Good morning…Admiral Radakin…Admiral Schultz…General Thomas…and distinguished guests…on behalf of America’s Sea Services…welcome to the Washington Navy Yard!
We are honored to have you here admiral…and to stand with you across the globe as allies…shipmates…and as close friends.
Nearly 80 years ago…the leaders of our nations met upon ships …to set out a common vision for a better world.
During the dark days of war…they imagined a better future… and in crafting the Atlantic Charter…they laid the keel for free and open international order that we cherish today.
…An order that brought about 76 years of great power peace… and served as a rising tide…lifting billions across the world to a better life.
Over the past eight decades…this order…and the conditions at sea that upheld it…rested upon the shoulders of British and American Sailors, Marines, and Coast Guardsmen patrolling lonely frontiers far far away from home.
Those who wore the uniform before us understood that a strong alliance of maritime nations is needed to protect our homelands and uphold a common set of rules to govern life at sea.
Unfortunately…this free and open order is now under stress.
As we gather today, our rivals are eroding the rule of law at sea …they are attempting to control access to key waterways …expanding their search for resources into their neighbors’ waters…and refusing to acknowledge the outcomes of peaceful, dispute resolutions.
If their behavior is not checked…and the seas are not kept free …the world will be a poorer…less secure place for us to live.
Which is why our Sea Services and the Royal Navy are operating in lock-step across the globe.
From the Baltic to the Arabian Sea…from the Arctic to the Indo-Pacific…we are steaming together and flying together to keep the peace…to safeguard opportunity…and to preserve the freedom of the seas.
I am reminded of the deep significance of our alliances every day…
In my office hangs a large painting by a British artist illustrating the Arrival of the American Fleet off Scapa Flow in December of 1917.
The painting depicts the joyful welcome given to our fleet by Royal Navy Sailors…as we joined in the struggle for the Atlantic during World War I.
Set in the midst of a great and terrible contest for the seas…this painting evokes the timeless bond between likeminded Sailors…standing shoulder-to-shoulder to secure peace and promote prosperity for a better world.
Notably, the British Sailors cheered our arrival from the decks of the HMS Queen Elizabeth – the flagship of the Grand Fleet…
It is so fitting that as Britain sends the next HMS Queen Elizabeth on her maiden deployment, our Sea Services are again in the mix… operating both on and alongside one of the world’s finest fighting ships.
Carrier Strike Group 21 carries with it the combined seapower of our nations…with embarked Marine F-35’s and Coast Guardsmen …and the USS The Sullivans sailing alongside.
CSG-21 serves a powerful sign of support to our global network of allies and partners…and as a potent deterrent to any aggressors.
With the largest sea-based deployment of 5th generation fighters to date…CSG 21 isn’t just historic…it’s unprecedented…and represents the culmination of a decade-long partnership between our two countries.
Still…simply operating together isn’t enough.
We face a determined set of rivals that are using new technologies and operating models to change the “rules of the game.”
Keeping the seas free and open now…and in the future… requires us to integrate our forces from the seabed to space and in the cyber domain.
It requires us to think differently about how we employ them in day-to-day competition, in crisis, and if –need be – in conflict.
And it requires us to leverage the power of unmanned systems… space and cyberspace capabilities…artificial intelligence…directed energy…and the weapons of increasing range and speed.
In short…we need a larger, networked, all-domain force to compete, deter, and if required, to win.
That is why we taking it to the next level with Delivering Combined Seapower for our nations.
As we foster deeper collaboration…we will leverage the same spirit of exchange that transformed our surface gunnery tactics over a century ago…and harnessed the power of the atom to power our submarines during the early days of the Cold War.
The challenges that lay ahead loom large…but we’re all confident in our ability to face them together.
Without a doubt, our greatest strength lies in our unity… designing, developing, and operating our forces together…and taking action to uphold the free and open order at sea.
An order espoused in the Atlantic Charter…forged by the shared sacrifice of millions…and sustained by generations of British and American Sailors, Marines, and Coast Guardsmen.
Admiral Radakin…it is our absolute privilege to honor your visit today…and celebrate our naval services long history of shared sacrifice and shared success.
Thank you very much…and welcome to back Washington!
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05 May 2021
08 June 2021
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