On May 13, the 21st Century Defense Initiative at Brookings hosted Admiral Gary Roughead, chief of naval operations, for a discussion of the U.S. Navy’s use of unmanned naval technologies. Admiral Roughead, who addressed this issue at Brookings in 2009, gave an update on the development and integration of these systems into the current and future Navy force structure; the challenges that the Navy has encountered in deploying these systems; and the lessons learned to date. He also addressed the major operational challenges and benefits of new and rapidly evolving technologies and spoke to the doctrinal, legal and ethical questions that arise when using unmanned naval systems.
Admiral Roughead is the highest ranking officer in the U.S. Navy, and one of only two admirals to have commanded both the Atlantic and Pacific fleets. He also serves as a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Senior Fellow Peter W. Singer, director of the 21st Century Defense Initiative and author of Wired for War: The Robotics Revolution and Conflict in the 21st Century (Penguin Group, 2009), provided introductory remarks and moderated the discussion.
After the program, Admiral Roughead took audience questions.