CAPITAL DISTRICT Rear Admiral David W. Titley can call the Capital District his hometown, but a lot has changed here since his last visit.
The admiral was in the area on Thursday and Friday, April 26 and 27, as part of the Navy's 50/50 Program, an effort that pairs 50 senior Navy leaders with 50 cities. He’s a Schenectady native, which provided him with a hometown connection – one of the elements the Navy was after for the initiative.
Trips like Titley’s are aimed at developing relationships among national and local leaders and provide opportunities to educate inland areas about how the Navy functions.
“As soon as you get away from the coast…the knowledge of what the Navy does is very small. There’s just simply not a lot of understanding,” said Titley.
Titley is assistant deputy chief of naval operations for information dominance and director of the Navy’s climate change task force. His last trip to the Capital District was in 1980, when he was married.
“It was, let’s face it – tough times. GE was downsizing…I remember downtown Schenectady as just a lot of vacant buildings. Now you go down there with sort of the Renaissance around Proctors and the nightlife … you can kind of feel that sense of renewal and optimism, I think it’s great to see for the district,” he said.
Titley met with first responders in Schenectady on Thursday among other stops, including at Mayor Gary McCarthy’s office.
Being a Navy man, the trip wouldn’t be complete without stepping aboard the USS Slater, the destroyer escort from WWII docked near downtown Albany.
“It was just an amazing visit. … What makes it amazing is you look at those World War II vets and Vietnam and Korean War vets who man it and— the word ‘inspirational’ may be overused somewhat, but it really is inspirational.”