Dear MINWARA Members,
Good day from the Mine Warfare Association. Thank you all so very much for your continued enthusiasm and support for the Mine Warfare Association (MINWARA, www.minwara.org), our mission, and our programs. This past year has come and gone very quickly. I would have hoped to be further along on a few initiatives and moving at a faster pace but we are making progress.
That said, 2020 has been a most tragic year in almost every way, with COVID-19 shaping virtually every aspect of life in the United States and the rest world. National, regional, and local guidelines and elusive vaccines promised success, and the simple facial mask epitomized the political dimension of the pandemic disease. Fortunately it does look like our Nation is on the cusp of having a vaccine by the end of the year. With the scientific community projecting a “new normal” in late 2021 and perhaps into 2022, MINWARA will embrace guidelines and processes to deliver safely our planned conferences, the fall Industry Day, and luncheon seminars to spread the “Mine Warfare Gospel” about mines and their countermeasures.
I am pleased to report again that our Association is strong and financially sound, we have no outstanding debt and our efforts to strengthen and grow the Association are continuing. Most importantly, even considering COVID-19, we will continue to serve as an important “bridge” between government and industry whose portfolios include sea mines, land mines, improvised explosive devices, and the means to counter these weapons that wait.
Our strategic communications efforts included:
§ Co-sponsoring with the U.S. Naval Institute the 2020 MIW Essay Conference. We had a record number of essays submitted this year and all the Board of Directors were busy reading and evaluating the essays.
o The First prize essay was awarded to LT Ridge Alkonis, USN for “Combating a Weapon of Old Requires Tactics of the Future”, and was awarded $1,500.
o After multiple reviews and re-reviews we had a tie for Second place and decided to combined the award with Third place to award MAJ Anthony Pollman, USMC (Ret), and LT Christopher Hevey, USN “Reimagining Offensive Mining: Cooperative, Mobile Mines”, and CAPT John Moulton, USN for “Five Actions to Take to Generate an Operationally Relevant MCM Force” and issued awards equally.
We will be announcing the 2021 Essay Contest after the holidays and look forward to your inputs.
§ We also occasionally post Internet articles and commentaries of interest to the mine warfare community, see MineLines: http://www.minwara.org/blog/
§ Planning for the May 2021 Mine Warfare Conference at the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, CA, has already begun, and as in previous years there will be opportunities for our participants to review corporate exhibits. Held on a two-year schedule, in 2018 we co-sponsored the 13th biennial Mine Warfare Technology Symposium that focused on a broad range of topics including the current status and future requirements of mine warfare technology, systems, platforms and operations. COVID-19 forced us to postpone the 2020 event, so we have rescheduled it for 25-27 May 2021. The agenda is being reevaluated to capture the latest mine warfare issues but will include discussions on Requirements and Capabilities,
Acquisition and Fielding, Technology insertion initiatives, and another International Panel, similar to our 2018 panel.
§ We are currently moving forward with a series of virtual and interactive “Ask the Boss” type discussions that focus on mine warfare acquisition, requirements and capabilities, research and development, budgeting, and fleet operations. We are targeting early December for our first session. We will announce the date as soon as we receive confirmation.
We welcome your suggestions of how to make our Association better in the coming year. That can include participation on the board of directors. In late 2020, there are three vacancies and we are particularly interested in retired mine warfare experience and Captains of Industry experience and skills.
As always, please feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions and or recommendations on how we can better support you – our members. Thank you.
David P. Holt President Mine Warfare Association