SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- More than 150,000 professionals in the U.S. Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard gathered in the San Diego Convention Center, Feb. 17-19, for the West Coast's premier naval conference and exposition (WEST 2016).
For 26 years, WEST has brought together military and industry leaders to network and discuss the problem solving techniques of innovative technologies and how they can improve security.
WEST kicked off with an appearance from retired Adm. James Stavridis, former Supreme Allied Commander, Europe, who spoke at length about the need to improve security in an ever-changing world.
"The 20th century was about building security through building walls and that will not work in the 21st century," said Stavridis. "In this world we need to build connections and think about how to move around walls."
Centered around the theme "How Do We Make the Strategy Work?", this year's exposition was co-sponsored by the Armed Forces Communications & Electronics Association (AFCEA) and the U.S. Naval Institute (USNI).
This conference featured a town-hall discussion between the Pacific Command and Pacific Fleet commanders, the Systems Command commanders and all three local three-star commanders and leaders from the Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard.
"One thing I am taking from this is the importance of cyber defense,' said Information Systems Technician 2nd Class Dasheon Pennington, Navy Information Operations Command, San Diego. "A couple of years ago people didn't pay it any mind but now it's one of the most important aspects of warfighting."
WEST provides engagement theatres where military, government and industry professionals can have in-depth discussions about specific issues and topics. These engagements allow senior military leaders to hear honest feedback directly from sea service warfighters.
Information Systems Technician (submarines) 1st Class Gregory Northam, assigned to Commander, Submarine Development Squadron 5, said that things in the information world are always changing and good communication is essential to completing the mission.
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