CNO motivates SPAWAR workforce, discusses today's increasingly technological environment

by Elisha Gamboa, Public Affairs, Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command Public Affairs
Stripes Korea

SAN DIEGO, Calif. (NNS) -- The Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) visited Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR) Aug. 22, where he focused on how to compete and win in today’s increasingly competitive environment.

CNO Adm. John Richardson kicked off the visit with an all-hands gathering of SPAWAR personnel where he spoke about the importance of providing the Navy the nation needs today and in the coming decades.

“We have to approach the competition with a sense of urgency; with a sense that we do not have a divine right to victory,” said Richardson. “We have to work extremely hard to achieve victory as we have before. I say that with a tremendous sense of confidence in the team here at SPAWAR.”

Speaking to a predominantly civilian workforce, Richardson highlighted the importance of obtaining and retaining the best and the brightest the nation has to offer, and the appreciation he has for those who have chosen to use their talents in support of their country.

“The competition for high-tech talent is extremely intense,” said Richardson. “All of you have chosen to raise your right hand, take an oath to our constitution, and be part of this team that today is something bigger than any one of us could have envisioned. I have a tremendous amount for respect for that commitment.”

Richardson went on to talk about his appreciation for the SPAWAR workforce, and his attention to accelerating the pace at which technology is put into the hands of the warfighter.

“Every decision that I make starts with Navy personnel in mind,” said Richardson. “It starts with me asking, ‘what can I do to eliminate obstacles that get in the way of connecting (our people) with their missions? What can I do to accelerate closure on mission success?’”

Following the all-hands event, Richardson took the time to meet with SPAWAR scientists who are developing some of today’s most innovative warfighting technologies from lasers, to machine learning technology, to cyber security capabilities.

“It’s a privilege be selected to showcase my team's efforts to the CNO,” said Dr. Nick Johnson, an engineer at SPAWAR Systems Center Pacific. “I demonstrated the work being done in the area of machine learning, and highlighted how the SPAWAR enterprise is providing critical technology to the fleet across multiple warfighting domains.”

Demonstrating these cutting-edge developments, and interacting face-to-face with Richardson provided SPAWAR scientists and engineers with a deeper understanding of how their work is supporting the warfighter and revolutionizing the Navy.

"The ability to engage and interact with the CNO is a testament to the Navy’s and particularly SPAWAR's commitment to ensure science goes beyond our laboratories and reaches our warfighter," said Dr. Jose Romero-Mariona, SPAWAR System Center Pacific cybersecurity science and technology branch head.

SPAWAR Commander Rear Adm. Christian Becker thanked Richardson for his time and effort spent talking to the SPAWAR workforce about the Navy’s mission and way forward.

“It is an honor to host CNO here at SPAWAR,” said Becker. “This opportunity allowed us to demonstrate our dedication to rapidly delivering cyber warfighting capabilities from seabed to space at the ever increasing speed of information. It also provided the chance for our workforce to hear from our boss about his priorities for us as we build the Navy the nation needs.”

SPAWAR identifies, develops, delivers and sustains information warfighting capabilities supporting naval, joint, coalition and other national missions. SPAWAR consists of more than 10,000 active duty military and civil service professionals located around the world and close to the fleet to keep SPAWAR at the forefront of research, engineering and acquisition to provide and sustain information warfare capabilities to the fleet.

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