“Back to Basics” Supports the CNO and Fleet Commanders
By Naval Surface Forces Public Aff
Arlington, Va. – Speaking to a packed ballroom of more than 1,000 participants, Surface Navy Association (SNA) members, retired Navy flag officers, midshipmen and other guests, Vice Adm. D. C. Curtis, Commander, Naval Surface Forces and Commander, Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet, spoke to the assembled group about the vital importance of today’s Navy’s Surface Force and its ever-increasing role in national security and maritime strategy on the first day of “Surface Warfare: Core Capabilities to Meet the Nation’s Strategy,” the 21st annual SNA’s National Symposium.

In a general audience presentation, Curtis explained how the Surface Navy works to support the Chief of Naval Operations and Navy objectives. The focus, he said, is improved warfighting readiness; building future forces; supporting, mentoring and training our Sailors as a part of a strong warrior ethos; providing for our Sailors and their families, and providing for other support Surface Force groups – then finding the right balance with the right impact and with the right efficiency. “This will ensure that our Sailors and Marines are ready to answer the country’s call at the operational level,” Curtis said.

The event was held Jan. 13-15 at the Crystal City, Va. Hyatt Regency and SNA planners estimated that by the end, several thousand people had visited the briefs, exhibits, roundtables, receptions and information sessions, the various groups reflecting the diverse backgrounds and professionalism of the people who are the Navy and the Surface Force community – a highly-esteemed fact pointed out by Curtis during his presentation. He said, “It’s an exciting time to be a Surface Warrior.”

During the three days, Curtis also spoke to separate groups of security and Navy industry CEOs, Commanding Officers and retired Navy Flags. He discussed “Back-to-Basics” approaches as successful ways the Surface Force is backing CNO and Fleet Commanders objectives, and how specifically we are able to respond to the demand signal of combatant commanders. These discussions are critical to my highest priority - increasing warfighting readiness, Curtis said.

The Chief of Naval Operations, Adm. Gary Roughead, delivered the keynote speech on the second day. Additional honorary guests included the Commandant of the Marine Corps, Gen. James Conway; Commandant of the Coast Guard, Adm. Thad Allen; Commander, U.S. Fleet Forces Command, Adm. Jonathon Greenert; Sen. Mel Martinez (R-FL); and Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy, MCPON(SS/SW) Rick West.

In earnest admiration for the people of the Surface Navy and the rich heritage and dedication to the country their gathering represents, Curtis closed his remarks in the general assembly auditorium by saying, “I appreciate all of your hard work and dedication and the sacrifices you make every day. Continue doing amazing things for the Surface Navy.”