08 January 2010

New Blog Format and Maintaining our Standards


I started this blog when I assumed command of US Fleet Forces Command because I wanted to get feedback from the deckplate on the current state of the fleet as well as different perspectives and ideas on particular topics.  I have been very happy with the comments you have provided me and your feedback has really helped shape my thinking.

Now that I am approaching my six month mark in command, I would like to change the format of this blog in a manner which I hope will benefit us both – but particularly increase what you get out of the time you devote to reading and responding to my posts.

For the past six months, I have asked questions that can pretty much be mapped to one or more of my three primary concerns as Commander, USFF: to provide forces ready for tasking to our Combatant Commanders, to sustain those forces (including our people) so that we may fight today’s wars, tomorrow and get our ships, submarines, and aircraft to their expected service life, and to ensure our force deploys confident in their readiness to execute their missions through adhering to the tried and true standards that have benefited our Navy throughout our history.

Based on the picture of Fleet conditions I’ve developed over the past six months, I intend to transition away from predominately asking questions to letting you know my thoughts and informing you of the decisions I’ve made.  The value of your comments will not diminish, quite the contrary, but hopefully this will give you a better opportunity to understand what is on my mind and the actions I am taking.

That said, one area I have significant concern with is the confusion between “taking risk” and lowering standards.  As Navy made hard decisions over the past six years to meet growing Combatant Commander force demands, come off the manpower glideslope, and fund recapitalization after the “procurement holiday” of the 1990s; we began to use phrases such as “taking risk.”  Taking risk was often used to describe the actions that must be taken to “do more, with less.”  What really occurred in some instances was we did more, but we did it less well and we lowered our standards.

As we recapitalize the fleet, meet Combatant Commander demand, and properly invest in the sustainment of our ships, submarines, and aircraft, we cannot lower the tried and true standards which have served our Navy for over 230 years.  Recent incidents - HARTFORD, JAMES E WILLIAMS, and flight discipline lapses - are just some examples that illuminate areas where we must re-educate, reinvigorate, and reinforce the bedrock importance of our tried and true standards that run the gamut from how we operate, to how we maintain, to our conduct, and the concept of accountability.  As a Fleet Commander, fewer resources means that there are things we will do less, but that must not result in doing things less well.  More to follow.  All the best, JCHjr.


CDR K said...

Do more with less? Take risk in areas but do just as much and just as well? I have trouble seeing how to accomplish this. I work echelons below you and have received the guidance to "take risk" in the completion of our mission by understaffing and under-resourcing across the board. By definition, I cannot do everything that I did before at the same level of fidelity...yet my mission is not smaller...the expectations from superiors have not gone down...top down tasking continues to grow. So my question back is simple: How do I cover all mission areas with fewer people and money while at the same time putting a level of effort into daily ops that will break our most precious resource long before I can afford to lose it...people.
Anticdotal evidence being what it is, routine work weeks of 80 hours only carry a command so far before mistakes are made! Should I take risk in not accomplishing my mission? (We all know the outcome of that) Should I take risks in delivering less than stellar performance? (forbidden by the blog above) All that is left is to take risks with the health and welfare of the command personnel and drive them into the ground to produce what used to take many more to do, AND at the same or better quality.
I will continue to squeeze the blood from folks to do what needs to be done, but I fear for the cost of doing so.

LCDR Brad McGuire said...

"We" took risk and accepted the fallout when "we" decided to save money through "peace dividends", "just in time spares" and "optimal manning". These are merely three off-the-top that come to mind that have seriously erroded our Navy.

The result is a lower standard - of PMS/3M accountability and proficiency, of technical accumen and technician expertise...a follow-on degradation that intensifies over time (eg: No component troubleshooting skills learned in BE&E = less "systems" mindset/understanding for future troubleshooting during independent ops. No MOTU experience by ET2 = less effective ETC)

Not carrying sufficient spares may make the SK storeroom more manageable and may reduce the SUPPO's overhead but when CIWS is down for the fourth repeat and you just passed through the SOH, exactly how "in time" can any part from CONUS really be??

