tv East Asia Summit Preview Opening Remarks CSPAN November 4, 2014 9:03am-9:50am EST
>> thank you very much, governor. you touched on the extent of the environment. you know, the likelihood, of course, that the fed would start raising rates. of course the other big thing that is going to be happening is quantitative easing from the ecb most likely. europe remains very weak and outside of the u.s. external environment remains very weak. how do you assess the prospect for the indian economy given those developments, as well as a variety of geopolitical risks? >> well, i mean, one thing is money -- >> i'm michael hand lynn with the center on 21st century security and intelligence and honored today to have admiral jonathan greenert, the navy's top leader, and he will be speaking this morning for a few minutes about trends in the navy
and strategic thinking, all of what he is up to around the world, including the rebalance to the asia pacific and other topics of interest and after that we'll have a bit of a conversation up here before going to you. i just wanted to say a couple of words of appreciation and biography about admiral greenert. he is a native of pennsylvania. i believe quarterback country as they say so maybe we should get you into the mix on saving the redskins as well as all the other things you are doing around the world. 1975 graduate of annapolis. a submariner by profession. has commanded attack submarines and ballistic missile submarines. commander of the u.s. 7th fleet and various other jobs. major part of the planning and nh shop of the navy, as well prior to his current position as the chief of naval operations. he's been in that position now about three years. which makes him part of a remarkable class of joint chiefs who came into office in that
year. admiral greenert is joined by general oddnorio and general dempsey and i would like to begin the speculation or the recommendation process i hope he may be considered for another four-star job when general dempsey steps down next year but i don't mean to do the admiral a disservice interjecting that too much in today's conversation. i would like to say in the three years he's been at the helm of the navy he has been soernted with a number of major initiatives including, of course, the so-called rebalance to the asia pacific and the rethinking of air-sea battle, a topic i'm sure will come up today. without further adieu, please join me in welcoming general greenert to brookings. >> thank you, michael. thank you very much. you're very kind. i was in pennsylvania yesterday. we were talking about -- i visited a high school and i wt s
called moon township. we were talking to the high school students about pretty much what we're going to talk about today and their interest and their in-depth knowledge of world affairs totally stunned me. i was taken back by it. i figured they'd want to talk about local stuff or this or that or why the navy and this business. boom, they were way out there and they said how do we get information beyond just the headlines? we would like to understand our world today. we talked a little bit about, of course, our world today is not going to be their world as we have seen that remarkable evolution. they had a partner online that we were vtc'g with in taiwan, a partner high school, and so we got worldwide very quickly and we had a q & a session. they were very remarkably involved. it is an amazing world as we get out there, how connected we are. i'd like to talk briefly about our maritime strategy and why we are redoing that. the rebalance as michael said
that we're -- how we're moving on in that and our relations with in this case the chinese navy. it is kind of an update on things. we have had the international sea power symposium about six weeks ago and continuing the evolution as directed by the president and in accordance with the rebalance to the asia pacific. but our maritime strategy, i hope and expect by the end of this calendar year we'll be publishing this. a relatively new command ant of the marine corps and i need to give them time to digest what we have put together and make sure that we're in sync because it's a sea services document. navy, marine corps and coast guard. the compelling reasons for the revision and it pretty much is a revision, is obviously the security and fiscal changes since 2007. they have been extraordinary. the indian ocean, asia region, the changes, the anti-access area denial and the need for
access, energy, the challenge for energy and the need for energy. anti-terrorism, maritime disputes. all of these have dramatically evolved since 2007. we have a new strategy since then. the defense strategic guidance of 2012. a qdr and homeland security where the coast guard resides has had a homeland security review. so all of these really compel us and dictate a change to our strategy. our principles will be the same. the value of presence to be where it matters when it matters as a sea service. the three of us. and how we fit into that. and value of maritime networks as the leverage and the strength that you get out of maritime networks will come out in that. we'll address power projection, sea control, maritime security and the importance of access. but, you know, if you could put up the graphic here, the slide,
