[updated 12:45 Tuesday with VCNO Burke comment] PANAMA CITY, FLORIDA: Improving the Navy’s long-neglected capability to hunt mines is a top priority for the fleet — but it still gets less than 1 percent of the Navy budget.

“We do have a sense of urgency and I think we’re applying as much resources as we can,” said Rear Adm. Frank Morneau, deputy director of the Navy’ staff’s Expeditionary Warfare division. Starting at the top with Chief of Naval Operations Jonathan Greenert — who recently dispatched more minesweepers to the Gulf — “senior leadership in the Navy and in the Marine Corps are deadly serious about focusing on this mission and trying to get it right,” despite ever-tightening budgets, Morneau said at the National Defense Industrial Association’s annual Expeditionary Warfare conference here. “I wouldn’t be discouraged just because we’re under fiscal pressure.” Keep reading →