2012 Sea Air Space Symposium Summary

One of the largest gatherings of high-ranking military officials, military analysts, naval analysts, industry experts and government leaders is the annual Sea Air Space Symposium hosted by the Navy League of the United States. Widely recognized as the premier military-industry gathering in the United States, this year’s event, held at the Gaylord Center in National Harbor, Maryland, drew over 15,000 delegates.

Day 1 of this signature event focused on strategy; Day 2 on capabilities and requirements; and Day 3 on the budget. Many of the speakers emphasized the importance of the Defense Strategic Guidance, the Obama Administration’s recently-issued national strategy, and the Fiscal Year 2013 budget priorities. For the Department of Defense and for the United States Navy emphasis will continue to be placed on “capabilities” vs. “capacity” (i.e., ship numbers) and platform and system “wholeness.”

As with many military-industry events such as the Sea Air Space Symposium, many delegates came to hear senior military speakers and analysts in order to get some glimpse of the future direction of military strategy, capabilities and budget priorities and the Sea Air Space Symposium delivered those in spades! That said, during his remarks at the event’s capstone black-tie dinner, former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates described just how difficult this is.
He noted that “America’s record of predicting where we would fight has been perfect over the past 35 years: we have never gotten it right once.” He went on to describe how the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps provide the strategic flexibility – especially in the Asia-Pacific region – to recover and cope when we get it wrong.

See the attachment for a complete description of this year’s Sea Air Space Symposium. Click on the links for more detail on found in various high-level strategic documents.

And see future posts on this website for more analysis the challenges Secretary Gates described about seeing what’s beyond the horizon.

2012 Sea Air Space Symposium Summary

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