CRYSTAL CITY, Va. (NNS) -- Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (MCPON) spoke at the Surface Navy Association's 24th Annual National Symposium in Crystal City, Va., Jan. 10.
The symposium brought military, government, and industry professionals together to discuss solutions to modern issues and forge ideas to assist tomorrow's surface Navy. The theme for the symposium was "Surface Navy: A Credible Force in Uncertain Times."
"Despite budget constraints, the world's oceans and waterways are not getting smaller," said MCPON (SS/SW) Rick D. West. "We will continue to work challenges and accomplish our mission with a smaller, flexible force, ready to answer our nation's call anywhere, anytime, and our surface Navy is an extremely important factor in this."
The event also served as an exhibit for government-contracted defense companies, suppliers, and leading technological surface commands to showcase current and future projects and technology.
"After 32 years in the Navy, when I step back and think about how we have changed, not only with technology but with our people, I cannot imagine where we will be in another 30 years. It's going to be absolutely incredible," said West.
MCPON also added that no matter how technology advances, it's still the Sailors out there doing their jobs that make our Navy so great.
"We have a busy, engaged Navy," said West. "On any given day nearly 50,000 Sailors and 40 percent of our ship are underway or deployed globally, and the great men and women in our Navy will always be the biggest reason we continue to excel."
Joining MCPON was Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard (MCPOCG) Michael P. Leavitt. MCPOCG Leavitt reinforced the Coast Guard's role for the United States and used examples to highlight how the Coast Guard enhances the Department of Defense.
The Surface Navy Association (SNA) was incorporated in 1985 to promote greater coordination and communication among those in the military, business and academic communities who share a common interest in Naval Surface Warfare and to support the activities of Surface Naval Forces.
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