Thank you Admiral Cooper for the opportunity to speak again this year at the Symposium. I consider myself especially fortunate to be here serving as N87 during the Centennial year of our Submarine Force. Not only do we celebrate the momentous achievements of our first century, but the Centennial also gives us the opportunity during our celebration to reflect on what the future holds.
Loosely stated, the future of the Submarine Force will be the focus of my remarks here today. Over 100 years, the submarine evolved from an experimental pipe dream, dismissed by critics of the day, into the capital ships of our great Navy. The submarine enjoys a pride of place in our Navy that even its most ardent boosters could not have foreseen in the early days. With our current investments, we can only continue to improve that capability into this new century. But in my view, our great success cannot blind us to change. We must not let parochial concerns, born of our very success, snuff out the flame of innovation that is the foundation of the Submarine Force’s remarkable achievements.
As in my remarks last year, some of the ideas for this presentation come from a book. Last year I discussed the implications of George and Meredith Friedman’s The Future of War. This year I will discuss some thoughts I had after reading The Innovator’s Dilemma, by Clayton Christensen, who is a professor at the Harvard Business School. Though both books merit your attention in their own right, my purpose is not to offer my review of their contents, but to discuss the underlying implications that they have for what we do in the Submarine Force as we enter our second century of existence. Both works approach the same problems from different points of view. so let me offer brief summaries to set the context, which I think you’ll find instructive to us in the Submarine Force.
Though I’m sure that you remember every word I said last year verbatim, I do feel compelled to recap what I said last year for the benefit of those who were not here, or who might have been getting a cup of coffee while I was speaking.
Distilled to its essence, the argument in the Future of War is that all weapons systems have a life cycle. In the earliest phase of life, the weapon system has a nearly pure offensive capability. But over time, and as countermeasures to the weapon develop, more and more resources must be dedicated to protecting the weapon system. The pattern continues until the weapon reaches what the Friedmans call “senility”, which is the point where the platform becomes so costly-usually without a commensurate increase in offensive capability-that it impedes the development of warfighting capabilities in other areas.
One example is the Future of War is the armored tank. Now, before I continue, let me caveat my remarks by saying that what follows is not my endorsement of what the Friedrnans say about tanks. I don’t hold myself out as a tank expen, and the takeaway from this is not the banner headline “Submarine Admiral says Tanks are Dumb!” My purpose instead, is to show the Friedmans’ analytical framework applied to a contemporary example, so that we might better understand how it applies to us in the Submarine Force.
In its initial iteration, the tank provided revolutionary military capability. It allowed penetration of defensive lines while at the same time shielding the tank’s crew from artillery fire. The tank sounded the final death knell for the armed cavalry, which was surely the senile weapons system of its day. Though born with pure offensive capability, the tank became encumbered over time with defensive implements, as technologies developed to combat the tank’s offensive capability. As necessity demanded the increase of defense, the size and breadth of the logistics train required to support tanks grew apace. In the current state of evolution, we now have M-1 tanks that weigh over 60 tons each. These behemoths are so large that those charged with employing them fretted about being able to use them given the substandard roads and bridges in the Balkans.
More alarming is that the tank, once regarded as the ne plus ultra of offensive firepower on the ground, cannot adequately defend itself against the current generation of Brilliant Anti-Tank, or BAT, munitions. BA Ts, utilizing acoustic, infrared, or radar sensors can be deployed in sufficient numbers so as to overwhelm any of the tank’s defenses on their way to scoring hits on the tank’s vulnerable topside.
The end result is that we have a weapons system that has grown far more expensive, complicated, and consumptive of logistical resources, without much improvement at all in its offensive capability-the classic senile weapons system. Again, my purpose here is not to pick on any particular service branch or warfare area in the Navy-none of us are immune to self-interest. I point out that it was Navy traditionalists who, in response to the growth of steam propulsion, once mandated that every warship be equipped with masts and sails. I do want, however, to illustrate the point that we all must guard against the reactionary conservatism that argues that a better-protected version of the implements that won the last war will be effective in winning the next.
I’d like to tum now to an outline of what I consider to be the major points from Clayton Christensen’s The Innovator’s Dilemma which, as I said in my introduction, provides us a good deal of thought material when considered in the context of The Future of War.
