VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (NNS) -- Commander, U.S. Fleet Forces Command, Adm. Phil Davidson spoke to members of the Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce about the economic impact and connection the naval presence has in the community at the Virginia Beach Convention Center Nov. 9.
During the luncheon, nearly 60 active-duty and local business leaders participated in the discussion on the Navy's presence in the local community and how it supports the economy, including providing shipyards and their employees contract work.
"I have to tell you how important the community is to your Navy and the partnership that engenders," said Davidson. "I see the ship builders and repairers repeatedly, and the stuff they do is absolutely genius. I am very grateful for their enthusiasm and professionalism."
Davidson also spoke about the reach the Navy has in the local area.
"The Navy has a very large footprint here," said Davidson. "There are five major naval bases in Hampton Roads, seven civilian-owned shipyards ... out of 272 deployable ships in the Navy worldwide, 65 are homeported here. That Navy footprint spans all five of the cities in this area. In all, it is a multi-billion dollar enterprise here."
Davidson also touched on the ongoing discussion with Congress about the funding necessary to achieve and train for mission readiness.
"We're on a continuing resolution from the Congress," said Davidson. "It requires us to keep a close hand on the throttle for what we are expending. But when you're the guys that shoot a missile with a missile in space or you are patrolling the deepest parts of the ocean, it isn't something we can contract out. It's something only we can do, and we have to be able to train to do that."
Following his remarks, Davidson answered questions from the audience which included questions on the environmental impact of an expanding naval infrastructure.
"I'm quite proud to be a part of the excellent stewardship over the last 30 years in studying and preserving the environment in these areas," said Davidson.
U.S. Fleet Forces Command is responsible for making the fleet ready to fight and win, both today and in the future. The command works to organize, train, and equip for prompt and sustained combat operations.
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