The Daniel Island Community Speakers Series began its eighth season on Wednesday evening, September 11, 2019 with Captain Kevin Byrne, Deputy Commanding Office of Joint Base Charleston. 9/11 changed everything with respect to our country’s security. We were no longer immune from terrorism. And nowhere have the changes been more noteworthy than with the U.S. military. Captain Byrne shared his insights on what has happened to military readiness in the past 18 years.
All of us remember exactly where we were on this day 18 years ago. The attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on September 11, 2001, have led to the largest government restructuring in our history. It led to the formation of the Department of Homeland Security. The PATRIOTS act was passed to help detect and prosecute terrorism. NSA was given broad powers to eavesdrop on telephone and e-mail communications between U.S. citizens and people overseas. It has forced our military to adopt new methods of combating terrorism. Captain Byrne shared his insights into the sweeping changes that have taken place in our Armed Forces during that period of time. But closer to home, he also described the public attention given to 3 new policy changes - "Don't Ask, Don't Tell, Women on Submarines and On-Board Smoking, but which had small impact below the surface of the ocean as the crews remained dedicated to their tasks-at-hand.
In his current position Captain Byrne is the Deputy Commander of Joint Base Charleston and Commanding Officer, Naval Support Activity Charleston. The command provides support to over 60 Department of Defense and Federal agencies, and serves more than 86,500 Airmen, Sailors, Marines, Coast Guardsmen, civilians and dependents on JBC.
He is a submariner. He has served as Navigation Officer aboard the USS Tennessee which is where he was at the time of the 9/11 terrorist attack, Executive Officer on the USS Helena, and Commanding Officer of the USS Alaska and the USS Louisiana. He is a two-time recipient of the Navy’s Legion of Merit which is given for exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding services and achievements. It is one
This program, now in its eighth year, was sponsored jointly by The Rotary Club of Daniel Island, the Daniel Island Community Fund, the Daniel Island Business Association, and the Daniel Island Club.