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Monday, October 15, 2018

By ALAN KAPLAN, Navy League National President

Every time I walk the floor at Sea-Air-Space, I am amazed and so proud of all the connections I see being made. There is no other exposition that brings together three different government agencies (the Departments of Defense, Homeland Security and Transportation), all four sea services and visitors from over 30 countries.

We also have a wide range of exhibitors — from small, family owned companies to billion-dollar corporations that employ populations the size of small towns. Industry executives exchange ideas with public servants; service members from allied countries meet each other; and everyone walks away with new information, new contacts and new ways of seeing the world. Though attendance is free, the experience is priceless.

Being there in person is unlike anything else. Chance encounters with people on the show floor or at a panel presentation can lead to new business opportunities, mentoring relationships and much more. We even know of two people who met at a table at the Sea-Air-Space banquet and developed such a strong friendship that one officiated the other’s wedding.

Seeing so many people with different backgrounds, all with a passion for our nation’s sea services, in one place is heartening. It reinforces that we are one team acting with dedication and purpose to make magic happen.

The sea services, our corporate partners, academic experts and our allies around the world are all working together to make the world a safer place. We are pulling together with the same goal of facilitating global peace and prosperity. Seeing so many united toward this common goal is inspiring.

Attending Sea-Air-Space every year is a great opportunity to marvel at the technological advancements our corporate partners are making on behalf of the nation’s sea services. We’ve added an entire new exposition hall, featuring more innovations than ever before. We will have four boats in the harbor, additional live demonstrations with remotely operated vehicles, landings by three Marine Corps helicopters and a mobile demonstration trailer featuring the latest simulation training. These innovators are on the cutting edge of technology and are pushing our country to new frontiers.

But what I am most proud of is how this event brings people together and reminds us that we are one team with a common mission. Even those unable to attend in person can be a part of the team by following real-time news on the Seapower website and engaging with us on social media. I hope you feel as inspired as I do after watching, listening and learning from all of our partners, domestic and international.

To quote our Chief of Naval Operations, Adm. John Richardson: “Our Navy team is fueled by integrity, creativity and toughness. Together we are greater than the sum of our individual parts. Together, we are ready to fight and win at sea. It is because of this teamwork, fused together by common bonds of honor, courage and commitment, that we will continue to be the greatest Navy in the world.”

Consistent with this great leader’s quote, this is what our Navy League and Sea-Air-Space are proud to be all about.

One Team — Mission Focused