if you wonder the evolving world -- compare this to 2007 and i ask you, there's only a few photos up here you'd say, yeah, yeah, i remember that, same situation in 2007. it's different. you know? 2007 the mortgage bubble way beyond that. we had a surge going on in iraq. and the evolving war fighting challenges since then and cyber, electronic warfare, electronic attack. the electromagnetic spectrum, if you will. weapons of mass destruction. and, of course, the case of syria, chemical weapons that evolved since then and counterterrorism. so again, our objective is by the end of the year we'll complete and have this thing published. so a little bit on the asia pacific rebalance. some folks say, well, is that thing really going to happen? i mean, you still going to do that? i say, yes. despite current events, the long-range interests of your navy and really of your security
posture, the defense of defense is in the asia pacific. to review, over 50% of the world's shipping ton knowledge pass through the straights of malka and lumbar in the indonesia area in southeast asia. a third of the global crude oil and half of the liquid natural gas moves through the south china sea. five of the top 15 trading partners in the region, asia pacif pacific. five of the seven treaties, security treaties are in the region. we have been engaged over 70 years in the asia pacific region and with presence, with significant presence in that area. we will continue with this rebalance. and that rebalance means to refresh for us four properly postured forward forces and we are on track with destroyers, to japan, forward deployed naval force, literal combat ships to
singapore, a new attack -- excuse me, a submarine to guam, the triton which is the surveillance to deploy that out of the guam and okinawa, our p-8-a, we're now in the third deployment out there. that will continue to evolve. most of you saw yesterday the landing on the nimitz of the f-35-c. the joint strike fighter so as that is bringing that in, evolves, we will forward deploy that first to the western pacific. it's forces, it's capables, advanced capabilities in the pacific area of responsibility is the benchmark and retains that. but it's also understanding and that means you can call it intellectual capacity. you can call it increased engagement with allies, partners and potential partners such as china and india. rebalance is not single dimensional. it is not just about china but it is china certain is one part
of it and a very important part of it. china and our country are the world's largest economies and we are frankly intertwined. you know that. number two trading partner. the number three export market and our number one import source is china. the mutual prosperity of both of us is in our collective best interest. our president's met in sunny lands and recognized and told us we have to get the relationship right and we are continuing on that track. in the navy, it was about finding out and working out what are the differences and how do we increase cooperation? we acknowledge that growing influence in size of the chinese navy. but we agree and we consist that we have a consistent application of the international laws and norms, that we act responsibly both locally and globally, and that involves queue and many of you are familiar with and rules
of behavior working group in progress, meeting periodically about monthly now. these are folks made up of our defense and then ministry of defense in china and of course the naval officers and their naval officers working on rules of behavior in a working group. and contribute to the international order and security. in other words, to be a leader. and we talked about that. we would be -- admiral woo shan lee and myself with miss party and my group an we talked about it with the heads of navy. do we continue the useful dialogue that we need to make sure we have a governance on the high seas? so both our presidents directed the strengthening of military ties and to build the understanding and as president obama said, we should institutionalize and regularize our discussions that take place. the navies are well suited to the task. we are frequently encountering each other in an international domain, the high seas.
we encounter each other's routinely out there on the global commons. and in a vast area we are often called together to cooperate on areas of shared challenge. humanitarian, disaster relief, typhoons, tsunamis, ring of fire in the asia pacific region, counter piracy all around the world. you're familiar with that. wasn't that long ago we met to search for flight 370. so a little update on our relationship, how are things coming together? well, we're working from the top down. that's myself and admiral wu shan lee and the bottom up to set up and encourage the folks to get together at the mid grade level and senior officer but to start from the top i've met with admiral wu five times in the last year and we're working on counter part viz its here in 2015. we'll put our input -- i'll
provide my input to the folks down in the policy and the office of the secretary of defense and i'll talk about little bit more on the junior interactions in a minute but the fact is with this rising navy in china, we have in my view opportunity. the challenges to get rid of needless, unfounded, unprofessional cases in this interaction we're ultimately and inevitably going to have at sea. unsafe operations. you're familiar with many of them, both at sea and in recently in our sensitive reconnaissance operation intercepts. we have had nothing recent. no unsafe or untoward incidents since august when we had this last sor intercept that we have viewed as unsafe and we talked about that. admiral wu and i talked about this at length and where we might go ahead when we met six weeks ago in newport. so there's a concern for both, for myself, admiral wu and all
