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    International Naval Leaders meet in Newport

    September 18, 2014

    The 21st edition of the International Seapower Symposium (ISS) began Sept. 16 at the U.S. Naval War College (NWC) in Newport, R.I., with more than 170 representatives from 113 nations attending.

    Once every two years, naval leaders from around the world gather in Newport to learn from one another.


    U.S. leaders start out by focusing on what all these sailors have in common.

    "We all have issues with fishing rights with piracy with counter terrorism with smuggling and with just keeping the sea lines, as we say, of communication open," said Adm. Jonathan Greenert, chief of naval operations.

    Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus addressed the group with opening remarks and stressed the importance of the conference's theme: Global Solutions to Common Maritime Challenges.

    "In the 21st century, no single nation has the capacity to protect and defend the global system alone," said Mabus. "To keep sea lanes open, all nations and people that seek freedom of movement and trade and also security have to carry their own share of the responsibility."

    Mabus recognizes the threat of ISIS knocking on the door. He said the forum offers an opportunity to peacefully plan with allies in times of relative calm.

    The symposium is a week filled with cocktail parties and forums but leaders said it's in these friendly spaces where they can make lasting connections that make a huge difference in times of crisis.

    "No one can do everything we need to do by ourselves, and we work far better together," Mabus said.

    More than 170 civilians and military officers from more than 110 countries were expected to attend the International Seapower Symposium.

    The symposium lasts through Friday.(KH)

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