VCNO Franchetti Talks STEM Skills at Autonomous Sub Contest

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By: Gidget Fuentes

August 2, 2023 11:29 PM • Updated: August 3, 2023 4:59 AM

NAVAL BASE POINT LOMA, Calif. – As teams of college and high school students pored over their home-built robotic submarines and others prepared to place theirs in a huge, hillside water tank, Adm. Lisa Franchetti couldn’t be happier with what she saw.

Franchetti, current vice chief of naval operations and self-described STEM fan, sees the Navy’s strength and future in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics skills displayed by students and their autonomous underwater vehicles built for this year’s RoboSub competition.

“It’s really neat to see that, the teamwork, the leadership when you talk about building a team, overcoming challenges, being resourceful, resilient. Those are all things that we want people that work with our Navy team to be able to do,” Franchetti told USNI News in her first interview since she was nominated to succeed Adm. Mike Gilday as the chief of naval operations.

RoboSub and other similar STEM events aimed at young people – and perhaps future prospective recruits or civilian workers – are important for the Navy’s outreach efforts and “bring a lot more exposure to what we do and get that interaction going,” she said. “It’s really important to recruiting, so they can see [a Navy career] as one of their options.”

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Adm Lisa Franchetti, Vice Chief of Naval Operations, delivers opening remarks during a concert in celebration of the Navy’s 247th Birthday in 2022. US Navy Photo.