Sir, I don't speak "business" nor can I even define "recapitalization", so I'll not use buzzwords to explain my thoughts. We are shrinking, have been for years. Our mission areas expand and no one wants to say "I can't". At some point, this "risk" will be paid in blood.

Very respectfully,

LT B said...

My fear is that the problems addressed in this particular post is not coming from the Fleet, it's coming from the Washington Naval Yard and I do NOT consider them the Fleet. More often than not, the politics of Washington for both the military and civilian members drives the concerns in the Fleet. I am not recalcitrant, but it seems a lot of the changes made lately have nothing to do with improvement of our fighting force. After more than 230 years, we have a huggly snuggly ethos, we are now a global force for good, new uniforms that make us look like we are Smurftastic, and we are pushing weapons systems the way the USAF did in the early '70s, and SEALs going to SCM for an alleged bop in the nose of a terrorist. Like coaching a team that is troubled, we need to get back to basics. Enough fluff. Less lawfare, more warfare, instill the warrior ethos w/in the Fleet, be honest about the real concerns of females at sea, DADT repeal, support the skippers that shut down the fraternization and promote on merit not on skin color and/or gender. It should not be news that we killed 3 pirates. That should be expected. That should be our strong point and shouldn't be a surprise, but rather, should be a common occurrence. Basics, sir. Basics. Everything else takes our focus off of mission readiness, IMHO, sir.

AW1 Tim said...

As the Navy downsized, it meant that there was less resources for training and tasking. Rather than hone the force we had to a fine edge, well trained and ready for action, we dulled the blade by loading it up with non-mission-essential tasking. Diversity, sexual harrassment, multi-culturalism, new uniforms, reorganization of rates, etc.

Valuable time and resources were lost completing what were at best social-engineering tasks vice actual Navy-centered, mission-oriented tasks and training. It has to stop. The Navy can no longer afford to the the petri dish where politicians experiment with new policies and petty agendas. The Navy is too valuable a resource to squander in such a fashion, and politicians do so at the peril of the nation.

The Navy needs to start at the bottom, with the recruit. Cast aside all of the diversity-driven stuff. Recruit ONLY the BEST and the BRIGHTEST. Pay no attention to ethnicity, gender, or anything other than the mental, emotional and physical requirements for the job.

Training. Realistic, up-tempo operational training. Do it again and again until everyone knows their part and can do it in their sleep. Treat your sailors as if they were adults. Stop the stupid liberty buddy crap, the liberty forms and everything else. Treat them like men and they will act like men, and when they don't, they get spanked at mast so that others may learn from their transgressions. Then, afterward, put 'em back on his job and set him to work.

Make belonging to ship's company a special thing. Give the men longer tours to the same vessel, and give them pride in ownership of that great namesake. Instill in them a desire to work so that THEIR ship will be the one talked about as a great example to others, rather than just a name on a patch and a "thanks for being here" coffee mug.

Offer the opportunity to reenlist for the same command, if the man wants it. If he likes his ship, is good at his job, then why force him to move? Why make him start over?

Anyway, those are some thoughts from this old airdale. Our Navy has a lot of excess baggage and we need to toss something overboard to lighten the load.


CDR Hunter Ware said...

ADM Harvey,

Thank you for soliciting input directly from the fleet.

As a current Commanding Officer of a VAQ squadron, I struggle daily with the balance of risk and standards. Our biggest challenge, and one that will persist in the future, is achieving a balance between QoL and ITEMPO.

I applaud your comment, “As a Fleet Commander, fewer resources means that there are things we will do less, but that must not result in doing things less well.”

Unfortunately, I have seen no evidence of doing less, and I’ve never seen a COCOM or Fleet Commander’s requests for forces denied (perhaps because the deckplate has no visibility to this). In fact, my command’s OPTEMPO over the past six years (since long before my tenure) has been particularly challenging. We’re currently in an 8+ month deployment, spent 255 days away from home base in calendar year 2009 (workups and cruise), surged in 2008, cruised 6+ months in 2007, and we are slated to cruise again this summer (2010) with a dwell time of 0.7. And we are not the exception along the flight line.

