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Around The Fleet

Sea-Air-Space Expo Celebrates 50 Years

Game-changing innovation

In January, Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus established Task Force Innovation designed to reach out to Sailors, Marines, and civilians to harness the creative energy they have. The goal was to infuse those ideas into the Navy and its operations in order to ensure naval preeminence for the foreseeable future.

That creative energy was on full display recently outside of Washington, D.C., at the 50th annual Sea-Air-Space Exposition, the largest maritime expo of its kind in the U.S.

Over three days, participants attended discussions, speeches and more 200 exhibits at the Navy League sponsored event. This year's expo highlighted unmanned vehicles, drones, and an unmanned submarine fleet.

Speaking at the expo, Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jon Greenert said it's time to bring simulators and virtual reality training to the whole fleet by bringing it to the waterfront so it can benefit Sailors in every rating.

"The fidelity of virtual reality today is such that our folks can use touch screens to immerse in anything from starting a diesel engine, to launching a torpedo to working on an aircraft," said Greenert.

Even though the future of the Navy may look a lot like movie magic, in the future Sailors will be watching unmanned aircraft fly off of big decks instead of big screens. Mabus announced during the expo the Navy plans to fly jets without pilots after the F-35 Lightning II.

"For example, as good as it is, and as much as we need it and look forward to having it in the fleet for many years, the F-35 should be, and almost certainly will be, the last manned strike fighter aircraft the Department of the Navy will ever buy or fly."

For more information of the Sea Air Space Expo visit online at