US Navy hosts 100-nation International Seapower Symposium

The U.S. Naval War College (NWC) welcomed the 22nd edition of the Chief of Naval Operations’ International Seapower Symposium (ISS) which began September 20 with senior representatives from more than 100 nations attending in Newport, Rhode Island.

The three-day symposium, sponsored by Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson, welcomed maritime leaders from around the world to attend and lead presentations, take part in panel discussions, and learn from other global leaders on matters relating to current maritime topics that effect nations regionally and globally.

Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus addressed the assembled leaders with opening remarks and emphasized the conference’s theme “Stronger Maritime Partners” and the growing need for maritime security in the future.

“The demand for sea services will only expand in the years and decades to come,” he said. “Leaders across the globe and from all disciplines agree that we are living the a maritime century.”

Richardson also addressed the delegates and stressed that building relationships is important to mutual security.

“It is far better, when a crises emerges,” said Richardson, “that we can mitigate the crises with relationships that are mature.”

Richardson went on to say that the relationships built throughout the history of ISS are as vital now as they have ever been in the 47 years the symposium has been held.

NWC President Rear Adm. Jeffrey Harley, host of the event, welcomed the group noting that many attendees have studied at the school.

“Our college was specifically created to educate and develop future leaders,” said Harley. “And we are especially proud of the 86 delegates in the audience today who are graduates of the Naval War College International Program.”

Three Navy ships are also in Newport during the week: amphibious transport dock ship USS John P. Murtha (LPD 26); expeditionary fast transport ship USNS Carson City (T-EPF 7), and Coast Guard Cutter Hamilton (WMSL 753).

The biennial ISS was first held in 1969 in Newport and was designed to allow naval leaders from around the world to meet and discuss common issues they face, how to address these issues, and ultimately find solutions for them.