the heads of navy what we go to sea, when we meet at sea, we have glover nans with proper protocols and decrease the potential for miscall collusion. history is full of cases of miscalculation causing nations to put them in a situation they don't want to be in and leaving no recourse. we have to clear standards of behavior for clear and consistent operations in international waters and in international air space. and again, this was embraced by all the heads of navy and the international sea power symposium not long ago. we started down this road in a -- i think a pretty robust manner back in april of this year at the western pacific naval symposium getting together voluntarily 22 navies embraced for professional behavior and clear communications. wercis at rim pac with 25 navies there, 42 ships and we worked on that at
rim pac. a lot of different nations and navies but this will be a long, deliberate process bringing deliberate attention. in some cases for some navies, it's very different to have an engagement, to be open and to be conversing out there at sea. in the july counterpart visit i had where i went to china at the invitation of admiral wu, i visited the state oceanic administration, analogous to our department of homeland security where we talked -- that's where their coast guard if you will is located of the and we talked about introducing the queis option or protocol to the coast guard and it was absorbed, it was taken in as something that was viable, our coast guard is interested and making that connection now to continue to expand queis. in newport we discussed
expansion across the globe with all of the nations and pretty much embraced by all of the coast guards and navies around the world as something that has value, maybe not in the current, precise format but the concept of a code, a known protocol at sea was embraced globally. the conversation doesn't stop. we need to sustain dialogue and we had our sea power symposium as i mentioned over and over again here six weeks ago. these will continue. we have the next larger one in singapore next may and we'll continue the discussion on both cyber at sea and the impact there and, of course, how do we continue to expand queis and go beyond that? we agreed to continue on. we kind of synchronized on the six initiatives we started actually almost 15 months ago whenever he was here in the united states. and they are to continue fleets training in and the promotion of
queis. we both agree it's a good initiative. to increase port visits and i'll bring next -- again to my boss next year's proposals later this month for next year, i'll bring those proposals for port viz its. we agreed to establish regular service chief communications and the means to do that. we agreed to increase our academic exchanges both at the naval war college and our naval academies. and those are in progress and admiral wu brought prospective commanding officers to newport going into 0 our prospective commanding officer course, talking to the teachers. admiral wu attended and synchronized that. they're coming over here to the united states. we're working through the visas and bringing that up. some will come over and continue that exchange. we agreed to put together a working group for human resources as he's moving to build his navy of the future and we are building our navy of the
future to go over the challenges. and then lastly, to work on preapproved exercises. my pacific fleet commander is working with his requisite counterpart to find out how do we put modules together so when we meet at sea and we have that opportunity doing, whether we're doing counter piracy operations, down in the south china sea, the east china sea, how can we do exercises, simple exercises that we can get preapproved? it is about building confidence and understanding throughout the ranks to continue on that road. so let me close now and then we'll get into your questions and questions and michael will have a conversation. we're committed to the security of the asia pacific. the alliances are strong. and we'll honor our treaties. the engagement is increasing both bilaterally and multilaterally and it's really part of that rebalance. but relationships that i spoke to both with the people's republic of china, their navy
and india becoming an increasing opportunity will not be at the expense of our allies. it is not zero sum. international norms and standards are -- will benefit the region and we need to continue on that way ahead. so thanks a lot and i look forward to your questions. >> thank you, admiral, for those great remarks and for what you're doing operationally and planning the future navy and working with allies and with the chinese. i wanted to begin with the ch a chinese navy and ask you to give us an assessment, an update on their quality. i recall admiral willard running pacific command a few years ago made a statement, a very pi think statement, everything we thought the xhi need would do are doing better and faster than we thought and the flip side of everything you terms in building engagement, how do you assess their quality at this juncture?
