NEWPORT, R.I. (NNS) -- Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Gary Roughead was a keynote speaker at the U.S. Naval War College's 62nd annual Current Strategy Forum (CSF) in Newport, R.I., June 7.
Roughead discussed how the U.S. Navy must continue to find more efficient energy sources as the Navy meets the demands of national and global security.
"We in the Navy view security through the lens of energy, and understand implicitly that our access to energy sources we use today, oil and gas primarily, is anything but guaranteed," Roughead said. "We are well aware that the supply is not always going to meet demand and developing trends promise new sources of conflict as they relate to energy."
Roughead pointed to factors, such as limited access to fresh water, dwindling agricultural yields, and climate change, that "will continue to stress the global order just as energy resources become more dear, and this will pull us in several directions when we rather might have more space and time to address America's dependence on imported resources on our own terms."
With more than 65,000 Sailors and about 40 percent of naval forces deployed globally on any given day, U.S. national security continues to rely upon the unique role played by the Navy.
"Our Navy has been positioned exceedingly well to answer the nation's needs as a joint, interagency and international partner in a more networked world, but forward presence requires fuel," said Roughead. "Whether we see the new energy options we pursue today to fruition will affect how well we contend with growing operational demand at the same time the sustainability of our force is confronted in new ways."
The competition for energy resources continues unabated, including ventures to tap the vast oil and natural gas bases in the Arctic, and the pursuit of green alternatives such as hybrid-electric drives and 'drop-in' fuel alternatives. This search for new energy sources and the struggle to meet increasing demands with limited resources goes to the heart of the role of American sea power in the global community.
Roughead explained that the Navy has "shown the foresight, once again, to be a motive force in wider technological advancements, to be the early adopters of energy solutions that carry with them the prospects for us to re-imagine the capacity with which we execute the core capabilities of our Navy."
The 2011 Current Strategy Forum featured speakers from military, academia and industry, and explored the critical role of energy in international security, the current and future impact of increasing global demands on natural resources, and the related vulnerabilities and opportunities for the nation and the maritime services in a more energy constrained environment.
Attended by the Naval War College community and participants from throughout the country, this year's two-day event, hosted by the Secretary of the Navy, explored the theme of "Energy and the U.S. National Security: Vulnerability and Opportunity."
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