Can the U.S. Navy Maintain an “Around the World” Presence?

By Ray Mabus

Ray Mabus served as the 75th United States Secretary of the Navy, the longest to serve as leader of the Navy and Marine Corps since World War I. Before his appointment by President Obama, Mabus held a variety of leadership positions. From 1988 to 1992, Mabus served as Governor of Mississippi, the youngest elected to that office in more than 150 years. Mabus was Ambassador to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia from 1994-1996 and later was Chairman and CEO of a manufacturing company which he led out of bankruptcy.

Ray Mabus, who was navy secretary during both Obama Administrations and held that post longer than anyone since World War I, discussed innovation in the Navy – such as the use of green technologies – and the importance of public-private partnerships Thursday at The Cipher Brief’s annual Threat Conference in Sea Island, GA. After receiving a Master’s Degree from Johns Hopkins University, Mabus served as a naval officer aboard the cruiser USS Little Rock. He became the governor of Mississippi and ambassador to Saudi Arabia before returning to the Navy, 37 years later, as secretary. The Cipher Brief’s Kaitlin Lavinder sat down with Mabus after his talk at the conference to discuss in more detail his time at the Navy Department and current naval concerns such as China’s aggression in the South China Sea.  

The Cipher Brief: When many people think of the Navy, they think of ships, and that’s all. Can you talk about the other roles the Navy has in protecting the United States?

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