>> i put it in two categories, maybe. one, the three dimensional, the construction, the technology and all that, i think admiral willard has it about right. i would call it a pace of what we would consider in the weapon development architecture if you will. and the building they're in. i would say what we find in rim pac, they have operated in among themselves but not internationally so i think they have a pretty good learning curve to take on. we saw it in rim pac. they started out sort of rudimentary exercises. had some problems, maybe here and there. not unexpected for somebody entering into a multilateral engagement. but they ramped up reasonably well. so they have -- we have a -- it's kind of like almost olympic grading scheme on the exercises. how do we do the gun shoot, this
and that? some said they were average to high average. i said, well, okay. i don't know what judges decided that. but i would say they're coming along well, especially their interest in humanitarian assistance disaster relief. and to take on the responsible role that a growing navy would take on. >> are you overly concerned about the pace of which they're getting better? the last thing you said, obviously, seems, you know, fairly apple pie, helping more with humanitarian operations and so forth, but of course, i know that our navies have sometimes come into close proximity. there have been some dangerous encounters. they're not entirely comfortable with our presence in the western pacific and there's thinking they want to push us back. are you particularly worried about that? secondly, do we need some new rules of the road for how the navies interact, some of the safety measures and hotline measures the u.s. and soviets had in the cold war would be well served by introducing some
more of those into the relationship. >> i think it would be of great interest. we have started a dialogue. it is relatively routine right now. periodic. perhaps predictable. i think when we have these untoward incidents to get on the line and say, we should talk about this as opposed to reading it in the media or diplomatic channels as to what happened. both maybe, quote, your side and my side. two professional mariners saying, especially contrary to things that we agreed on. say, when's the story on this? to me, that's how you find out if you can trust someone else, how much confidence do you have in them? are you willing to take more risk in them and how much authority do they have through the chain of xhnd and how tight is it and evaluate, you know, that other navy or that other entity when it goes. this is not apple pie and if i gave you that impression that
would be the wrong impression. it is encouraging but at the same time it warrants vigilance to say this is an opportunity and so who are they going to be? they're large, technologically advanced. what is are the intentions and how do we manage this growing entity that we're going to share the south china sea and east china sea because we're going to be there and they acknowledge that. >> this brings me back to the rebalance if i could ask a couple more questions on that. you itemized some of the things you are doing. the four combat ships towards singapore, i think another submarine at guam, et cetera. a number of specific changes and initiatives but i wanted to ask you sort of of the umbrella change which is the notion that 60% of the navy is supposed to be focused or based in the asia pacific at least by 2020 and a change from the 50% norm that we had for much of the cold war. how are we doing with that?
my next question, of course, is about budget sequestration and moving towards 60% of the navy in the asia pacific if budget pressures are pushing the fleet size downward some point 60% of the smaller navy is no greater than 50% of the old but i'll come to that next. how are we doing at approaching that 60% goal and what does it really mean? is that the 60% of the fleet that's operating in the western pacific or more generally throughout the asia pacific region including the indian ocean. >> that number of 60% represents the percentage of our navy that's home ported west. the idea is it's easier to rotationally deploy or to react if you have to, if you're home ported where you believe your focus of attention should be. we're on track for that. as we build ships, we look toward home porting them toward the west and keeping that, again, that process going because it's not just numbers. it's also the numbers of the --
with the most capability. the two destroyers to japan is a part of that. the literal combat ships to singapore, they're not a part of that in that they're not home ported there. the sailors don't move there. they will go out and operate, call them forward station and we'll rotate the crews but the ships themselves are literally -- it's kind of like where your family and where your home is and in that case it's san diego. still west but not as far west. so, yeah. as my point would be we certainly -- we have a target number. we need, you know, 306, you know, our number to -- of ships in order to accomplish the defense strategic guidance but doing the best that we can with the ships that we have is also important. so put another way, michael, we could have a lot of ships but if they're all here home based in the united states an we're not operating forward then we're not nearly as effective and if we
try to respond and three weeks from just about anyplace in the united states to any hot spot in the world. >> that's a helpful, clarifying answer on the 60%. now i wanted to ask you about fleet size. know e that today's fleet -- well, i'll let you correct me in a second. it's in the area of 280 ships. you're aiming for 306 and hopes of where the budget will go. and what's reflected in the administration's long-term budget plan. but we also know two things that complicate your life. i'm sure there's more than two but two things. one is, of course, the potential return of sequestration in next year's budget. sequestration level defense spending which is lower than the administration wants or has planned on. lower than you have planned on. and yet, at the moment it would be the law of the land to return to those levels unless congress is able to act in the meantime. if we end up at a sequestration
level of spending and stay there, can you give us a rough sense of the your plans and how big the navy would be instead of 306, what's a rough approximate benchmark? of course, the other complicating factor is a lot of times technology like f-35 aircraft winds up costing more than we hope and you could have additional pressure reducing the numbers of purchases of ships and airplanes because of that. so can you give us a sense. you're at 285, i think. hoping for 306. which could happen and how much could you fall short if you don't get the funds you need? >> we're at i think 289 the number today. you know, i don't want to quibble so much on it but it is -- there's a point to be made. we're growing. and we're growing because we have had a stable shipbuilding plan now for about five, six, seven years i would say. that's produced ships and ship projects, shipbuilding project that is are coming in on time and under budget because we have
a competitive situation and a multi-year procurement situation so the value of that is starting to show itself. we'll continue to grow. under the current budget that we have today, let's -- i'll start with that. the fiscal year '15 if you extrapolate that out, what we submitted to the hill, we would have 308 ships by 2020. and if you go out to 2025, we would grow to 317 so that's a decent scenario. if we went to the budget control act and there's two parts of this. >> right. >> you can go to the budget control act and a very -- how do i say this? predictable manner. so you sort of know what your budget is and you make those planls. and then you can go about it where you get sequestered where there's just so decision every year. you get to the beginning of that year and then you get sequestered. we have an algorhythm that kicks in and fiscal year '13 all over again and bad for two reasons. you have a plan for any of it? you haven't been told to.
