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International Seapower Symposium records

 Record Group
Identifier: RG-22

Scope and Contents

This collection consists of correspondence, reports, publications, photographs, audio cassettes, digital media (floppy disks and compact discs, etc.), and digital files regarding the International Seapower Symposium. These records document the organization and proceedings of each symposium and include speeches, presentations, schedules, programs, reports, and other materials used and referenced at each symposia. The extent of records for each symposium varies.

Records from 1969-1976 contain folders for each country that had an officer attending the symposium. Within these folders are correspondence, biographical and career information, and their travel arrangements. Also found within this record group are speeches and reports from symposia were established due to the influence of the International Seapower Symposium. These include the 1972 Regional Seapower Symposium, hosted biannually in Venice for naval leaders from Mediterranean and Black Sea countries to discuss common challenges, and the 1973 Hague Symposium, held annually to focus on post-conflict transitions and international justice.


  • Creation: 1969-


Language of Materials

Also includes materials in Spanish, French, and Italian.

Conditions Governing Access

Access is open to all researchers, unless otherwise specified.

Conditions Governing Use

Material in this collection is in the public domain, unless otherwise noted.

Historical note

The International Seapower Symposium (ISS) is a biennial meeting held at the U.S. Naval War College (NWC), hosted by the Chief of Naval Operations and the President, U.S. Naval War College. First held in Newport, R.I. in 1969, ISS convenes regularly, every two to three years, to provide a forum for senior international naval leaders to discuss common maritime challenges and improve international maritime security cooperation. ISS 16 was originally scheduled to be held in September 2001, but was cancelled due to the events of September 11, 2001.

Attendees to the symposia include the chiefs of navies and coast guards from around the world, who gather for three days to discuss maritime issues and listen to a selection of distinguished speakers. In 1969, there were 80 attendees representing 37 countries. By 2014, attendance has increased to 199 military and civilian attendees from 115 countries.

The original objective for ISS was to promote mutual understanding among the leaders of the world's maritime nations. Beginning with ISS 4, each symposia was centered around a theme which have concentrated around different aspects of cooperation among navies, navies’ roles in non-military operations, common challenges, information sharing, and global solutions to security. One of the results of ISS is the initiation and growth of regional arrangements such as the Inter-American Naval Conference, Western Pacific Naval Symposia, Black Sea – Mediterranean Regional Symposia, Indian Ocean Naval Symposium, and African Sea Power Symposium.

International Seapower Symposia

17-20 Nov 1969
1st ISS
1-5 Nov 1971
2nd ISS
15-19 Oct 1973
3rd ISS
6-9 Jul 1976
4th ISS: The role of Navies in the 1980s
2-5 Oct 1979
5th ISS: The Role of Navies in a World of Peace
28 Jun-1 Jul 1981
6th ISS: World Navies in the 1980s
7-10 Nov 1983
7th ISS: Emerging Naval Roles to the Year 2000
20-23 Oct 1985
8th ISS: Maritime Security Planning – Traditional vs. Non-Traditional Views
25-28 Oct 1987
9th ISS: Maritime Power in an Era of Low Intensity Conflict
22-25 Oct 1989
10th ISS: Meeting Commitments in an Era of Fiscal Constraint
6-9 Oct 1991
11th ISS: Emerging Cooperative Maritime Roles in a Changing World Environment
7-10 Nov 1993
12th ISS: Maritime Coalitions and International Security
5-8 Nov 1995
13th ISS: Partnership...From the Sea
2-5 Nov 1997
14th ISS: Seapower and Common security in the 21st Century
7-10 Nov 1999
15th ISS: Maritime Strategies for a Naval Century
26-29 Oct 2003
16th ISS: Seapower for Peace, Prosperity and Security
20-23 Sep 2005
17th ISS: A Global Network of Nations for a Free and Secure Maritime Commons
16-19 Oct 2007
18th ISS: Forging Cooperative Solutions for International Maritime Security
7-9 Oct 2009
19th ISS: Connecting Navies, Building Partnership
18-21 Oct 2011
20th ISS: Security and Prosperity through Maritime Partnerships
16-19 Sep 2014
21st ISS: Global Solutions to Common Maritime Challenges


17 Linear Feet (21 record group boxes, 2 half archival boxes, 1 oversize box)


The International Seapower Symposium (ISS) is a biennial meeting held at the U.S. Naval War College (NWC), hosted by the Chief of Naval Operations and the President, U.S. Naval War College. This record group consists of correspondence, reports, publications, photographs, audio cassettes, digital media (floppy disks and compact discs, etc), and digital files documenting the organization and proceedings of each symposium.


This collection is arranged in chronological order according to symposium.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Transfers to the NWC Archives in 1973, 1976, and unknown dates. Materials from ISS 18-21 were deposited by the Events and Protocol Office in August 2015.


Future additions are expected.

Related Materials

  • Naval War College Archives, RG 27, International Seapower Symposium folder. Naval Historical Collection, U.S. Naval War College, Newport, R.I.
  • Naval War College Library holds published reports of proceedings from several of the International Seapower Symposia. Please refer to their online catalog for a complete listing.

Processing Information

Boxes 1-9, which hold materials relating to the first three symposiums, were deposited by Captain Clarence O. Fiske, International Conferences Secretariat, and they reflect his organizational schema.

Boxes 10-22 have been processed in batches by archives staff, according to archival rules in effect at the time of accruals.

Dacs Finding Aid
Finding aid prepared by Elizabeth Delmage and Kirsi Ritosalmi-Kisner
2016 June
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Naval War College Archives Repository

US Naval War College
686 Cushing Rd
Newport RI 02841 US