Some Sailors in my command are leaving this 5-year tour with 4 and 5 cruises under their belts, and going to another flight line squadron so they can stay in one location (the spouse’s logic is often, “If I can’t ever see you, at least I can stay in one place”, more than one family’s attempt at achieving some kind of work/life balance).

I love this job because of the quality of the Sailors, and their willingness to make personal sacrifices for this country. I sense, however, an approaching “tipping point” in Sailor choices, where the benefits of service no longer outweigh the benefits of participating in the lives of one’s children or building a shared life with one’s spouse. I see it in Sailor check-out interviews and in our separations.

Unless the Navy either matches personnel resources to the demands of the mission, or relaxes the operational requirements, I sense troubled waters ahead, currently masked by current domestic economic challenges. However, recent signals of significantly increasing the IA requirements downrange indicate that any Navy overtures of doing less are simply untrue. The IA construct conceptually flies in the face of the Navy Enterprise, and increasing our IA footprint does not make business sense – there can be few things more inefficient than training a second class aviation Airframer in metalwork, and then sending him to Afghanistan for a year to stand gate guard duty.

If OPTEMPO can give us a rough idea of the strain on our organizations and equipment, ITEMPO is the key to knowing the stresses and strains on individual Sailors. I recommend tracking ITEMPO again, for each and every Sailor. I’d like to see it somehow factored into the enlisted advancement / PTS process as well, as I believe that a ranked EP earned on sea duty should carry more weight than one earned ashore. Even if nothing is done to alleviate ITEMPO, at least the information can be tracked and briefed up-echelon. Knowledge of the pressure on our force is critical to maintaining standards and understanding risk.

J. H. Ware
VAQ-135 CO

LCDR Jack Fay said...


I submit that we, myself included, have allowed the standard to drop already and we need to apply corrective efforts to get where we belong.

From the Surface Warfare Officer perspective, I perceived a steady erosion for Sailors (Officers and Enlisted) to gain the knowledge to recognize the difference between risk and a lowered standard. As a SWO Dept Head, I observed reduced steaming days, increased in simulated vice actual training events, a drastic reduction in available ATG training, saw schools eliminated, increased administrative requirements, manning reductions, a mandated decrease in the required SWO qualification time and saw an abundance of division officers compete for limited opportunities to observe/execute surface warfare events.

I think to achieve the standards you describe, we need to reinvigorate the Navy's focus on training. First, let's consider whether we actually have the resources in place to achieve the standard. Second, let's compare the effort required by the Fleet to achieve the standard given the breadth of requirements levied on them.


CDR R said...

You are on the right track here, but I entreat you. Please do not use the first person plural (we) when you mean the first person singular (you and your predecssors) or second person plural (you and the other high level flags in the beltway).
The decisions that resulted in too few sailors, with too much to do, and not enough time to do it in were made there. Do not blame the elected representatives. They believed what you when you all said it would be OK if we reduced manning and also reduced funding for maintenance availabilities. The believed that we could maintain all other committments while at the same time supporting new missions in OIF/OEF.

It is now clear (or it should be) that the laws of nature have not changed. We cannot "leverage multiple technologies to syngerize and motivate, resulting in increased efficiency while increasing resoponsivness to the warfighter". There is no PowerPoint presentation magic when it comes to basic seamanship, airmanship, and maintenance. It takes time and practice, and nothing changes that.

Since most of us agree that we have gone from SNAFU to TARFU, what can be done? Here are my humble suggestions.
1) Man up. And I'm pointing at you who wear multiple stars on your collars. Deep down, you know that we can't continue this way. We can do less with less, or more with more. We either have to decrease committments, or increase funding. Since the latter is a no-go, that means the former. You are going to have to start saying NO. We can't be everything to everybody.
2) Beat down. Time to hold senior leaders accountable. And I include the GS-eleventies and SES types here. Although the 4 stars that got us here are gone, their senior staffs (mostly civilian) are still around. Hold them accountable. You fire the skipper when he runs the ship aground, and fire the nav and XO too. Time to do the same on your staff. You mention "taking risk". I find it obscene that those that accept the risk do not accept the costs of the outcome. Why fire the CO of the ship that fails INSURV when she/he didn't make the decision to inadequately fund maintenance?
3) Stand Firm. I am appalled that nobody seems to see that there are threats other than a few thousand Islamic militants in this world. There are national level threats, if we say so or not. Ignore ASW, AAW, and ASuW at our peril. We must maintain our blue water capability.

