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    DESRON 15 Conducts Annual Yokosuka Surface Warfare Officer Summit Virtually

    YOKOSUKA, Japan (NNS) - Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 15 held its annual Surface Warfare Officer (SWO) Summit throughout the month of April for all officers in the SWO community on the Yokosuka waterfront.

    This year’s summit was the first time the entire event was conducted virtually, ensuring maximum participation in the current working environment.

    The summit was a month-long event where junior and senior surface warriors participated in professional development sessions that highlighted advanced capabilities, techniques, tactics, and procedures across the force.

    The guest list for the summit included many high-ranking leaders in the community to include: Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Warfighting Requirements, and Capabilities, Vice Adm. James Kilby; Commander, U.S. 7th Fleet, Vice Adm. Bill Merz; Commander Naval Surface Forces/Commander, Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet, Vice Adm. Roy Kitchener; and Commander, Expeditionary Strike Group SEVEN/Commander, Amphibious Force, 7th Fleet, Rear Adm. Fred Kacher.

    "It is not just valuable, but imperative that we find ways to keep the conversation fresh and open between the front line surface warriors in 7th Fleet, our surface leadership, and supporting commands across the globe,” said Capt. Chase Sargeant, commodore, DESRON 15. “Over the course of the month of April, we received virtual briefs from key surface warfare community stakeholders that helped our officers better understand current and future capabilities as well as the vision for the SWO community.”

    The challenges and opportunities that forward-deployed Sailors work with on a daily basis were at the forefront of discussion during the SWO Summit.

    "We must out-pace and out-perform our competition, no exceptions and no excuses - warfighting is not only dependent on the stability of our systems, but also the abilities of the Sailors operating them,” said Vice Adm. Roy Kitchner, Commander, Naval Surface Forces, U.S. Pacific Fleet. “During the SWO Summit we assessed unique challenges forward-deployed Sailors overcome and it's these candid discussions that help shape how, when and where we apply resources to ensure our Indo-Pacific warfighters have the tools, training and acumen required to maintain maritime dominance both now and well into the future."

    This conference focused on sustaining relationships with partners and allies, prioritizing investments in new technologies, sustaining lethality with new capabilities, and mentorship at all levels.

    "Forward-Deployed Naval Force-Japan SWO Summit is a unique and valuable opportunity to discuss the future of surface warfare," said Vice Adm. James Kilby, Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Warfighting Requirements and Capabilities. "Discussing partner integration and new ways to leverage technology for increased lethality is vital to the evolution of the force in Seventh Fleet. Facilitating a setting for mentorship at all levels benefits our surface warriors for years to come."

    Vice Adm. Bill Merz, commander, 7th Fleet spoke on maritime warfighting strategies and collaborated with front-line surface warriors (in real-time) who are in contact daily with peer competitors.

    “The surface forces are the heart of 7th Fleet operations. 365 days a year. Our SWOs have advanced and tailored our warfighting concepts in response to the challenges we face in our area of operations,” said Merz. “The insight I gain from this team results in unambiguous Commander's Intent, executable Fleet task orders, and the Mission Command they need to execute those tasks. The SWO summit is a unique and important venue to engage with our surface warriors across the Fleet.”

    With social distancing and maintaining COVID mitigations, the importance remains for facilitating an environment for discussion and planning for the future of the SWO community.

    “While not in-person as we have done in the past, the virtual sessions allowed for education on both sides providing valuable information on how to make our ships and crews more lethal and combat ready,” said Sargeant.

    Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 15, is the Navy’s largest forward-deployed DESRON and U.S. 7th Fleet’s principal surface force interacting with 35 other maritime nations to build partnerships that foster maritime security, promote stability, and prevent conflict in the Indo-Pacific.



    Date Taken: 06.01.2021
    Date Posted: 05.31.2021 21:05
    Story ID: 397801
    Location: YOKOSUKA, JP 

    Web Views: 76
    Downloads: 1