More than 200 business leaders attended the Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce’s Leadership luncheon on May 18. Admiral Philip S. Davidson, who took command of the U.S. Fleet Forces Command in December 2014, delivered the keynote address. This was the Admiral’s first address to the Hampton Roads business community since taking over the command which oversees the manning, training and equipping of naval forces east of the Mississippi River.
Admiral Davidson began his speech by thanking all the attendees, the Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce for inviting him to speak and the community for their support of Navy families.
Admiral Davidson shared the macro to micro picture of the future of the Navy in the United States, and Hampton Roads. He provided insight on hiring Navy Veterans and what we can do for homeless Veterans in Hampton Roads.
During his speech, he spoke about today’s Navy technology; including the current weapons, radar, and training of new recruits and Veterans. He elaborated on the technology being used to fight ISIS and that we are ahead in the technology needed to battle this threat. The Admiral stated, “The Navy ships are a massive machine, and are like bodies which include their own nervous system. Each ship has its own cobweb of people, like a human brain, so that the ship is combat ready for assignments, or helping with natural disasters.”
Admiral Davidson stated, “Five Navy bases, sixty-eight ships, and thirty-eight aircraft squadrons, and 9 billion dollars in goods and services are established in Hampton Roads.” He also mentioned how the USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71), has the most advanced radar system in the Navy, and “has technology which could launch missiles into space.”
Admiral Davidson described the positive affect Hampton Roads has on the Navy community and thanked the businesses that provide all the needed goods and services to Navy families.
Admiral Davidson has 37 years of naval service. He currently commands all Navy ships on the east coast. He has served as a flag officer, and previously commanded the Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group, USS Gettysburg, and the USS Taylor. During his educational career, he graduated from the U.S. Naval War College, with a Master of Arts in National Security and Strategic Studies, and holds a Bachelor of Science in Physics from the U.S. Naval Academy. During his career, he and his family have lived in 21 different homes in 32 years.
The Chamber would like to extend a special thank you to our series sponsors: Southern Bank (Presenting Sponsor); Newtown Building Supplies (Building the Future Partner); and Sentara Optima Health Plan (Silver).
The Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce’s Chamber Leadership Series is designed to give attendees the opportunity to interact with important leaders who provide practical knowledge, sharing what helped them rise to the top of their field. Speakers in the series include leaders in business, industry and government.