ARLINGTON, Va. - The Surface Navy Association wrapped up three days of information sharing and networking when the 25th Annual National Symposium in Arlington, Va., concluded Jan. 17.
Sailors and naval officers visited booths and attended roundtable discussions and briefs centered on the symposium's theme, Answering All Bells: People, Technology, and Innovation.
The final day featured Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus as well as other leaders in the fleet discussing a variety of surface-related issues.
"The symposium is a great opportunity to get together and interact with the fleet and industry and talk about how we can make the surface Navy better," said Capt. Roy Kitchener, chief of staff, Naval Surfaces Forces, who attended the conference.
The symposium also offered a chance for those new to the surface community to gain knowledge about its platforms and leadership.
"I like the seminars," said Lt. Ann Patterson, flag aide. "As a junior officer, just coming off a ship, I like hearing from the four-stars about where the Navy is headed. I think it's beneficial to anyone who is looking to stay in the surface community."
Lt. Alexander Allen, Military Sealift Command, agreed.
"As a junior officer, it's good to attend these sorts of events because you're new in the Navy. Chances are, you've spent the last few years on a ship working with the technology, but your view of the surface Navy is one-dimensional. By coming here, you're offered a new perspective from those who are manufacturing the equipment that you work on every day, and are inventing the next generation. It's also nice to get the higher-up perspective about where the surface community is heading," he said.
The Surface Navy Association 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.