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PEO Ships Hosts Annual Multi-Agency Craft Conference

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS090626-23
Release Date: 6/26/2009 4:51:00 PM

From Team Ships Public Affairs and Naval Surface Warfare Center Public Affairs

NAVAL AMPHIBIOUS BASE LITTLE CREEK, Va. (NNS) -- The Navy's Program Executive Office (PEO) Ships hosted the 2009 Multi-Agency Craft Conference (MACC) at Naval Amphibious Base Little Creek, Va., June 16-18.

MACC is an event where government and industry meet to discuss common acquisition issues unique to small boats and craft and share new technologies being used and developed.

The craft displayed at the conference ranged from Navy service craft, Navy and Coast Guard patrol boats and Naval Special Warfare and Marine Corps combatant craft. This year's event, the 11th annual MACC, included 179 vendors and 1,700 attendees – a conference record.

Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC) Carderock's Combatant Craft Division, a field activity of Naval Sea Systems Command, planned and executed the MACC on behalf of PEO Ships. The division exercises total design and engineering authority for U.S. Navy combatant craft and boats. Naval Undersea Warfare Center Keyport, NSWC Dahlgren and Dam Neck also participated in the conference.

Commander, NSWC Rear Adm. Jim Shannon, started the conference with a message on the importance of incorporating science and technology.

"There is always someone trying to incorporate new technology, so clearly the comparative advantage in warfare comes from being more innovative more often," said Shannon.

During this year's event, the Navy Expeditionary Combat Command (NECC) displayed various riverine craft acquired over the past three years by PEO Ships. The PEO worked closely with the newly formed command to review its requirements and evaluate existing craft that could be rapidly procured to meet its real-time warfighting needs. PEO Ships has successfully acquired 36 such craft under eight General Services Administration orders between November 2006 and April 2008.

"In just three and a half years, we've helped stand up a new command and provided three squadrons with 36 boats," said Jean Michel Coughlin, PEO Ships' small boat acquisition manager. "The successes we have achieved in such a short time are remarkable."

To date, 27 of 36 boats have been delivered, 18 Riverine Patrol Boats, eight Riverine Assault Boats and one Riverine Command Boat. The remaining eight boats are scheduled for delivery through 2010.

The Navy believes that rapid procurement is vital to adapt to changing threats.

"Right now our enemy is adjusting to new tactics and new weapons systems in a matter of hours, so I've got to be able to deliver new technology and new improvements in a matter of days not years," said Capt. David Balk, special assistant for the commander of NECC. "With our small boats, we have an immediate rapport with nations when it comes to talking Navy tactics, Navy patrol lanes and things of that nature."

PEO Ships is responsible for the development and acquisition of U.S. Navy surface ships, and is currently managing the design and construction of a wide range of ship classes and small boats and craft. These platforms range from major warships such as frontline surface combatants and amphibious assault ships to air-cushioned landing craft, oceanographic research ships and special warfare craft. Since its creation in November 2002, PEO Ships has delivered 31 major warships and hundreds of small boats and craft from more than 20 shipyards and boat builders across the United States.

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