MINWARA President’s Message, 2017
David Holt

MINWARA President’s Message, November 2017

David Holt

The Mine Warfare Association (MINWARA) is strong and is poised to remain an important “bridge” between government and industry whose portfolios focus on sea mines, land mines, improvised explosive devices, and the means to counter these weapons that wait.

We are on solid financial ground for a small association of 277 individual members and 13 corporate sponsors.

Our corporate sponsors are:

AAI Corporation, Inc.
Advanced Acoustics Concepts, LLC
Atlas North America
Edge Tech
Fairlead Precision Manufacturing and Integration
Hydroid, Inc.
Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd.
Kraken Robotic Systems Inc.
Lockheed Martin Corporation
Northrop Grumman Undersea Systems
Riptide Autonomous Solutions
Saab North America, Inc.
Teledyne Marine

I am very pleased to report that our Association is financially sound, we have no outstanding debt, and our efforts to strengthen and grow the Association are continuing.

During the past 12 months we have continued to support several initiatives.

MINWARA’s outreach and engagement included collaboration with the U.S. Naval Institute for the 2017 Mine Warfare Essay contest.  This program kicked off in 2013 and has generated important discussions of critical mine warfare issues.  Dr. Scott Savitz is the 2017 first-place winner, with his article, “Rethink Mine Countermeasures,” published in the July 2017 USNI Proceedings.  [https://www.usni.org/magazines/proceedings/2017-07/rethink-mine-countermeasures]  This was also posted, along with the second and third-place winners, on our website (www.minwara.org).  We will announce soon the particulars for the 2018 contest.

The National Defense Industrial Association (NDIA) hosted its 22nd Annual Expeditionary Warfare Conference in Annapolis, 24-26 October. This year MINWARA was co-hosting the conference with NDIA.  The focus was on the challenges of distributed operations of Joint and naval forces in contested warfighting environment.  MINWARA is convened a special-focus panel session the afternoon of the 24th on mine warfare in contested environments.  Retired Vice Admiral John “Fozzie” Miller, former Commander, US Naval Forces Central Command, helped shape the Mine Warfare session and was our keynote speaker and panel moderator:

  • CAPT Mark Leavitt, USN, Commander Helicopter Sea Combat Wing Atlantic
  • Neal Kusumoto, Executive Director for the Surface and Mine Warfare Development Command
  • CAPT Michael Egan, (USNAVCENT CTF-52)
  • MajGen David Coffman, USMC, OPNAV N95
  • RADM John Neagley, USN, PEO-LCS

An optional, classified session at Northrop Grumman’s Annapolis offices was also part of this event and covered a Mine Countermeasures Threat Brief by ONI, Real World Operations from the Commander Task Force 52 (CTF-52) in the Middle East, and representatives from the USCG, USNAVCNET, and the Marine Corp Intelligence Command were on hand to discuss their capability gaps and needs

This year we have completed the redesign of our website.  The MINELINES Newsletter has transitioned to a blog format, making it easier to access and stay up to date with the latest Mine Warfare News.  If you have something you are interested in submitting to include on the blog please email us at minewarfareassn@aol.com.  You can also choose to subscribe to the blog receiving notifications whenever something new is posted.

In 2017-18, we will build on this foundation to enhance MINIWARA’s value to our members and the Nation.

In May 2018, we will co-sponsor with the Naval Postgraduate School the 13th biennial Mine Warfare Technology Symposium in Monterey California. Details of the conference will be available in January.

We will conduct an all-source search for MINWARA members to serve on the board of directors, to help shape the way ahead for the organization.

We look to revitalize the occasional luncheon seminars and industry days to allow the experts an opportunity to address topics that are of concern and interest to the mine warfare community.  These events help to underscore the reality of MINWARA’s role as a non-profit, educational association devoted to education about mines and mine countermeasures.

We remain interested in co-hosting a European Mine Warfare Industry conference and are discussing with several navies and laboratories across our NATO allies to determine the feasibility and requirements of such an event.  Interest indicates that this would be a welcome and important venue for increasing awareness and collaboration in this critical warfare area.

We will also occasionally commission experts to post on our website a “Nobody Asked Me, But…” column (of about 750 words) to give our members the opportunity to address issues of concern.

Similarly, we will investigate marshaling the vast mine warfare expertise of MINWARA members to conduct research and interviews for more extensive issue papers and reports.

We will also look into a “List of Mine Warfare Experts” – name, organization, email address, and area of MIW expertise – to be posted on the web site for members of the press, industry and government to find an expert to help round out a print or electronic story or newscast, or other products.

In sum, 2017 saw MINWARA continue to enhance its relevance and value to land and sea mine warfare.  The groundwork is in place for continued success in 2018 and beyond.  Most fundamentally MINWARA’s importance depends on the energies and interests of its members.  I am pleased to have your confidence to continue on this trajectory.