The basic premise of The innovator’s Dilemma might succinctly be stated as follows: That logical competent management decisions that aim to serve an organization’s best customers may also lead to the reasons why that organization ultimately fails. More chilling perhaps is the contention that traditional management approaches, like better planning, working harder, adopting a longer-term perspective, and better customer focus all tend to make the problem even worse. Now at first blush, these concepts appear to be counterintuitive. To help elucidate them, I’ll use some of the examples from the book to illustrate, but first I’d like to define a distinction that is crucial to understanding the author’s point.
The distinction to consider is the difference between sustaining and disruptive technologies. I’ll use Christensen’s examples from the computer industry to illustrate the differences between sustaining and disruptive technologies. A sustaining technology is one that improves the performance of established products along the dimensions of performance historically valued by mainstream customers. As an example, a technological advance that increased the speed or storage capability of a mainframe computer is an example of a sustaining technology. On the contrary, a disruptive technology is one that-on first appearance-results in worse product performance, and does not appeal to mainstream customers, but may hold promise, initially for a different target customer base. A good example of a disruptive technology is the desktop computer. For instance, a user of large database mainframes in the 1980’s would have surely scoffed at the idea of using Commodore 64-based disk drives or processors in their applications.
In the beginning, circa 1980, IBM held a dominant position in the hard disk and mainframe computer industry. The state-of-the-art in hard disks was the 14-inch drive used in IBM’s various mainframe computer configurations. Hardly resting on their success, IBM invested heavily in making the 14-inch disks run faster and increasing the memory density of the disks. These improvements are examples of sustaining technologies.
At the same time, a few small companies started offering 8-inch drives which had lower unit costs, but had much lower total memory and were more expensive on a cost per megabyte basis. Due to their limitations, there was nothing in the nature of 8-inch drives to recommend them to IBM’s best mainframe customers, who told Big Blue that they wanted higher capacity and lower cost per megabyte. So IBM, being an enterprise run by rational, intelligent people, ignored the 8-inch drive and focused its efforts on making better 14-inch drives.
Eight-inch drives were initially adopted in the nascent minicom-puter market, where the smaller drive’s virtues-small size and lower unit cost enabled the production of small and relatively low-cost computers, which were new products in a niche market that had not existed before.
Over time, the capabilities of 8-inch drives improved as their makers looked to better serve their customers, and eventually, 8-inch drives possessed capabilities that made them suitable for use in mainframe computers. This development essentially wiped out all the product lines of the makers of 14-inch drives and caused several companies that relied exclusively on supplying assemblies or pans for 14-inch drives to fail.
So how did this state of affairs come to be? As long as the slope of technological improvement in a disruptive technology exceeds the slope in the customer’s demand, there will come a point when the customer’s need can be met sufficiently by the disruptive technology, which was formerly inadequate.
Of special importance, note that this does not presume that the backer of sustaining technologies is standing still. Quite the contrary. Fourteen-inch drive makers listened to their customers and spent vast sums on improving the capacity and lowering the cost per megabyte of their drives. But since actual demand-as distinguished from what the customers said their demand was-did not increase apace, the 14-inch drive makers ended up in a state of technological oversupply. Although the larger drives were far more capable and more efficient than the smaller ones, they were driven from the market due to the 8-inch drive’s lower unit cost and performance level that was sufficient to meet consumer demand.
In the hard drive industry, this cycle repeated itself as newer smaller drives appeared and new computing device markets developed among the early adopters of the new technologies. Thus, we have evolved from mainframe to mini- to desktop- to micro- to laptop-, and now to handheld computing, all in a matter of 20 years or so. And, as Mr. Christensen recounts, the opposition of sustaining vs. disruptive technology played itself out in each instance.
It is worth pointing out that this sustaining vs. disruptive dichotomy is not restricted to the computer industry or other fast-moving elements of the so-called new economy, where the normal rules might somehow be thought to be different. In its day, Sears was the dominant retailer in the United States. It ranked at the top of any list of the most admired American corporations. Its retail stores were strategically located throughout the country, and the Sears catalog was nearly as ubiquitous as the telephone book in American homes.
Of course, that is not the situation today. On both the retail and catalog fronts, Sears missed the disruptive appearance of discount retailers, now best exemplified by Walmart, and the disruptive appearance of focused catalogs like L.L. Bean and Land’s End. And just as in the case of the 14-inch hard disk makers, it was the failure of market leaders to effectively assess the impact of downmarket trends that led to their ultimately being overcome. Market leaders succumbed to developments that they once dismissed, in favor of making better versions of their high-margin products for their best customers.