I appreciate your candor, sir, but I fear that this will result in the usual response from high levels: nice words, but no action. Please prove me wrong.

WTH said...

I appreciate the shift in your focus from pull to push; I think it is a positive step. One of my enduring gripes is how the Navy has implemented technology. Instead of pushing more information to enable better decisions at the unit level it seems we have generated more and more requirements for individual units to report up the chain of command.
As we push forward and look to enforce (hopefully not re-introduce) standards, the question in the back of my mind is what will happen to those who say:
“I do not feel that I can capably complete a mission with the resources allocated. I identified this coming and did everything in my power to address it. Manning and funding have not been made available to me to bring my capabilities to a level I am comfortable deploying with.”
Who will assume that risk and in what form? I have seen the unit level accept a lot of risk by accepting least bad options and trying to make it work, all for fear of being hit with the “failure of leadership.” That has invariably led to a lowering of standards. At some point it is not a unit leadership failure to say no, it is a unit leadership failure to say yes. Clear guidance down that path in an open forum would alleviate a lot of tea leaf reading and be an empowering use of this forum.

LT G. said...

Dear Admiral,

A few suggestions.

1. Kill any reporting vehicle that a) you don't use to make a decision or b) you can't trust without verifying. They take time away, present a false picture, and reinforce dishonesty that only exposes itself at the worst possible time.

2. Look at the false economy of training cuts. For every one unqualified/inadequately trained sailor, I need three who are qualified--one to instruct, one to do the work, and one to schedule, test and document trainee strengths and weaknesses. Sometimes this 3:1 ratio is in personnel, more often it's in time. OJT is a very valuable training method, but it comes at significant cost.

3. Accept failure. Not as a permanent condition, of course, but as a learning process. If you don't accept failure, you lose innovation, courage, and persistence.


shipmate said...


This is the only blog that I have ever posted anything on and it has been a very good forum to get the 4-star view. I look forward to the change and see how we continue to align efforts from the 4-star to the deck plate Sailor.

On a personal note, I think that standards are set and they have not changed. I think that we have done a poor job of just playing by the existing rules. Fraternization, Collisions, INSURVs without material and maintenenace dollars expended correctly ... all these point to the need to (1) identify the standards and (2) follow the rules and tell the chain of command what we can and cannot accomplish.

Too many people think they have a better idea and implement their own version of the truth without actually looking at the system to see if they can work within the boundaries.

Looking forward to your future postings.




Holy cow!

I near as dammit sent an email to CFFC which contained much truthiness! Fortunately, I deleted it before sending it. But man that was close.

MR T's Haircut said...


CUT THE STAFF. Jettison the non useful ballast and right the ship. CUT THE number of FLAGS... NOW. (CNIC, REGION FLAG, Deputy CNO Blah Blah blah, well you get the picture).

Stop the business lexicon. We are a military. We are NOT a fortune 500 company.

Gen Patton during the 1940 excercises to test Corp and Division level training in Texas and Louisiana, spent a premium on planning for fuel and POL allocation. When he started noticing HUGE gaps in the tactical plan due to fuel shortages, he went to the field to investigate why his divisions were running out of fuel. Patton at once saw a Sgt at a Fuel Depot, FILLING his Tank FULL of precious Fuel. He naturally became enraged at this gluttony, and he demanded to know why the tank commander was filling his tank FULL. The Sgt replied that the CONTRACTOR told him that the tanks fuel cell needed to be full to prevent corrosion due evaporation. Patton replied that he didnt give a DAMN what the contractors said, he did not intend for the tanks to last LONG ENOUGH to worry about corrosion.

