Navy’s Top Surface Warfare Officer Discussion Warfighting at Logistics Conference

Vice Adm. Tom Rowden, commander, Naval Surface Forces, delivered a keynote address at the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) Land and Maritime Supplier Conference and Exposition in Columbus, Ohio, Aug. 31.

This year’s conference theme was, “Maximizing Warfighter Readiness Today and Tomorrow…the Strategic Advantage of Better Buying Power,” and took place Aug. 29 to Sept. 1. The event provided the opportunity to discuss logistical support to maritime operations, and build new partnerships with industry and strengthen existing ones.

“I’d like to thank General Busch and his team of 25,000 men and women at DLA . . . they are responsible for over $40 billion in goods and services a year, and support thousands of weapon systems through two dozen distribution centers,” said Rowden, as he offered praise to the efforts of Lt. Gen. Andrew Busch, director of DLA, and the organization’s team of workers.

“Your support of warfighting readiness is a serious contribution to our national defense,” continued Rowden.

In his speech, Rowden addressed the necessity of developing a seamless and agile supply chain for projecting power around the world and ensuring sea control. He emphasized how developing fluid logistics capabilities allow us to be unpredictable to the enemy.

As one of the Navy's top surface warfare officers, Rowden is responsible for ensuring the Navy’s Pacific fleet of warships is staffed, trained and equipped for combat. He manages some of the Navy's newest ships, such as the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) and soon the Navy’s newest warship, the future USS Zumwalt (DDG 100), along with cruisers, destroyers, minesweepers and amphibious ships.

“We need to overcome the vulnerabilities of fixed logistic systems and massed stockpiles,” said Rowden. “I know it’s a tough nut to crack for an organization processing 100,000 orders a day. But reconfiguring the supply chain to support our forces in even the most challenging environments is a goal we can, and must, meet.”

Rowden closed his address by bringing the focus back to what he referred to as “the center of the universe”-- the Sailors and Marines at sea and ashore.

“We have to make sure our men and women have the tools, the training, the tactics and the talent they need to fight and win against high-end opponents,” he said.

“The conversations we have here, and the work we do after we leave, will shape the Navy and Marine Corps team’s ability to fight well.”

For more information on Navy Surface Forces visit the Commander, Naval Surface Forces website at

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