The theme of this year’s AFCEA West 2014 conference is “Shaping the Maritime Strategy: How Do We Make It Work?” It’s a time of transition for our armed forces and federal government as budgets are being trimmed and a huge change in naval capabilities shifts from the Atlantic to the Pacific.
I can’t think of a better city to host at a more appropriate time than San Diego, which is home of the only major submarine and shipbuilding yards on the West Coast. Its economy has long been influenced by US naval operations.
Most shows end with a bang, but the folks at AFCEA are getting their West 2014 conference off to a strong start Tuesday morning with the first keynote by Christine Fox, newly appointed Acting Deputy Secretary of Defense. Appointed by President Obama late last year, Fox is the highest-ranking female official in history to serve in the Department of Defense. A George Mason University graduate, her active duty dates back to 1990 with operations in Bosnia and Kosovo as well as Afghanistan immediately following the 9/11 attacks and Iraq in 2003.
Tuesday’s luncheon keynote will feature Admiral Harry B. Harris, Jr., Commander of the US Pacific Fleet. A graduate of the US Naval Academy, Harris has served in every geographic combatant command region and participated in a number of major operations, including stints in Libya, Kuwait, and Iraq. A native of Japan and raised in Tennessee and Florida, Harris is considered an expert on East Asia security, having studied at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service, and Oxford University. Harris has logged 4,400 flight hours, including more than 400 combat hours, in maritime patrol and reconnaissance aircraft. In October 2013, Harris was promoted to admiral and assumed command of the US Pacific Fleet.
Wednesday’s luncheon keynote features Admiral Bill Gortney, US Navy Commander of the US Fleet Forces Command. A graduate of Elon College in North Carolina, Gortney entered the Navy as an aviation officer candidate, received his commission in the US Naval Reserve in September 1977, and earned his wings of gold in December 1978. He also earned a Master of Arts in International Security Affairs at the Naval War College. Gortney has flown more than 5,360 mishap-free flight hours and completed 1,265 carrier-arrested landings.
AFCEA West 2014 will also include the Warriors to the Workforce event via National Veterans Transition Services, Inc., (NVTSI) as part of the nationwide initiative to help veterans find jobs. The event will include a variety of workshops providing resources and information for veterans and those currently transitioning out of the military. They will learn about confidence building, networking and presentation skills, resume writing, interviewing techniques, job searching, career planning through goal setting, and translating military skills and training into civilian life and corporate experience. Attendees will also have the opportunity to meet with some of the country’s largest and most veteran-friendly employers.
Global Knowledge will be sponsoring a CompTIA Advanced Security Practitioner workshop during AFCEA West 2014. We’re deploying one of our best instructors, Craig Brown, who will lead the session at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, February 11, in the Cyber Issues Theater. Brown holds MCT, MCSE, MCSA, MCITP, MCDST, CTT+, N+, Security+, and Microsoft Voice Specialist certifications and is our practice architect for Microsoft training. A long-time employee, Brown has been a principal technical writer on Global Knowledge‘s courseware development team. Workshop attendees will earn one continuing education unit (CEU) toward CompTIA’s Network+, Security+, and CASP certifications and one Global Information Assurance Certification (GIAC) certification maintenance unit (CMU).
Global Knowledge will be exhibiting during West 2014 at the San Diego Convention Center. Follow our government-focused twitter account @GKonGovt for updates from the show next week.