HOUSTON (NNS) -- Officers from the U.S. Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard held a town hall type discussion at Rice University, Jan. 23, focusing on a new Maritime Strategy.
The meeting at the James Baker Institute for Public Policy at Rice University is part of a national tour designed to introduce this new strategy called "A Cooperative Strategy for 21st Century Sea Power" to the American people.
The new U.S. Maritime Strategy recognizes the economic links of the global economy and how any disruption due to regional crises - manmade or natural - can adversely impact the U.S. economy and quality of life.
Students, scholars and local residents from all walks of life attended the event. The "Conversation with the Country" is a series of outreach discussions around the nation that are designed to communicate the new strategy and create awareness and discussions with the American people.
"I am very pleased to see the Navy, Marine Corps and the Coast Guard are working together for a common goal, which is to protect our national interest," said George Abby, a Senior Fellow for Space Policy for the Baker Institute at Rice University. "I love this type of forum because it gives us, the American people a chance to offer our opinion."
While addressing the audience, Vice Adm. John Morgan, Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Information, Plans and Strategy explained why this strategy is important.
"A sustainable national economy correlates with strong national security," said Morgan. "We must, at all times, protect our way of life by protecting our national security and interests."
Morgan added that about 90 percent of the world's commerce crosses the oceans and world prosperity and security depend on the free use of the seas.
Houston is one of many cities that will benefit by the new strategy. The city is a major economic hub with more than 200 million tons of good shipped through its port in 2007 alone.
"I believe in the capabilities of our armed forces to protect our interests," said Tim Borden, a student of Cognitive Science at the university. "Having an open forum like this where the American people can be engaged in discussions that will help this strategy work is very good."
For more information and to read the Maritime Strategy, visit www.navy.mil/maritime .
For more news from Chief of Information, visit www.navy.mil/local/chinfo/.