The following from the Vision for the 2026 Surface Fleet, released in January 2014. The document is authored by current head of U.S. Surface Forces, Vice Adm. Tom Copeman, who will be speaking this week at Surface Navy Association’s 2014 symposium.
Since responding to reference (a) with my Vision for the 2025 Surface Fleet (reference (b)), I have continued to refine my thinking. At the risk of oversimplification, my vision is that the Surface Force meets its Title X obligation to be prepared to conduct prompt and sustained combat operations at sea in support of national interests over time. That distinction of meeting our commitments over time is significant, as it drives us to think about the future of surface warfare in terms that are larger than just the next budget drill or the next deployment. That is why in my previous letter, I talked about trajectories, the one we are on, the one we need to be on and what we need to do to get on the required trajectory. Understanding both the geo-strategic and budgetary environments in which we operate, we have the formidable task of reducing Total Ownership Cost while at the same time improving our combat readiness now and into the future. In this update, I offer a more com- prehensive discussion of how we are getting onto that required trajectory, which is broken into three elements: Warfighting Ability, Sustainable Excellence, and Wholeness over Time.