The Ocean Studies Board (OSB) of the National Research Council reviewed the changing role of basic ocean science research in the Navy at a recent board meeting. The OSB was joined by Gerald Cann, assistant secretary of the Navy for research, development, and acquisition; Geoffrey Chesbrough, oceanographer of the Navy; Arthur Bisson, deputy assistant secretary of the Navy for antisubmarine warfare; Robert Winokur, technical director of the Office of the Oceanographer of the Navy; Bruce Robinson, director of the new science directorate at the Office of Naval Research (ONR); and Paul Gaffney, commanding officer of the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL).
The past 2–3 years have brought great changes to the Navy's mission with the dissolution of the former Soviet Union and challenges presented by conflicts in newly independent states and developing nations. The new mission was recently enunciated in a white paper, “From the Sea: A New Direction for the Naval Service,” which is signed by the secretary of the Navy, the chief of naval operations, and the commandant of the Marine Corps. It departs from previous plans by proposing a heavier emphasis on amphibious operations and makes few statements about the traditional Navy mission of sea-lane control.