That spirit, shows 1. that the military is NOT a business and exists for one purpose.. to engage and destroy the enemies of the United States. and 2. Contractors are full of *@*@!

Anything else or extra is Non Useful Ballast.


ME said...

Just to summarize a few points I think are important from earlier posts. Nice job to each person who submitted, nice to have honest and direct feedback.
- Stop the business lexicon, WE are the military.
-Enforce the current standards.
-T&R reports are usually overinflated, same with Battle E, who is going to put themselves on report?
-It is ok to have some problems, no one is perfect. It IS NOT ok to accept those problems, find out what went wrong and fix the issue. Yes, the DIVO or LCPO may be fired but their job is to ensure there are no problems.
-Sea Duty is not easy. Suck it up!
-We spend more time changing uniforms, worrying about PT standards/body fat and being political correct, then training tactics. I would rather have a fat person who knows tactics then a 5% lean body who works out all day and only cares about looking good. Do not even get me started about women on subs ….ok you did. Pick two subs and make those all women….the sub would not have to change anything.
-Bring back OPTEMPO tracking, website is in place. Always good to have metrics.
-Document your issues, report via message traffic if able, do not be the one with the secret. Let your fellow ships, squadron mates, and ISICs learn from your mistakes or from your successes. No one likes airing dirty laundry but we have all been there and usually your issue is not an isolated event.
-Back to the Basics. I know a buzzword, but military bearing, effective training, deck plate leadership and all the stuff that has made the Navy great is still relevant.
-Your people are your number one resource, take care of them and they will take care of you. NOTE: Being nice does not equal taking care of your people. Get your people the resources they need to do their job. Resources can equal bullets, tools, parts, time off, etc….
-Synthetic Training has its place. It does not replace flight hours or steaming days, it augments; makes those actual flight hours and steaming days more effective. Take Synthetic Training seriously, ensure mentors are debriefing each station and critically evaluate your watch teams and give them feedback, good and bad. If synthetic training is not helping, again put it in writing (message traffic) and send up the COC.
-Do not confuse lowering standards with becoming more efficient or vice versa. Ask an aviator how many flight hours they need to stay proficient and guaranteed it will be more hours than the pentagon has gas. We live in a world with constraints, work within them, or make a case to get more of what you need.
-Skippers are paid big bucks to make tough decisions. Skippers are not there to make a name for them self or achieve the next higher rank. Do your job and do it well, those other things will fall into place. Skippers need to be vocal especially when:
-Their manning is not optimal. Make bupers work for you.
-You are not getting enough flight hours or steaming days
-If something is wrong or not quite right, speak up.

Byron said...

MTH, I'd appreciate it if you'd modify that statement about contractors...I'm sure you know why.

MR T's Haircut said...


not aimed at the actual Contractor. Apologies, I ammend my comment on contractors to say Companies that use former pathways and connections from military connected service leadership (ie Flags who retire and use that agenda) to siphon off much needed funding for Sailors and training and platforms.

Better? (wink)


Sim said...

At the risk of going well off course here with the truncation of the Zumwalt and and continuation of the AB DDG any chance we'll see another USS Canberra? Being an Aussie I always had a soft spot for that one...

Old Navy Vet said...


I have to admire your tenacity at getting at the truth. If you read between the lines on most of the posts above, I think it goes unsaid, but is inferred, that we have been doing more with less for so long that we are losing sight of the goal; we want to send only the best trained, most qualified into combat, especially when you're talking about IA's.

Some of your posters have been brutally honest about their feelings about Flag officers and their impact on deckplate-level personnel. So, rather than take umbrage at these folks' honesty, I would only ask thst you consider, very carefully, what your next course of action should be. Anyone can look at a USFF headquarters wiring diagram and see that we have far more Chiefs than Indians (no offense intended towards our red brothers).