and then you suddenly have all of your programs, you know, reduced by 10%. so you scramble for months to reprogram money and get the moneys where they need to be like the ohio replacement. you lose months of work. months of hiring perhaps if you're trying to get engineers so it's very disruptive and that adds up if you do that year after year. that is worse than just going to the -- you know, a long-term budget control act. and it doesn't help with your people who are the most important aspect of it. but to your point, i'd say -- i worry about the shipbuilding industrial base. i worry about that scenario which would cause us to have to reduce our shipbuilding account. this would take years to manifest itself in numbers depending on the ships to retire to meet the budget requirements. but more importantly, if we lose a builder here and there and they're some likelihood to lose one or two builders, we only have five, then we lose that
competition i mentioned earlier which gets you much more effective and efficient shipbuilding base and it gets you the situation where if you need to reconstitute your ship account, if you will, you can put money in but you have so many builders. you lose the mid grade vendors, if you will. people that build valves, circuits and other specialized items especially in the nuclear arena and that would be a tough call and that would be a very tough recovery. >> by the way, quick follow-up for the general observer and viewer, you remind us of the shipyards? >> sure. bath up in the northwest in maine. electric boat in connecticut. down in the newport news area, you have huntington. and then you have ingalls in gulfport, mississippi. you have nasco on the west coast in the san diego arena. so, those are the big ones. there are other shipbuilders but
those are the big ones that provide if you will the capital ships. the literal combat shipbuilders in northwest of wisconsin and the sous of mobile, alabama. >> i have two questions, one on missile defense and air-sea battle. missile defense, of course, this is an important priority for not only your service but all the services and you've got the standard missile as well as the aegis radar that would provide information and guidance. but of course, we also know that china in particular is modernizing its missiles very fast and as i look at this from just sort of a military technology point of view, it's always been tough for a defender in the missile age to deal with the potential threat from missiles whether it's icbms in the nuclear threat or the tactical threat which is probably of greater concern to the 7th fleet, for example. how do you feel about the overall trend in missile defense
technology and i guess to put it right to a point, do we need a breakthrough in directed energy weapon defense before we can change the balance and really have the defense in a potentially strong position vis-a-vis the offense? >> my view is there are two a a areas we are doing very good exploratory work and directed energy. i think that is a longer range effective weapon system that we need to look at. as we speak here, we have directed energy weapon, in fact, if you have it, tim, if you would put it up, out on the poncy out on a ship in the arabian gulf and in just a few days we are going to demonstrate this thing. we already have -- you can see the results up here behind. that's a low energy weapon. directed energy weapon and see the results with the small boat there and the drone that's, you know, flaming coming down. so that's lesser energy. the key is how do you increase the energy of this and we're
kind of power sources require that. i think it's -- you know, we are on a path to do that. how does it perform? some people say if it rains, water will absorb the energy. let's take a look at this. we said, put it out in the most difficult or austere environment. i can't think of one more than the arabian gulf late august to the fall and that's what we're doing. the second piece is we have been sort of obsessed with bullet on bullet. we'll shoot down a ballistic missile or cruise missile with another missile and that's a pricey view. by the way, one of these, that costs about a dollar. when you -- once you're on target and you lay something, you lay it 10, 15 seconds, about a dollar. a missile costs almost a million dollars from some of the high performing so you see the pay back getting that started. the other side of it is to spoof it, deceive it and jam it. and rather than just trying to
shoot it down. so, that's what i call electromagnetic maneuver warfare. know the spectrum. understand it. expand your ability to detect both low energy if you will seekers and then to -- and, you know, the broad spectrum. to move in that spectrum. to be agile in that electromagnetic spectrum and we're work iing on that hard. >> my last question of land-sea battle. an innovative and big idea that came out of the think tank world, the think tank of csba i think and the navy and the air force promoted it on your watch. there's a concept, official concept on the pentagon website that people can read about what it means to the military. i'm -- jim steinberg and i wrote a book and talked about this and had some concerns and saw the military logic behind it and i want to express what some of the stronger critics have said and
