SAN FRANCISCO - A Senior Leadership Seminar (SLS) was held aboard USS Makin Island (LHD 8), Oct. 4 and continues through, Oct. 5.
The seminar focuses on the federal response capabilities to local and state requirements in the event of a major natural disaster in the San Francisco Bay Area.
"The Senior Leadership Seminar is not just about the panels, it's shaking a hand, looking each other in the eye and knowing we're in this together," said Vice Adm. Gerald Beaman, commander, U.S. Third Fleet. "Each of us, together, bring capabilities to each situation."
This is the third time the SLS has been held in conjunction with San Francisco Fleet Week, and the second time it's been held aboard Makin Island. It offers an opportunity for senior Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard leaders to interact with local, state and regional leaders to focus on disaster preparedness and response.
In attendance for SLS was former Secretary of State George Schulz, San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee, and various officials from the San Francisco and Oakland Fire and Police departments, along with medical and relief organizations. In addition to the sea services, the U.S. Army and Air Force were also represented.
"This seminar is invaluable," said San Francisco Police Department Deputy Chief, Denise Schmitt. "This is an opportunity to think ahead, to plan, and to expand our horizon. Meeting these senior leaders is a way to network. Knowing what equipment is available and to see it in action helps us to see the way ahead for improving our capabilities."
Being ready to provide humanitarian assistance and disaster response in the event of potential natural or man-made disasters is a core capability of the Sea Services Maritime Strategy. Doing so takes advantage of the fact that the Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard are a rapidly deployable, technologically advanced team that is poised for action in a variety of roles as part of our nation's joint force.
"The sea services bring a very important capability - logistics," said San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee. "What I saw yesterday at Ocean Beach was a demonstration of that. In one hour, an emergency surgical tent was set up to handle casualties. It's that capability that will be important for this city if there is an emergency."
The SLS is just one facet of San Francisco Fleet Week that recognizes the sacrifices and contributions of the sea services, past and present. Sailors, Marines and Coast Guardsmen are woven into the fabric of the community - as neighbors, volunteers and citizens actively working together to enhance the quality of life in the Bay Area.
Makin Island is the first United States Navy ship to be equipped with gas turbines and an electric drive system, replacing the older technology of steam boilers. With the ship's electric drive running, which is similar in functionality to that of a hybrid car, it is possible to transit longer distances using less fuel.
Additionally, Makin Island is the first U.S. Navy ship to have an advanced electrical plant that powers all of the ship's auxiliaries, including the capability to produce 200,000 gallons of fresh water every day.
Operated by a crew of more than 1,000 Sailors, Makin Island is a multi-mission platform that is equipped to meet the needs of our country, whether that is supporting national objectives or by providing disaster relief.
Makin Island's revolutionary technology is estimated to save the Navy $250 million throughout its 40-year lifecycle and is a model for future ship designs.