The following post first appeared in the Albuquerque Journal on October 7, 2011 and was written by Rear Adm. Michael W. Broadway, special assistant to the Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Information Dominance and the senior Navy representative during Albuquerque Navy Week.
It’s Navy Week in Albuquerque this week.
This week’s activities have been designed to demonstrate to the citizens of Albuquerque that they, like all Americans, have a vested interest in having a Navy that is powerful, global, responsive and flexible – a global force for good.
In today’s security environment, we need a Navy that can meet America’s threat away from our shores rather than upon them. We need a Navy that will rapidly provide both the citizens of this country and the world with security when necessary or with humanitarian and disaster relief when the need arises.
Your Navy seeks to master the maritime domain – on, above and below the ocean’s surface. Doing so provides the power and the presence to protect our economic and security interests.
Water covers about 70 percent of the Earth’s surface. Today, 80 percent of the world’s population lives within 300 miles of a coastline. Ninety percent of all international trade travels by sea.
This 70-80-90 rule means that the vast majority (more than the 80 percent in the coastal regions) are affected by the maritime environment and what happens in that environment. Certainly, every American is affected.
Our economic prosperity and our national security depend on an accessible and secure maritime domain.
We have just marked the 10th anniversary of the beginning of the longest conflict in which this country has engaged. Your Navy has been there from the beginning and remains in the fight – whether it is delivering cruise missiles from surface ships or submarines, providing half the aerial combat missions in Afghanistan with carrier-based aircraft, carrying out swift combat operations with the quiet precision of Navy special forces, supporting the construction and reconstruction of war-torn nations’ infrastructure and facilities, or providing medical attention to U.S. and coalition forces and civilian populations.
The conflict in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Arab Spring, the brewing belligerence of rogue states, transnational terrorist groups and criminal organizations are reminders of the diverse and often unpredictable security challenges existent today. Add to that natural disasters, famine, drought and disease, and a case for a global force for good is compelling.
Your Navy is such a force. On any given day, it is capable of delivering a precise and lethal attack on a terrorist camp, providing over-watch over any potential flashpoint around the globe, capturing a pirate vessel or delivering emergency relief.
To handle this wide variety of missions, the Navy requires men and women who are highly trained, highly motivated and courageous – sailors who are capable of meeting any challenge. Fortunately for our nation, that’s exactly who we have.
We hope you’ll join us during Albuquerque Navy Week so you can meet some of these sailors and hear their stories.
The Navy gives America a fast, flexible force. That’s what sea power provides. And that’s how the Navy protects America, now more than ever.