ask you to respond and explain to the audience what air-sea battle means to you at this late juncture in 2014 because it's around long enough that people have taken it in different directions and some people have argued that what air-sea battling really should mean is long-range strike, not as many assets forward deployed in the asia pacific region. guam, hawaii, continent al unitd states and, also, if we wind up in a war, specifically against china, that some interpretations of air-sea battle say we ought to preempt some of the launchers fairly early even on the chinese homeland, submarine yards, for example. obviously, there's some logic to those ideas if you get deeply into a war and you have to really think about going to the limit to when, but the -- some people have said that the proposal for an early
presumption could be dangerous in a crisis. i wanted to give you a chance to explain the terms you see most appropriate, what does air-sea battle mean today in terms of your modernization strategy and war fighting strategy. >> okay. so let me back out of the war plan for china that you just described if you don't mind and talk about air-sea battle. it is a concept of thinking about how to get assured access to wherever it is you need to go. and this could involve and it really could involve humanitarian disa humanitarian, disaster relief. how do you get access and provide comfort going things so much against you? we saw very much in "operation tomadachi" we had radiation and contamination. how do we measure that to get in and deliver it? and the logic that is behind working together to do that.
so let me leave that for what it may. this can involve operations, across the spectrum. a lot of people feel that it is -- think kinetically in that approach. you need to get access. how do you do it to deliver the kinetic weapon? maybe it involves electromagnetic features or cyber. the undersea. the surface, the air space. there's a whole host and the idea is you have got to think across the spectrum of the domains, number one. two, it may be -- well, like i said, could be ke nettic or nonkinetic. which is best and get us the access and the answer? number three, if you are under the sea, is it only an undersea effect you deliver, be it a weapon or whatever the heck it is or across domain? is the undersea solution to something on the land better or the air solution to an undersea problem the better way? it's getting people to think
cross domain, kinetic and nonkinetic, across the spectrum of challenges that we have. step one is to get our officers, you know, and those coming up to embrace this and stand back and instead of waiting until you're in an operation say, okay, what do we got and how do we do the best with that? that's great joint operations but as we plan our campaigns and that, how are you thinking in the manner i described, all those features? and then how do you build your programs accordingly? if the best solution is from the aircraft delivered by an air force program there, then why am i building that? if in the joint force it is -- we are better served to invest in that and then similarly, i should have that on my aircraft if it's a good effect. am i putting that on my aircraft? it builds an interdependence element of that. so, if you want to fast forward and say, okay, well, i want to
talk about how you take on country x i would say, well let's start at the beginning there. where do we we have opposed access? what asymmetric approach may we have here? you get my point. when's the best way, across demain to do that and then work our way forward of that. that's the logic that i think we need to build. our most recent discussions with the air force and all of the services because we're all -- we have ek panded this across across all the services. we have a service chief meeting quarterly we get together to describe, we get reports on how we are doing and it's -- as we build our palms and budgets, are we doing duh republictive effort? who's best served to take on the gap. >> thank you. very helpful. we have about 20 moneys. we'll start with harlan. please identify yourself and wait for the microphone.
right here. oh here. the other side. >> thank you. admiral, good to see you. thank you for your comments and especially what you're doing with china. i would like to ask you about your role in the joint chiefs and balancing the long term and the short term. clearly there's a rebalance. the white house calls ate strategic pivot. yesterday, there was a discussion of do we want to reduce forces of europe given what's happened in ukraine, look at syria, iran, iraq, afghanistan, pakistan, there's a tremendous argument we're engaged there. what sort of advice do you give or would you give in terms of balancing the short-term issues which actually could be quite long term against the larger pivot, especially we find ourselves more engaged in the middle east region? >> i think for us, we can -- i use the term often, operate forward, and use the forces that we have forward as effectively
as possible. so if i look at europe, folks say, well, wait a minute, what are you doing about europe? we are putting four destroy earls in roda. home porting them. forward deployed naval force. we are building ships today with great persistence and we could move them there if you will and it's about capacity, it's about deck space if you will. and then bringing in the kind of aircraft that you need to -- that resonates with the -- put up the mobile landing platform and the float forward staging base and it's taking what we have and make sure, making sure that we are making best use of it for the problems of today. as i said in my opening remarks, the focus is still within the department of defense and within, you know, the national command authority to the asia pacific. but, obviously, we have today's problems today to deal with and i think we have opportunities. this is now -- goodness, this is two and a half months along.