Before I tum to the challenges that I believe that the ideas in these books provide to us in the Submarine Force, let me connect an idea in the Future of War to one in the Innovator’s Dilemma. I submit that a weapons system becomes “senile” from a Future of Warfare perspective at exactly the point where the curve of the disruptive technology crosses the curve of customer demand. Though the dominant sustaining technology has also improved-the same for weapons systems as it is for 14-inch hard disks–customer demand can be met by disruptive means, rendering the prior dominant mode superfluous and therefore “senile”.
Having laid this foundation, perhaps you’re asking, “Admiral, so what the hell does this all mean for us in the Submarine Force?” Let me frankly say that I hardly presume to have all the answers. But here are some thoughts. One might consider that the Submarine Force’s first hundred years were the beginning and maturation of the ultimate disruptive technology. In the beginning, it was regarded with disdain by conventional naval thinkers-the leadership of the dominant sustaining technological apparatus-for which the ultimate embodiments of American naval power were the gleaming battleships and armored cruisers of the Great White Fleet. As the disruptive community, we may have had a particular freedom to innovate that was foreclosed to the already well-established and institutionally conservative surface navy of the early 20th-century.
When initially introduced into the inventory of the world’s navies, the submarine was generally considered to be useful for coastal defense and little else. But the impact of German submarines in World War I showed that submarines could confound even the mighty Royal Navy. The submarine platform proved its mettle as a singularly powerful offensive weapon. In World War II, as almost all of you know and in which some of you participated, the American Submarine Force-relegated before the war to picket and screen duty-strangled Japanese maritime capability in the Pacific.
The advent of nuclear propulsion, which only fringe elements might have considered viable in 1940, fomented a revolution in submarine capabilities. The Submarine Force, unconstrained by the dogma of defining what was possible only in terms of what already existed, developed what is today a defining characteristic of the American submarine-the ability to get anywhere in the world quickly and to stay there for as long as necessary. In 1950, there were probably very few people who might possibly have predicted that in the year 2000 that every American submarine would be an extremely quiet, fast, deep-diving nuclear-powered vessel. Worthy of note in this context is the coupling of two formerly disruptive technologies-nuclear propulsion and missiles-that have provided the Submarine Force with some of our best capabilities. Nuclear propulsion and missiles enabled us to develop the invulnerable leg of our strategic triad, and the D-5 missiles on Trident submarines today are perhaps the ultimate expression of American power. Nuclear propulsion and missiles also have combined to give us the no-notice land attack capability that we employ with Tomahawk missiles.
So here we stand today, after a century of excellence. As I said in the beginning, with no pretense of modesty, submarines are now capital ships in the greatest navy in the world. No longer the employer of the disruptive weapons system technology, we have become unquestioned market leaders, and are working to sustain the edge that our tradition of innovation has bequeathed to us who are now its custodians. But as the market leaders, we cannot even for a moment stand still and assume that because we are dominant now that we will be so forever.
We cannot let our success reduce our capacity and flexibility to innovate. This is the cultural challenge laid down for us in the Innovator’s Dilemma. It is in the nature of large and successful organizations to develop what Mr. Christensen calls “Rules of Organizational Behavior” to regulate their activities. These ‘rules’ limit the flexibility of organizations to innovate in the truest sense of the word. Innovation is perhaps an overused word, but when I say “true sense,” I mean innovation as having the will to take chances on potentially revolutionary advances in our capabilities. We must not carelessly use the word innovation to describe the methods by which we will develop incremental improvements in capabilities that we always provide. If that were ever to become the case, then it would be a matter of time before true innovators would provide the means to supplant our capabilities at a lower cost.
Just where will we be in 2050? As the events of just the hundred years of ongoing military submarine development show, it is a loser’s game to try and predict with any accuracy what the Submarine Force of the future will look like. The wisest seers in any era never look so foolish as through the lens of history. Perhaps future submarines will be smaller. Perhaps they will use alternate propulsion technologies. Perhaps they will strike ashore from the other side of the earth by reflecting high-energy lasers off of satellites. Perhaps we will be able to use off-board sensors to plot minefields and to trigger the firing of anti-ship or land-attack weapons, which covertly lay dormant in pre-staged launch pods. We may not even need submarines-or surface ships or air-planes-at all in support of our national defense.
