On Tuesday I delivered the opening remarks at the American Society of Naval Engineers (ASNE) Fleet Maintenance and Modernization Symposium.
Although my remarks were tailored to Naval Engineers, I believe the overarching message of maintaining our time-tested standards of excellence applies to every one that is part of the Navy Team.
In my guidance and recent posts on this blog, I have focused on the overriding importance of placing our Fleet’s operational readiness at the top of the list of what we must achieve and the importance of a strict adherence to proven standards as the means to accomplish that goal. In this process I called attention to what I believe is one of the primary challenges our Navy faces today – the delivery and maintenance of ships, submarines, aircraft, and systems that perform to design specifications and meet the needs and expectations of our Sailors.
In many places, I believe we’ve too easily given way on our commitment to standards of technical rigor and instead have focused on achieving efficiencies throughout the lifecycle of our platforms and systems…often at the expense of mission effectiveness. As a result, our Navy has seen an increase in the number of platforms and systems that have experienced serious readiness issues.
And that is why I have stressed the importance of our end-state of operational readiness – platforms and systems that perform to design specifications so that our Sailors deploy ready and confident in their ability to execute their missions. If a system is cheap and efficient, but does not work, it does the Fleet and our Sailors no good. The worst case is when it is very expensive to deliver, still does not work and requires yet more expensive fixes to get it right.
Each time we deploy a ship or a system that does not perform to specifications (and is therefore not operationally effective or reliable) we increase the burden on our Sailors…and I will not keep getting the job done on the backs of our Sailors.
I believe the message I delivered to our Naval Engineers is applicable to everyone that works for our Navy today; we are all responsible for ensuring our Sailors deploy ready and confident.
I encourage you to read through and give some thought to how the message applies to the job you’re doing today.
You can download a copy of my remarks here.
All the best, JCHjr