibious Ready Element.

In December this year we will commission our second Canberra class amphibious ship, HMAS Adelaide, and we continue to evolve the new Seahawk Romeo capability.

The Minister of Defence, Marise Payne, addressed the significant industry gathering only nine days into her time in the portfolio and further emphasised the importance of the conference and expo. She stated that the future prosperity of regional nations would depend, to a large degree, on maritime security and freedom of passage along trade routes.

Minister Payne said:

Greater interdependence between states helps reduce the likelihood of destabilising actions or conflicts.

Australia is a maritime trading nation…That means we have a direct national interest in the maintenance of freedom of navigation.

Over the three days important bilateral discussions are conducted with visiting national representatives.

The conference provided an opportunity for uniform members, industry and academics to reflect professionally and learn from national and international experts as well as peers on the strategic environment in which Navy operates.

Presentations and discussions covered a global arc of topics ranging from transitional maritime crime, impacts of emerging technology through to interoperability between navies.

Image: Australian Navy

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