Especially now that we are in a dominant position, we need to honestly assess how our roles might be better done by other means in order to improve our capabilities and maintain our value to the American people.
Are submarines senile weapons? Are there disruptive technologies that can do what we can at a lower cost? We do have unquestioned dominance below the sea and can deliver credible fire-power, as well as unique intelligence for our customers-the Fleet CINCs, the NCA, and ultimately the American people. But we must never be fooled that our current exalted position will be maintained by merely making incremental improvements to the capabilities that ‘Ile already have. Our past and current success is the legacy left us by the risk-takers and innovators of the past. Our future depends on our ability to overcome the inertia of success and continue to truly innovate. Continued dominance means that we must therefore be ever more vigilant to the disruptive technologies that may render us obsolete. As Secretary Danzig admonished us here last year, we cannot become like Narcissus and lose ourselves in the admiring gaze of our own reflection. If anything, we must increase our sensitivity to the downmarket trends. Consider the ASW challenge.
Owen Cote has written a most thoughtful piece entitled the Third Battle: Innovation in the U.S. Navy’s Cold War Struggle with Soviet Submarines. At the conclusion of this work he further poses questions about what he characterizes as the Fourth Battle, submarines, and ASW after the cold war. There are insights here into the types of disruptive challenges we are likely to face in the ASW arena.
Though we regularly make the case that ASW is a Navy team sport, if these disruptive challenges enjoy success, the impact will fall hardest on the Submarine Force.
Owen argues, and I agree with him, that we face these challenges. First, the marriage of the air-independent, non-nuclear submarine with over the horizon, fire and forget, anti-ship cruise missiles, and high endurance, wake-homing torpedoes. Traditional ASW approaches, employing radar flooding and speed are not likely to be successful against this threat.
Cote argues that the second challenge will occur when we are fighting for less than “all-out stakes.” In such conflicts, we will likely have a very low tolerance for shipping losses. Cote compares ASW against a quiet target to the SCUD hunting of Desert Storm, i.e., protracted, asset-intensive, high false alarm rate, high weapons expenditures, and low success rates. The difference though is that SCUDs were terror weapons without much military utility. Submarines pose both a military threat and political risk. The impact on the flow of forces and supplies into a theater will be dramatic until the ASW threat is eliminated.
The third disruptive challenge comes from the fact that the Navy’s traditional focus on Blue Water sea control has shifted to power projection and land control in the littorals. The multi-mission pull on all platforms as a result of this doctrinal shift further impacts the multi-dimensional approach necessary for ASW to be successful in the new security environment.
Let me reiterate, if these disruptive challenges are successful, the critics will be asking why we are building $2B submarines, not why the ASW mission was removed from S-3 aircraft. We must keep our eyes on this one.
Well, let me return to the innovator’s Dilemma and Christensen’s suggestion for how to deal with it; as you will see we are moving in the right direction.
At the heart of the innovator’s Dilemma is that rational organizations are charged by their stockholders to maximize profit based on what current customer demand is. In the case of the Submarine Force, that means we take our resource allocations and put them to work as best we can to achieve desired force levels and to make our individual platforms as effective as they can be. From a management perspective, it is not rational to allocate otherwise productive resources to investigate things that have nothing to do with the core business. But this seemingly counterintuitive prospect is exactly what the Innovator’s Dilemma would require of dominant enterprises that seek to maintain leadership and expand markets. In his book, Mr. Christensen tells us that a method to resolve the apparent conflict between future vision and the present-day bottom line is to empower small cells within the organization. This semi-autonomous groups-set loose from the constraints of the bottom line-are free to investigate the disruptive technologies, and to seek out how to incorporate those new markets into the larger organization, or find ways to counter them.
Consider this scenario: the vast majority of our peacetime force structure requirements are based on the justification that we need hulls to do ISR. But what if off-board vehicles and sensors could make it possible to lay down networks of undersea sensors that could process data and transmit it to remote stations. What if we could deploy remotely controlled small mobile sensors that could move around on land and were configured with chemical, acoustic, visual, or vibration sensors. The pace of technological development suggests that these sorts of things may well be possible. Perhaps their combination of capability and price will make them more efficient and effective than a submarine for a large fraction of our ISR tasks. Will we find ourselves in a position where we are oversupplying the market for stealth, because we invested too heavily in improving the sustaining technologies of our core product, at the exclusion of investigating disruptive trends that seem in the current view to be inadequate to the customer demand?
