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Navy Must Clearly Communicate Value Of Sea Power

“As 2016 draws to a close, Navy Leadership is in possession of a great deal of Blue-ribbon thinking about fleet architecture and force structure, the result of Congressional direction contained in the 2016 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) and elsewhere.  Specifically, the Rand Corporation has submitted a study of the future of Aircraft carriers, and three separate  organizations (The Mitre Corporation, the Navy Staff (N81), and the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments (CSBA) have submitted views of appropriate future fleet architectures.  The Navy is currently analyzing these products to determine the extent to which they might shape future plans and programs, as they work to ‘answer the mail’ from the Congress. This is a time of great intellectual ferment in the Navy, fueled by the Chief of Naval Operations’ (ADM John Richardson) quiet emphasis on the re-emergence of great power competition and the need to be prepared to wage it.  It is unclear how the Congressionally mandated studies will influence Navy plans going forward, but the Navy should be prepared to engage in a methodical and focused  communications campaign to build public recognition of the challenges ahead seems obvious.