NEWPORT, R.I. - Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan W. Greenert closed the largest International Seapower Symposium (ISS) in the annual gathering's history at the U.S. Naval War College, Oct. 21.
Speaking to participants from 111 nations in attendance, Greenert reflected on the insights he received from regional discussions at the symposium -- interoperability is the key to the success of global maritime operations; maritime security, including anti-piracy measures, can be enhanced by sharing technology and information; and assets devoted to an operation should match the mission requirements.
"It is clear that exercises and operations together build confidence, and clearly it builds trust," said Greenert, highlighting the value of personnel exchanges between maritime forces and the need for standard concepts of operations.
Greenert focused on three takeaways from the symposium: economic interdependency, the importance of people to interoperability and the value of personal relationships.
"This interdependency and the changing demographics... [are going to] have a huge influence and importance in our maritime security in the future," said Greenert. Global economies are truly interdependent with everything from production chains to cyber domains being connected.
Additionally, he highlighted relationships and partnerships and how they can impact future operations.
"Military-to-military interactions and relationships can have a great leverage particularly in a disaster," he said. "Those personal relationships make all the difference."
In closing, he reiterated the importance he places on developing cooperative efforts that can help share capabilities, technology, and approaches to working together.
Many of the world's senior-most officers from navies and coast guards attended this biennial event. With 75 heads of navy and 26 heads of coast guard, the event marks the largest meeting of maritime leaders in the conference's history. Many participants are graduates of the Naval War College's international programs.
The theme of this year's symposium was "Security and Prosperity through Maritime Partnerships." As part of the event, three panel discussions led by international leaders focused on maritime security challenges, responsive partnerships, and evolving demands.
First held in 1969, ISS has become the largest gathering of maritime leaders in history. ISS provides a forum for the world's maritime leaders to discuss common maritime challenges and to promote international maritime security cooperation. The discussions offer opportunities for future regional and international collaboration in seeking solutions to global maritime challenges.