Again, I can’t tell you what the future looks like, but I do think that we are making significant strides in the Submarine Force to address the future in non-conventional ways. Consider, for example, the work being done by DARPA, in the payloads and sensors study. We’ve put money behind empowering visions that are currently not part of the FYDP, and may never be. But we are giving some bright minds the opportunity to reshape the vision of the Submarine Force of the future. I look forward to the results of their work.
Another sign that we are not being complacent is through the Future Studies Group. By design, the FSG takes savvy observers and asks them to consider alternative future visions of what the world might look like in the future. I think that their considerations of the need to improve our ability to use off-board sensors, improve connectivity and payload are right on the mark.
More important, perhaps, is the FSG’s focus on modularity and on human factors. Modularity, in my view, is essential to our long-term viability. It will allow future leaders to take the inherent advantages of the submarine platform and equip it with payloads and capabilities that may currently not even have been imagined. This can be considered to be somewhat analogous to the computer examples I discussed earlier. The computer as a concept has not changed-it has inherent advantages to do certain types of tasks. What has changed, resulting from the spur of disruptive technologies is that the computer is being used in new ways that were not imagined in earlier times. So it can be too for the modular submarine. The concept of the submarine will be the same, but the open architecture will pennant disruptive technological developments to refresh the submarine’s capability in novel ways.
Our work with DARPA, the FSG, and through efforts like the SSBN security program, which is chartered to evaluate unconventional threats, are all signs that we have not become complacent, but I believe that we can do more. We need to be prepared for a world where swarms of small craft deploying undersea weapons will challenge our access to the littoral. As well, we need to be ready for smart, inexpensive mines that can similarly challenge us. And most importantly, we need to improve our payload capability. Those of you who attended the Submarine Technology Symposium may recall Admiral Natter’s reproach to us that we need to use our stealth to do more than just tell the battlegroup “Incoming!” Mr. Ron O’Rourke, the CBO analyst and friend of the submarine community also echoed those sentiments. Ron said-and I agree-that we need to develop a compelling capability that is easily understood by legislators and the American people who are asked to approve the sums we ask to buy submarines. Though our lifecycle costs are competitive with other platforms, the natural political tendency is to focus on the near-term dollars. Our acquisition costs are high, and we need to develop better payload capability and need to do a better job of educating legislators and laypeople about what those capabilities are.
Let me switch gears again and provide you with a few specific examples of how our investments in new capabilities may enable revolutionary advances in the future. In the UUV field, the Long-Term Mine Reconnaissance System will come online in 2003, followed by the Mission-Reconfigurable UUV in 2008. I see these developments enabling dramatic advances in key military capabilities.
Think about, for example, mine identification and clearance. Much of what we in the Submarine Force can provide is predicated on our assured access to littoral regions. One defensive strategy that a potential adversary might use to deny that access would be to deploy large numbers of inexpensive mines. Currently, mine identification and clearance is a challenging and time-consuming process. Sensors are dragged through the water by either a ship or helicopter to identify the mine. Once identified, a second vessel must relocate the mine and use divers or marine mammals to place explosive charges on the mine to disable it. To execute this in a benign environment is challenging enough, but success seems to become exceptionally doubtful in the face of a determined adversary. It is eminently logical that any entity that would mine areas to deny submarines would also utilize anti-ship or anti-air weapons (which are available on the market now) to defeat our attempts at mine clearance.
None of us are too fond of the idea of putting a submarine, along with a crew of 125, in Mann’s way as a mine sensor, regardless of how good ARCI, Phase IV, will be. LMRS will give us autonomous, remote mine sensing capability, a vast improvement over what we have now. But consider the possibilities that may become available with MRUUV. We may be able to deploy UUVs that carry small bomblets in the payload bay, enabling a UUV that is configured to both detect and neutralize mines by itself. This capability would be present in a fire and forget vehicle that is not dependent on any datalink to a controlling vessel. If it comes to fruition, it will provide the greater capability, lower cost, and far less risk to people and valuable assets, which to my mind all indicate the hallmarks of a disruptive technology considered in a military sense.
