Evolution of the US Navy
RADM Townsend Alexander, Commander, US Navy Region Mid-Atlantic, on the past, present and future of the US Navy
- Duration 12:13
- Date May 23, 2012
RADM Townsend Alexander, Commander, US Navy Region Mid-Atlantic, on the past, present and future of the US Navy
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Tell the big boss Al had a man Harrison is the boss of all these people they're gonna see during fleet week -- allow -- people -- -- -- Rear admiral Tim Alexander he's the commander of the US navy region mid Atlantic -- -- thank you very much anywhere -- mention me.
That region mid Atlantic is responsible for all of the shore installations.
Between North Carolina and the Canadian border so our mission is to.
Make sure that all of our bases are safe and secure and able to.
Accomplish all the things that the people who live and work on those -- need to do.
Okay and now -- here 200 years after the war of 1812.
That was the same mission that the mid Atlantic may be probably had 200 years ago.
Absolutely yup that's look at what's happening here wealth clearly a lot has changed.
Technology for one the ships that we.
Sale on the -- today are very differ from what we sailed in 1812 but I think one thing it's important highlight that hasn't changed.
Is the quality and the caliber of the men and women who serve in uniform it really is.
Just stupendous and it's an honor before the team.
I just last second that anybody who's in new York -- the back on air America.
This week for -- today Wednesday for the -- Wednesday you have an opportunity to go to anyone of the fleet week activities in Manhattan on Staten Island.
-- -- out of wherever please do because when you meet the men and women.
Who -- serving the nation in uniform it just makes you so proud of there and absolutely the best of the best they are so tell you your guide to stars on the shoulders you've been nominated for a while a few years after eight years how has think kind of people who are serving in the navy changed over the last.
Funny here's why I think I've seen in my career world more professional navy then we were perhaps my first came in I think there's been a lot of evolution.
Certainly were more technically capable.
But the men and women serving today.
One I think it's very important stress that we are all volunteer force and so the folks that come into our services to serve -- country.
Do it voluntarily they want to serve they want to do something that's bigger than themselves.
Certainly their benefits associated with it but at the end of the day it boils down to.
They willingly you raise their right hand and swear.
Nose to the constitution of the United States and and that's very important I think that's so.
Fundamental characteristic of our service.
And it's the fascinating thing about it too is since we're the only country in the world that when you raise your hand -- swear that we don't Wear to a king.
To our religious leader we swear to it -- -- they certainly do we square -- the constitution.
Do you bring them home to the men and women -- -- command.
Well I think that.
You know I think it impacts everybody differently when you stand there and you raise your hand as I've done and and repeat -- oath.
It it has great meaning to you personally and I think it.
It probably is a little different for everybody but.
I think the bottom line is you recognize it.
You are signing up to do something.
For others not to just do something for yourself.
And yet you seem to be able to get -- year after -- through here really well qualified men and women who will race there.
And to do for others.
We do -- mean were we were blessed right now with unprecedented levels of recruitment and retention.
So there were -- were bringing great young men and women to all sources.
You know being able to keep them which is very nice.
It won't always be like that -- if you just because of the economy I'm sure that there are some relationship to the economy absolutely.
But but I think it the end of the day it really is about commitment to serve and and a willingness to.
Put on the cloth of the nation and go forward and do the nation's -- Now what we were just watching our angle when she was one of the ships and she was talking to the -- of the year the sailors here right.
And the -- -- that is beyond one of those ships -- -- -- regular apartment every night light -- doesn't just work on the Schechter and today and then.
-- hang around with their bodies at the other class.
-- -- -- -- -- -- Well I think to some degree that's true we've changed in the time and I've been in the navy where.
Many of our sailors did in fact live on the ship and I -- I know we're talking about.
When the ship is in its own home court -- As an effort to address equality of life for sailors.
A we have over the last few years invested -- tremendous amount of money and in building quality facilities on our installations facilities that I get to operate and maintain.
They give ourselves a chance to get off the ship and to live in something that's not quite so Spartan I don't know if you ever had the opportunity to go into -- burning on a ship.
It's pretty Spartan limited here so it's the right thing to do for men and women get them to give them the opportunity to get off the ship and have a little bit better life so we knew that the deport them they're deployed when they're deployed that's it tell me what -- the climate side.
Typical deployment served.
Six months minimum.
Some of our deployments lately or have been going longer than that.
But you leave and you're gone for six months.
It's very nice now with the Internet and technology that's available today.
You can email and and do things and have pretty much instant communication your family's.
It hasn't been that way for very little alternative and -- there was nothing no the only way I -- communicate with my wife was through basically telegraph.
Where are RadioShack would transmit a telegram and would get delivered by western union.
