Rear Adm. Yvette M. Davids, Acting Commander, Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet, right, and retired Vice Adm. Richard Hunt speak at the Surface Navy Association’s (SNA) Waterfront Symposium West Coast 2023 at Naval Base San Diego on Sept. 14. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communications Specialist 2nd Class Christopher Thomas.

Leaders from across the Navy and defense industry gathered to discuss the future of naval surface warfare at the fourth annual Surface Navy Association (SNA) West Coast Waterfront Symposium aboard Naval Base San Diego on Sept. 13-14.

The theme of the professional development event was “Ready Today, Preparing for Tomorrow,” which transitioned well from the focus of the SNA National Symposium held in January, which was “Getting Ready: Sharpening Our Competitive Edge.”

Rear Adm. Yvette, Davids, acting commander, Naval Surface Forces, delivered the keynote remarks on SNA’s theme. She emphasized the importance of warfighting readiness and maintaining a strong, connected, and innovative Surface Force.

“We are serving in a decisive decade and we need to be ready,” said Rear Adm. Davids. “We need to have these conversations about readiness and how we strengthen our warfighting culture. Our readiness for the fight relies on sound strategy, and our strategy is the Competitive Edge.”

Greg Carlson, Force Master Chief, Commander, Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet, right, with Jon Londsdale, Force Master Chief, Commander, Naval Surface Force, U.S. Atlantic Fleet, center, and Jason Knupp, Command Master Chief, Navy Culture and Force Resilience Office, host a Ask the Chief panel during a Surface Navy Association’s (SNA) Waterfront Symposium West Coast 2023 on Sept. 13 at Naval Base San Diego.

Surface Force defined by experience, grit

Force Master Chief Greg Carlson, Commander, Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet spoke on a panel about Warfighting Culture and Chief Petty Officer perspectives, emphasizing the Surface Force is defined by experience, grit, and tenacity, and the integral role of chiefs to ensure the Navy is ready to fight and win.

Expanding on the readiness, Carlson noted the importance of Sailor wellness initiatives and the proximity of mental health and counseling services in locations near the waterfront.

“The entire goal of our mental health portfolio is how to invest in prevention to reduce the crisis, and we aim to always have our mental health facilities as close to the waterfront as possible,” said Carlson.

Panels during the two-day event highlighted how the Surface Force is continuing to improve maintenance practices with industry partners, the challenges and opportunities with fleet training, focus on the future fight, and operational perspectives from junior officers.

Surface Navy Association began in 1985

Vice Adm. Gene Black, Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Operations, Plans, and Strategy (N3N5) delivered the keynote closing remarks emphasizing readiness and technological innovation within the Surface Force.

The Surface Navy Association was incorporated in 1985 to promote greater coordination and communication among the military, business and academic communities who share a common interest in naval surface warfare and to support the activities of Surface Naval Forces.

The SNA is dedicated to recognizing the continuing contributions of the United States Navy and Coast Guard’s surface forces, showcasing professional excellence within the surface naval forces, dealing with the challenged faced by surface naval forces, nurturing communication among military, academic and business communities, enhancing and preserving the heritage of the surface naval forces, and providing forums on professional matters affecting the surface naval forces.

The mission of CNSP is to man, train, and equip the Surface Force to provide fleet commanders with credible naval power to control the sea and project power ashore.

Story by Karli Yeager, Commander, Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet

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