By Vice Adm. Phil Cullom
Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Fleet Readiness and Logistics
Command and control centers ashore. Fuel distribution nodes. Sea and air lines of communications. Underway replenishment. Shore infrastructure, supply chains and information technology networks serve key roles in today’s operational environment and drive the resilience of our Nation’s warfighters.
Every day when I turn on the news, I hear about another sophisticated cyber attack on a U.S. company. Last year, Hurricane Sandy knocked out power to millions on the East Coast and shut down the New York Stock Exchange for two days. To provide our warfighters assured access to supplies and support, our installations and supply and transportation systems today must be able to withstand natural disasters, conventional threats and cyber attacks.
The environment our maritime forces operate in is changing every day. There are new technological developments and discoveries — potential “game changers” in the world of energy security. Initiatives are underway to improve commonality and integration of logistics processes and to better leverage joint efforts. At the same time, there are dramatic changes occurring in military operations: the pivot to the Asia-Pacific, the emergence of new worldwide logistics networks, and a Spartan approach to energy security through alternative energy and increased efficiency.
All of these changes offer great opportunities, if we can leverage them. So the question is: How will installations and logistics organizations adapt to maintain the resiliency of our warfighters? What steps must we take to protect our installations and logistics chains? How can installations and logistics sustain warfighters when networks are damaged or degraded? “Business is usual” is not an option in today’s budget environment. How will we evolve?
For this year’s Sea-Air-Space Expo, which kicks off tomorrow, we’ve put together a well-rounded panel of military leaders and industry experts to tackle this topic: Vice Adm. Bill French (Commander, Naval Installations Command), Lt. Gen. Mark Faulkner (U.S. Marine Corps deputy commandant for Installations and Logistics), Rear Adm. Mark Heinrich (commander, Naval Supply Systems Command), Rear Adm. Ron Rábago, (U.S. Coast Guard assistant commandant for Engineering and Logistics), retired Rear Adm. Garry Hall with Siemens, Ms. Juliane Praiss with Boeing and Mr. Brad Bateman with Johnson Controls. I look forward to hearing each panelist’s perspective on the challenges we face as we support and sustain the warfighter today and in future missions.
The panel is scheduled for April 8 from 3 to 4:15 p.m. So please come, bring your questions and join the discussion as we tackle resiliency and how we best preserve our Nation’s naval lethality and agility in an austere budget environment.