Navy Adm. Gary Roughead, chief of naval operations, called the U.S. Navy operations in the Persian Gulf the very essence of the new strategy for the agency. Roughead says with the evolving security threats from rogue elements and potential terrorists disrupting valuable commerce in the region, the Navy's security role is crucial.
"Naval force(s) are guaranteeing that free flow and the safety and security of those very precious commodities," Roughead said in a statement. That's what navies do. And the fact that we are operating in concert with our friends in the region and other nations who contribute to the coalition speaks to the essence of our maritime strategy, which is one of cooperation and collaboration."
Roughead says the traditional role of the Navy in the maritime environment is expanding to where more sailors are serving on land than on ships, many doing jobs normally performed by ground forces. Roughead says the future sailor will have an expanded role in security.
"The individual(s) that we have there (the Persian Gulf) are doing great work," Roughead said. "They bring a range of capabilities and capacities to the ground forces that are there, and when they come back … they bring a perspective that I think is healthy for our Navy and actually enhance who we are."