SAN DIEGO - (Oct. 21, 2009) (NNS) -- The Secretary of the Navy (SECNAV) said his top three priorities for the Navy are controlling shipbuilding costs; committing to unmanned vehicle technology; and moving away from fossil fuel dependence during a speech in San Diego Oct. 21.
Ray Mabus, SECNAV, stressed each of these three factors will be crucial factors in keeping the Navy at the forefront of military expertise and technology.
Mabus spoke to over 400 local elected and military officials, defense industry leaders, educators and community representatives at the San Diego Fleet Week Foundation breakfast. He thanked the local community for supporting both the armed services and the troops. Wounded service members he met at Naval Medical Center San Diego earlier this week had told Mabus they felt particularly welcomed and supported, he said.
"I do think this is as good a partnership, as good a working relationship, as the U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps have anywhere in the world," he said.
Mabus praised Navy Region Southwest for its sustainability and energy conservation efforts.
"[Naval Air Weapons Station] China Lake produces about 20 times more power than it uses," he said. "You're also beginning to see in facilities all around [Navy Region Southwest] solar, wind, hydro, thermal, and geothermal sources being incorporated."
As Secretary of the Navy, Mabus leads America's Navy and Marine Corps and is responsible for an annual budget of $150 billion and almost 900,000 people. He is responsible for conducting all the affairs of the Navy, including recruiting, organizing, supplying, equipping, training, and mobilizing. Additionally, he oversees the construction, outfitting and repair of naval ships, equipment and facilities, and the formulation and implementation of policies and programs that are consistent with national security policy.
"I get asked from time to time 'Why do we need a Navy? Why do we need a Marine Corps?'" Mabus said. "The answer is really easy. We are a maritime country. Ninety percent of all trade in the world goes over the seas and, in this day of cell phones and satellites, 95 percent of all our communication goes under the sea."
SDMAC was established in 2004 under the leadership and vision of six community leaders with extensive military and business experience. Its mission is to support, promote and represent the common business and other interests of the military, their quality of life issues and the defense industry community in the San Diego area.
Fleet Week San Diego honors the men and women of the military through public events that entertain and alliances that support and thank service members.
For more information about Fleet Week, visit http://www.fleetweeksandiego.org/index.html.