I CAN make one honest observation after either being IN or working FOR the U.S. Navy and that is, we are the best at anything we do, and YOU sir, are one of the good guys. I've watched a boatload of 4-star Admirals on the staff, and although one or two came close, you are by far the best, most forthright and honest of the lot. Just take the "business" criticism for what it is, get your FLTCM more engaged in "deckplates Sailors only" discussions on your trips and keep doing what you do best: communicate!

Cheers, from an Old Navy Vet!

SONAR977 said...

I use to think the NAVY actually cared about sailors, but for the second time in a four year span, we have asked sailors to do a job in which there is no formal training for. I don't even have a problem with do more with less because the NAVY has authorized and funded the manpower in my case, but has refused to train the sailor. The one excuse is an NTSP, not training equipment which is in place, not curriculum that just may need to be updated, but an NTSP that was signed by OPNAV N88 in 2000 was not updated when things in the NAVY changed. We are hurting the sailor when NETC Learning Centers fails to train sailors, we hurt our NAVY's future when they don't know how to do their job. How can a PO1, become a CPO when he has no CPO leading her/him, nor one on board with the knowledge to even train him/her. For some reason it takes a tragic accident that cost lives, or comes just that close before the people who can do something about it does. In my warfare area, there are a limited amount of people who can do the job proficiently to protect our greatest assest, people. I have been informed that the CNO has addressed this warfare area specifically recently, PACFLEET in the last two weeks. Yet learning centers can just cancel courses, and say we will not train sailors and no one has asked what impact does this have. Why do we continue to purchase new systems, and install them when there is no one to operate them. This has "CPO it's time to retire" written all over it, because the NAVY can't train the sailors, so i can mentor and develop them to take my place when it's really time for me to go. So if we really have to do more with less, that should also be done at the schoolhouse level when they say "i don't have the resources to conduct that training" or the limited resources they have should be shifted to someone capable of doing the job. Really the final COA until everyone get's things put in place is to remove the sailors from the platform and not place them onboard until all things are in place..training..leadership...waterfront support. Can someone please fix the training and proficieny problem, before our NAVY experiences loss of life from an unseen enemy.

ADM J. C. Harvey, Jr said...

All, just for the info of those who may be waiting for reponses, I'll read through all the posts this weekend and have something up on this thread (and a couple of others) on this coming Tuesday/Wednesday.
Haiti relief operations have been the priority for me and the entire Fleet Forces team since last Tuesday evening. All the best, JCHjr

CAPT Higgins said...


Thank you for this opportunity. The comments that follow are my own first-hand observations and not endorsed by SPAWARSYSCOM who simply gives me the opportunity to observe.

SPAWAR systematically measures Fleet readiness along the lines of the systems and capability delivered or integrated; Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Combat Systems, Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (C5ISR) systems, in other words, just about every Information Technology system in the Fleet. These systems are manned by sailors who along with their senior leaders tell us with increasing urgency that training for this technology is not efficient and effective.

Afloat training and ILS seems to get pushed further away from deck plate needs with every upgrade, budgetary cycle, and Fleet support reorganization. We routinely see evidence that sailors report aboard fully "trained on paper" that realistically have no idea how to optimally operate, maintain and troubleshoot the gear they encounter when they arrive onboard. New systems and upgrades are highly sophisticated yet too often fielded in advance of available training products. One need look no further than the LPD-17 Class to see this in action on a grand scale; in September 2009 we commissioned the fifth in the LPD-17 class, and this month (January 2010) the third in the class deployed, with no official program of record training yet established for most of the complex, integrated systems on that ship class. Training is being learned and designed on the job on the backs of deploying sailors, captured in lessons learned pass down records, and delivered back to the ships ad hoc by contractors expending scarce budgets at an unsustainable rate.

The generalist approach to all things Information Technology appears to have put tremendous stress on the IT, ET, OS, and IS enlisted ratings in particular, not to mention their concerned leadership of all ranks and designators. Chiefs are typically no longer the system subject matter experts (SMEs) by a long shot; career civilians and contractors have replaced them in this key role, however, these SMEs are held at long distance and infrequent engagement by budget limits. A sailor beseeching his Chief for technical help is frequently addressed with little more than commiseration and a long wait for distance support.

