A top Navy commander told Hampton Roads business leaders he’s certain the region will have a significant place in the future of the fleet.
“I’m confident that Hampton Roads will continue to be the world’s largest naval base and will continue to provide the great striking power that comes from this area, just as it did way, way back 1907 when it sent the Great White Fleet forward,” Adm. Christopher W. Grady said at an Oct. 19 event hosted by the Hampton Roads Chamber.
Grady, who is commander of both U.S. Fleet Forces Command and U.S. Naval Forces Northern Command, was answering a question from an audience member, who was concerned about the Navy’s recent decision to move ships out of Norfolk to California and other locations.
Grady responded, saying Navy leaders know how important the region is to its ships, submarines and aircraft.
He said the region should take solace in the fact the Navy’s strategic process included it in its future and made sure to mention how much of an impact the Navy has on Hampton Roads, especially from an economic perspective.
Comparing the military branch to a company, Grady said the Navy as a whole manages $195 billion in annual revenue and has around $500 billion in assets. The defense industry accounts for more than 40 percent of all economic impact in Hampton Roads, according to a study from Old Dominion University, he said.
“I guess you could say our products are readiness and lethality,” Grady said, continuing the business analogy.
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Photo credit: Trevor Metcalfe