USA: Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Warfare Systems Visits Rochester

Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Warfare Systems met with members of the Rochester Rotary Club as part of a community outreach visit to Rochester, N.Y., July 24.

Vice Adm. Bill Burke’s three-day visit was part of the Navy’s 50-50 program, which is sending 50 Navy leaders to 50 cities across the United States as part of a campaign designed to increase Americans’ understanding of the Navy’s mission, capabilities and relevance to national security.

“Water covers about 70 percent of the earth’s surface and approximately 80 percent of the world’s population lives near the sea,” said Burke, a native from nearby Hornell, N.Y. “Roughly 90 percent of all world trade by volume travels by sea, including most of the 5 billion dollars in exports from Rochester each year. In other words, what happens on the sea matters.”

Burke’s presentation highlighted operations and exercises the Navy is involved in around the globe, the Navy’s energy initiatives, and the challenges of remaining a flexible and ready force in a fast-paced and rapidly evolving global maritime environment.

“Our theme this year is ‘peace through service’,” said John White, president of the Rochester Rotary Club. “A strong and respected military is part of this. It’s good to see the human side of a high-ranking Naval leader and to meet and hear from him directly.”

As part of the outreach visit, Burke met with Rochester mayor Tom Richards, country executive Maggie Brooks, corporate executives, educators from the University of Rochester, veterans from Canandaigua VA hospital, and members of the media.

A former high school and college baseball player, Burke had the honor of throwing the first pitch at the Rochester Red Wings baseball game July 24.

“It has been a privilege meeting with the people of Rochester and sharing with them the work their Navy is doing around the world each and every day,” said Burke. “Their support and encouragement for active-duty service members, reservists and veterans has been amazing, and they have truly made us feel welcome.”

Naval Today Staff, July 26, 2012