17 September 2010

ASNE Fleet Maintenance and Modernization Symposium


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


NVYGUNZ said...

Great remarks Admiral! I agree wholeheartedly and support. I would also like to add that once any system or platform is delivered and working as designed, the Sailor should have a little bit easier time maintaining it. Therefore able to focus on being more operationally sound. Additionally, then the burden shifts to sustaining the maintenance and upkeep. I believe this is where our senior Sailors, specifically Chiefs come in, as they are coined as technical experts. An analogy can probably be crafted to fit any system, platform or frame of reference.

I do hope we can crest the ridge soon in this endeavor to improve operational readiness and perhaps even the current shipbuilding process. While reading your remarks, the San Antonio-class came to mind a couple times. Probably not your intent, but soon to be my newest frame of reference. I move on next year to a large pre-comm and I am hoping we don't run into a lot of problems, as this ship will be unique and have pioneering designs. Fingers-crossed!

Lastly, I will do my best to make sure your remarks fit my frame of reference today! I am in a position of leadership and upholding accountability is in my daily job scope. I rather enjoy it. I will however, endeavor to try harder or provide a more keen eye on your behalf. As you said, we are all in this together. Plus you have me all fired up right now. HooYah! NVYGUNZ out!


Anonymous said...

Your remarks were great. We do need to ensure that all of our Engineering Officers, Line and Staff, are more intensively trained to meet the future challenges as our ships become more complex. But there is also a continuing need for the Civilian shipyards to maintain adequate core competencies and facilities to support our ships where Naval Shipyards do no exist. Mayport is in danger of losing adequate coverage because of administrative decisions impacting port loading. Originally the LCS line would start populating the port about the time the last FFG was to be Decommissioned. The Decom line is still 'set in stone for 2016', but the LCS deliveries is moving somewhere to the right of 2019 which leaves a total of eight AEGIS ships and perhaps a CVN in 2016-2018. Given deployments the average in basin loading will be 2-3 ships, hardly enough to maintain the adequate maintenance base that currently exists. Re-constituting knowledgable maintenance techs as the LCS line shows, whenever, will be difficult to do. There are a few DDGs that are being built that have not been earmarked for new homeports that could help bridge the gap and keep the industrial base intact until LCS starts to show downstream. If we want to think about Engineering we need to look beyond the active military and look at the other engineering partners that keep our great ships at Sea.
Retired 0-6