And then we had the Mars calls which was the high frequency.
Two -- system of radio calls where you've had.
Over overran you know I love my little area.
However has had a bad -- I so it was great for very short communications but it was not a private it was never a private conversation and but it worked it did it did fine but today's.
The technology today -- sailors the opportunity really to have much to stay in much better touch for their fans.
-- naval officer not so you have not yet been front and center in the wars in Afghanistan.
And Iraqi haven't had you -- your people haven't had a lot of those sort of different challenges that you face challenges in.
You know us naval officers tennis as Siemens sailor's his face very different strains because as you said you're gone -- -- -- for success.
And it's important to remember that that our navy our maritime services.
Or globally deployed that's the way we operate hand so whether were.
And in conflict or at peace.
What we bring to the nation is that we're globally deployed.
Americans at home we do it -- sort of the away team in that regard.
And we also build those relationships that are so important with our allies and coalition partners.
Where we can train with them and we can visit their countries.
And we can give them a little example of America.
At the same time so we're always in that mode but I would also -- to you that you know and since 9/11.
We've had at times upwards of ten to 111000.
Serving on the ground in.
The in that area in Iraq and Afghanistan.
That number has.
In what we call on individual augment -- and that's where sailors.
-- are reassigned.
To a army your own marine or an air force unit.
To provide some additional manpower in the areas where they need some help.
A lot of that burden was borne by our navy reserve force.
I think at times over 50% of -- -- -- our reserves so.
While we're at -- we certainly also have a lot of sailors -- sure we have our.
-- ashore throughout the world disagrees there seabees are construction battalions maybe construction -- so they build buildings they build roads they -- -- airfields.
There are days.
-- and then -- they would go to some place.
They're said that national disaster happens you're.
Tsunami happens and we send -- -- Go in and provide assistance.
In recovering from a national disaster.
As part of cooperation with our friends and allies they might.
Work jointly on a project that would.
Build -- Hospital bill the school.
Again build an airfield they can do anything there -- tremendous capability force -- we have sailors we have navy corpsman.
Who serve with marine units wherever the Marines are -- And maybe chaplin's so.
We're not just on ships were were ashore and now were involved in everything.
What this really struck me every time I got I got a fleet week every year.
-- is we think of the navy and the Marines and the Coast Guard -- war fighters I mean these are warriors season but at the same time I've been struck with how many.
Of our military are deployed overseas -- -- that sort of rotation of the global force forgotten where an American warships pull -- somewhere in Latin America.
People are nervous they're just so excited they run down to the shore because.
That's going to be medical care that they don't normally exactly they're gonna get glasses are gonna get prescriptions handed out and that's something tend not to think it had no idea as his military is doing is that additional funds.
That's right you win in -- your -- services.
We are postured to do everything from.
Humanitarian assistance disaster relief all the way to combat operations.
We can provide -- full spectrum.
And we do it all the time in our ships -- -- to foreign ports all over the world every day.
Working -- -- allies building those relationships that down the road becomes so important.
So tell me it's added that in your family taken up the uniforms well.
They have my son is currently the united states army he's -- first I think south of the day well -- we haven't had one yet.
No organized element covenants and yes we have other areas where there's a great deal of -- -- have lately but I don't know how long that will continue we.
We we have a lot of navy and my family and lot of service and numbered for and you're trying to.
Is that is its business so many families.
Generation after generation.
I think so we know every time often when I talk to young sailors they -- come in the name.
Oftentimes it's because my dad or -- on -- or something like.
I can't you know it's sold heartwarming to hear somebody say well they know I had this uncle and he was my favorite uncle and he was in the -- war two and it just was something -- always wanted to do.
Because -- it does flash and I want to thank you we're talking to rear admiral.
Tim Alexander and he is the commander of US navy region mid Atlantic and for all of us in New York.
Who were here on September 11 and who lost friends and family in September 11 we just thank you so much for being here doing all the great things to do.
Thank you very much for the opportunity to be here it's.
We love coming in New York we've been do -- for 25 years we keep doing it.
There are bishops are pulling I had questioned him -- what I can say well the their ships here in Manhattan their ships over Staten Island.
And their ships in Brooklyn and they'll be public visiting.
Starting Thursday running Thursday through Tuesday.
From eight to five in Manhattan and Staten Island.
And now public visiting in Brooklyn will be Saturday and Sunday from me to five and that's for for dollar coalition ships -- birth but.
Please I encourage everybody to come out see you ships talked to the sailors and Marines the coast Guardsmen.
And and you'll.
The only real way out you'll have -- all -- here are very proud of the young men and women who are serving today well thank you for your service thank everything's different thank you.