Defense Media Network

Surface Navy Association Symposium focuses on “Warfighting First!”

The first big naval professional development event of the year, the Surface Navy Association’s 2014 Symposium, is ready to kick off in Crystal City, Va., with the theme, “Surface Warfare…Warfighting First.”

And if you can only attend one event all year, this should be your first choice. Not because it costs a fraction of what other military, maritime and naval-themed conference cost, but because of the impressive line-up of speakers, literally the top leaders in the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps, and U.S. Coast Guard.

“Surface Warfare…Warfighting First.”

The symposium kicks off on Tuesday, Jan. 14, with the SNA annual meeting and, focusing on the warfighters of today and the future, there will be a series of roundtables for junior officers, enlisted surface warriors and midshipmen from NROTC units and the Naval Academy.

Tuesday speakers include Secretary of the Navy Raymond E. Mabus, Jr.; Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan Greenert, USN; Commander, Naval Surface Forces/Commander, Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet Vice Adm. Tom Copeman; Director, Surface Warfare Division, N96, OPNAV Rear Adm. Thomas S. Rowden, USN, and; Director, Expeditionary Warfare Division, N95, OPNAV Maj. Gen. Robert S. Walsh, USMC.

Wednesday’s lineup includes Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA) and Commander, U.S. Fleet Forces Command Adm. William E. Gortney, USN.  The popular International Navies luncheon will be led by Cmdre Richard Allen, RN, the naval attaché from the British Embassy, and will feature naval attaches from France, Italy, and Japan. Addressing the rebalance of forces to the Pacific will be Commander U.S. Pacific Command (PACOM) Adm. Sam Locklear, USN.

Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus

Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus boards a harbor security boat following an all-hands call with Naval Beach Unit (NBU) 7, Sasebo, Japan, June 24, 2013. Mabus will address the Surface Navy Association’s 2014 Symposium on Tuesday, Jan. 14. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Arif Patani

Also speaking on Wednesday will be Assistant Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps Gen. John M. Paxton, Jr., USMC, and Deputy Director, Missile Defense Agency (MDA) Maj. Gen. Samuel A. Greaves, USAF; as well as Chief of Naval Research Rear Adm. Matthew Klunder, USN, and Commander, Navy Warfare Development Command Rear Adm. Scott Jerabek, USN. Wednesday’s Naval Heritage program will examine the Battle of Lake Erie.

“We’re delighted so many top leaders made time to meet with our members and share their perspectives.”

Several panels will follow remarks by U.S. Coast Guard Atlantic Area Commander Vice Adm. Robert C. Parker, USCG, including discussions on naval ship programs; Pacific refocus; remarks from the Navy and Coast Guard top enlisted personnel; and a panel of journalists, commentators, and analysts who follow surface programs closely. Thursday will also feature the annual awards luncheon as well as the banquet where the new members of the Surface Warfare Hall of Fame will be named. Adm. James G. Stavridis, USN (Ret.), dean of the Fletcher School of law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, will be the guest speaker at the banquet.

“’Warfighting First!’ is the top priority for the U.S. Navy.  It’s an appropriate theme for this year’s symposium,” said Vice Adm. Barry McCullough, USN (Ret.), who is the president of Surface Navy Association (SNA). “We’re delighted so many top leaders made time to meet with our members and share their perspectives.”

Surface Navy Association’s 2014 Symposium

The People’s Liberation Army-Navy destroyer Qingdao (DDG 113), foreground, frigate Linyi (FFG 547), and the U.S. Navy guided-missile cruiser USS Lake Erie (CG 70) operate together off Oahu, Hawaii, during a search and rescue exercise, Sept. 9, 2013. A likely topic of conversation at the Surface Navy Association’s 2014 Symposium is going to be the U.S. refocus on the Pacific and the rise of China. U.S. Navy photo

SNA promotes the recognition of the role of that the Navy and surface forces in play United States’ security, as well as the professional excellence in surface naval forces and foster and preserve the heritage of the surface naval forces in the U.S. Navy.


Capt. Edward H. Lundquist, U.S. Navy (Ret.) is a senior-level communications professional with more than...