The Navy understandably has a very strong appetite for the next great feature to enhance warfighting capability. But when we make decisions to stretch budgets to buy the next greatest upgrade at the expense of training support for what we have already, we not only buy a hollow capability, we potentially endanger lives. One can possibly conclude from objective evidence that not only have we gone too far in this direction, but we need to regroup and re-train sailors at sea already, struggling with the technology they are responsible for now. The Fleet seems to “cry out” for the return to afloat subject-matter-expert (SME) -led training as the only reasonable approach to achieving warfighting readiness with the complex and highly integrated systems we take to the fight.

Consistent Fleet feedback from "Seaman to Admiral" indicates C5ISR system training ranks one of the top three to five readiness degraders for any given Strike Group. Complaints are loud and clear from the last 22 deploying Strike Groups since 2007 that C5ISR training is too frequently unavailable, ineffectively designed or delivered, and/or not delivered at the right time or place.

Meanwhile, sailors at sea are making the best of a challenging situation at risk to the mission. Might the solution to this problem be a true litmus test of leadership resolve to recover from too much "more with less?"


CAPT Higgins

ADM J. C. Harvey, Jr said...

Team, thank you for the time and thought you put into your responses. Whether I respond specifically to a post or not, does not mean that it has fallen on deaf ears. Bottom line, your comments are influencing action and deliberate progress is being made to improve many of the issues you have identified. I certainly understand the frustration and the skepticism, but we have some very significant challenges before us and it is going to take everyone working together to make meaningful progress forward.

CDR K, I do not want our resources or people spread over so many areas where they lose their ability to be effective. Fewer resources and less people mean less can be done. For a staff, that means that the lowest priority, non-essential work falls off the table. This is not always easy to execute, but the alternative is unsustainable. For the Fleet, it means that our forces deploy properly manned, trained, and equipped to execute their missions, and our forces are properly maintained so that they reach their expected service life. Operational demands must be prioritized and hard decisions made.

Brad McGuire, many of the initiatives you list were in the name of “efficiency.” I remember during the 1980’s our Navy was not efficient; we were not being good stewards of our resources. With the end of the Cold War and an economic recession, we had to figure out how to be better stewards of taxpayer dollars and control costs; I don’t believe all of these initiatives were misguided. The problem we now face is the cumulative effects of many of these individual initiatives have resulted in the situation you describe. We must now focus on effectively using what we have, to accomplish what we must.

One of the characteristics I really like about this blog is that it is a historical record of your concerns, ideas, and feedback. I read every post and I often go back to old posts to refresh my memory on particular concerns you have addressed. My hope is that I will be able to revisit an old thread, ask how things are going now, and perhaps get different responses indicative of progress being made.



I stumbled upon this comment by RADM James Goldrick RAN. It is in response to ADM Stravridis and Captain Hagerott's article "The Heart of an Officer: Joint, Interagency, and International Operations Internal Operations" NCW Review, Spring 2009.

His comments seem to be relivant to your questions in this post. Here is the link:


Real Estate Blogger said...

Good point about "taking risk" VS "lowering standards". Thank you for the blog post so that family members of navy like me can understand the operation and life of navy more.



I just took a look at the QDR. It seems based on that, the challenges faced by the Fleet are only going to be made more, well... Challenging. The whole of the QDR reads as doing more with less. Especially when it mentions that the CG(X) is canx, and the new LCC is "postponed". The only mention of Naval capabilities is improving what we've got: Doing more with less. Or, should that be written, doing more with less than it used to take?

I think the biggest question that any blueshirt would have once they've read the QDR is how we are going to continue to deploy as we do when the QDR mentions the policy of two years in between every one year deployed. That policy really only seems applicable to the Army and Marines. But, how will that caveat read for IA and GSA Sailors? Will the time deployed be counted cumulatively, as in every two 6 month cruises you get a year in port until your next cruise?

YN2(SW) Battle Yeoman

ADM J. C. Harvey, Jr said...

Battle Yeoman, that was a great read from RADM Goldrick. Thanks very much for sending it to me. All the best, JCHjr