you see the beck space and these are the kind of things to use in and around the north africa, the lavonte, the somalia, the yemen and put them out in and around the world and leave the big deck am fib kind of issues to continue along the deliberate path for the high-end warfare piece so there's messages to believe sent to the support, to nato and there. and i think for us, we're distributing that fine. on the iso operations and people wonder about that, we provide carrier with air wing and right now talking with general lloyd austin, he's fine with that. we've got a lot of capacity on the ships that we have forward today so 104 ships out and about the world today, harlan. they have a lot of capability and we continue to train and to expand that capability so that the east can deliver that. so i'll close with i'm fairly happy with where we're going and
that the focus remans appropriately in the asia pacific balance. >> let's go here to the front row, please. >> admiral, nice to see you again. the world has changed. what do you think are the changes that need to take place in the training and education and learning of our sailors and officers? i mean, it's just not about hitting the target. you used two important words to me. one was understanding and the other was relationship. how does that get into our educational programs? >> well, we mentioned earlier, you know, bringing people from the chinese navy over to interface with our folks to see who is this example, who's this department head today who in seven years will be commanding officer of a frigate and a destroyer in the chinese navy accordingly? who are the pilots and who are our pilots and making sure they
meet and understand who the other one is. find out can they trust each other? you know, on an international screen or agenda in that regard and how different are they? they're not ten feet tall. they actually have many of the same concerns. that's helpful. it's not kumbaya. we won't have a coke and work this all out but it is understanding how do they think, what's important to them, what's their psyche? so that's one. continue those international programs at our war college and put more of them in our naval academy. i spoke earlier, mentioned cyber. we have got to get a baseline. we got to have cyber boot camp. you know, big time. in our naval academy, rotc and then we have cyber warriors. but we are putting tablets and smartphones and the use of them back into our basic training. you say, i didn't know you took it away. yeah, we actually do.
today, we bring them in and they got, you know, they got the phones and tablets. take that away. write a letter to your mother. that's like giving them a chisel and a hammer and going, okay. and we start that and we say, well, actually we need to give those back, send an e-mail to your mother or text your mother, you know, as the case may be that by the way this is how you need to use this. these are the basics of password protection, of understanding virus protection. don't charge this thing up on a computer on your ship. that's not a good idea. we don't want to share viruses. you know? across that. cyber hygiene. so you got to get that down. and then they say, you know, all the almosts of what you're doing, it's a combat system. that network is a combat system. it exchanges information and the understanding of information dominance. you know, he or she who has the information upper hand definitely has the upper hand and likely will lead to victory
in some way so there's the cyber education that needs to take place. and then, lastly, bill moran and i, chief of naval personnel, we are working diligently and saying, okay, today, we bring a kid into the navy. they're all kids to me. and in two years we have them about ready do go be something like an aegis tech, turbine tech. you can get a master's degree, right, most program most likely. certainly most of a college degree not starting there. we're not even close to that. so what is it that we can do to be fastener that regard? after the two years, it's about six more years before we send, at least six years before we send them to a major upgrade in the education. that's too long because their equipment is rapidly changing over and over, you know, the loop we're talking about. so how do we keep up with that in a manner that is sensible and reasonably -- well, we have to
evolve this. we just don't have -- we're trying to build this airplane as it's flying to put it another way. so anyway, those are the things we need to change and those three i think for sure. >> thank you. let's go over here to the side. >> admiral, sidney freedburg, breaking defense. i just came from off virginia where your folks and a lot of the allies are starting off bold alligator. and goes to a lot of the themes you mentioned but also to some of the challenges you mentioned in the past. i mean, you have a lot of different countries operating there. we have a danish admiral commanding u.s. ships. working understand more than past exec sizes on the crisis response, humanitarian side, opposed to just kinetic side. but also, you know, they had to college an antenna on the side of the lpd to communicate with the allies.