Beyond mine warfare-a current capability that UUV s will do better consider some of the ways that UUVs may provide capabilities that don’t even exist today. For example, the MR-UUV’s payload volume could be used to deploy data collection assets, like periscopes, antennas, or acoustic sensors that can be deployed up rivers and in waters too shallow for submarines to operate in. The MRUUV might also be used to service an ADS (Advanced Deployable (Sonar) System) field, downloading data and uploading search parameters. ADS fields could trigger dormant UUVs to deploy and put acoustic tags on transiting threat submarines. A tethered UUV deployed for a submarine could be plugged into an ADS field to allow real-time processing of littoral water data with the submarine at a safer stand-off range. UUVs might further be able to relay launch orders to pre-staged weapons pods to initiate land attack strikes. The possibilities that will be enabled by having an open payload volume in a covert autonomous vehicle will only be limited by our imaginations. We need to continue to be sensitive to the disruptive technological developments that can be utilized on UUVs, even if they don’t all pan out and even if they eventually may reduce the demand for things that we do today with a submarine.
For UUVs to realize their full potential, we need disruptive breakthroughs in energy modules. LMRS will have an on-station time of 40 to 60 hours. Incremental improvements in battery technology are being made, but the realities of the periodic table mean that there is a limit to how much energy we can put in a battery on a UUV that fits in a 21-inch tube. But in that limitation lies the opportunity for disruptive approaches, perhaps to develop submerged UUV service stations that can recharge UUV s, or to alternate propulsion technologies like advanced fuel cells that can provide the endurance necessary to gain maximum advantage.
Another investment that may provide the foundation for the incorporation of new disruptive capabilities is in covert communications. We are placing antennas now on submarines that have EHF MDR capability. EHF allows covert communications through narrow beams and frequency-hopping algorithms. MDR capability will allow data rates in the range of 128-512 Kbps. Contrast this with our current low-data rate EHF capability of 2.4 Kbps. Think about how fast your internet home page would load on a 2400 baud modem compared to a DSL connection. Now imagine the possibilities for passing tactical data between elements of a battlegroup or from a shooter to a weapon by using a covert, high data rate. High data rate covert communications will not only enable extraordinary advancements in warfighting capability. We might even be on the threshold of having loved ones back home be able to send video family grams to our deployed sailors.
And what about SSGN? Combining long-range precision weapons, in high numbers, with a submarine platform provides the stealth that makes defense easy, with a weapon against which defense is extremely difficult. What we are talking about is a resurrection of our post-WWII experience, where radical innovation made the submarine a key player in a new mission area, assuring continued relevance in a different security environment. This truly represents a disruptive technology, and by the way, would reduce some of the multi-mission pull I discussed earlier, which impacts the Navy’s ASW capabilities.
Well, I’ve been talking for a while now, and it’s probably about time for me to stop. Let me summarize some of my talks:
- The Submarine Force emerged as a superior example of a disruptive technology. Over the course of the last 100 years, the submarine has emerged and currently occupies a privileged position as a capital ship in our navy. In business terms, we are now a dominant market player and are geared toward improving our capability through investments in sustaining technologies.
- We must be especially vigilant-now that we’ve achieved such a significant mainstream position-to balancing our investments in sustaining technologies and having the foresight to put resources behind potentially disruptive technologies that appear to have little short-term relevance, but which may revolutionize submarine capability in the long run. It is a certainty that promising new technologies will emerge, the challenge we face is a cultural one. We must be sensitive to the cultural conservatism that is a by-product of our success. We cannot be timid in our commitment to try new things, even if all those new things turn out not to do what we thought they would. We must remain the truly innovative community that we have been for our first 100 years.
- Our efforts, through our DARPA payloads and sensors work, through the Future Studies Group and the SSBN Security Program are excellent first steps to focus our attention on an uncertain future. However, I think that we need to do more.
It may rightfully be said that no warfighting platform changed the nature of warfare more completely than the submarine did during its first century. That said, we need to keep our minds open to how things that we currently do might be better done by other means in the future. The corollary to that thought is that we need to develop compelling new capabilities for the submarine that don’t exist today, but that will take the submarine concept and continue it as a vital contributor to our nation’s defense for the next century and beyond. Thank you very much for the opportunity to speak today.