Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jon Greenert addresses attendees at the 2014 Sea-Air-Space Exposition's opening ceremony. Greenert has called for better communication and jointness among the services. (MC3 Jules Stobaugh/Navy)
NATIONAL HARBOR, MD. — With tighter budgets the rule of the land, the military services need to seek support from each other, the US Navy’s top officer said Tuesday night.
“The services need to turn toward each other to get the most we can out of this period,” Adm. Jon Greenert, chief of naval operations, told a dinner audience at the Navy League’s Sea-Air-Space Exposition outside Washington. “We need to learn how to depend on each other more.”
Scarcer resources are driving this need, Greenert said, pointing to ways services already have cooperated.
The Navy and Marine Corps “have been symbiotic since inception,” he said, and he noted how the Navy and Coast Guard “are a natural fit” in many areas. “What are you buying that’s of use to us,” he asked.
Greenert noted that Navy cruise missiles and mines have been employed from Air Force B-52 bombers, and Army helicopters are operating from Navy ships. Navy close-in weapon systems, he said, have been used to protect forward operating bases in Iraq and Afghanistan.
But the services need to go further, he urged.
“We have to examine potentially duplicative missions that have emerged in the last 10 years,” he said. “We need to avoid overspending on programs that are similar to those in other services.”
Some of these concepts already are a feature of the Air-Sea Battle concept, he said, particularly with the Air Force.
“But we have to pursue better cross-talk in research and development among the service laboratories, in industry and universities. We have to go back to work to get this across all the services.”
Addressing the many industrial base representatives in the room, he asked, “help us help ourselves. You know what the other services are doing more than we do. Help us enable a cross-service synergy.
“Evaluating interdependence,” Greenert declared, “is a strategic imperative — between the services, but also between government and industry.” ■