The international naval workshop Littoral OpTech – West, hosted by The Swedish Royal Society of Naval Sciences – Kungl. Örlogsmannasällskapet (KÖMS) – in cooperation with Saab and the Littoral Operations Center of the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School, concluded Wednesday, 24th September.
The workshop began with remarks and addresses by the Royal Swedish Navy Chief of Staff RADM Jan Thörnqvist, Dr. Kalev I. Sepp, Director of the Littoral Operations Center at the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School, RADM Thomas Engevall (RSwN) President of the Swedish Royal Society of Naval Sciences, and CAPT Clark O. Troyer (USN), Commanding Officer of the U.S. Office of Naval Research-Global.
The keynote address was presented by the Honorable RADM Jay Cohen (USN, ret.), former Chief of the Office of Naval Research and Under Secretary of Science and Technology at the Department of Homeland Security. RADM Cohen highlighted the challenges of operating in the global littorals, and in particular the ‘extreme littorals’ of the Baltic Sea.
CDR Ingo Eilts, German Navy, NATO Centre of Excellence for Operations in Confined and Shallow Waters at Kiel, gave a broad picture about how this center is organized and their partnering countries in NATO. CAPT Wayne Hughes (USN, ret.), Professor and Dean Emeritus at the U.S Naval Postgraduate School, gave his view on how the ‘deadly littoral’ will impact future naval operations, and how it will take a cooperative international effort to overcome the operational challenges in these areas. BGEN Ola Truedsson, Commander, Swedish Maritime Component Command, explained how the Swedish Marines fight, and described the demands of projecting a force across the complex sea-and- shore terrain of the Swedish archipelago.
The program consisted of panel discussions, interspersed with informal networking, with a number of senior military and civilian subject matter experts from Finland, Germany, India, Norway, Sweden, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States.
Success in this, the first in a series of Littoral OpTech workshops, generated significant interest from all parties for the next workshop, to be held in a to-be-designated Asian Littoral country. Supported by the U.S. Office of Naval Research-Global, these workshops will each build on the previous workshops, to grow the community of interest in littoral operations, and promote international solutions to international problems. The Director of the Littoral Operations Center at the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California, Dr. Kalev Sepp takes the view that the effort to understand these problems and their solutions is a ‘big tent’ all-inclusive effort, and he welcomes all who are interested.