One of our tasks as the Executive Agent for Individual Augmentees is to provide CNO with an annual assessment of our Navy’s IA program. The assessment is important because it provides candid feedback from our Sailors and their families about the effectiveness of our IA program resources and identifies those areas where we need to focus more of our attention.
While the results show that our Sailors are increasingly satisfied with the IA experience and overall mission preparedness has improved, the assessment has also revealed some very important areas that require further improvement:
- Operational Stress Control (OSC): Feedback from our IA Sailors indicates that although they are aware of the OSC program and available resources in theater, there are a lot of mixed feelings on the actual value it serves in helping them deal with the stress of an IA deployment. It is absolutely critical that we get this one right. Operational stress is a very real threat to our Sailors and their families and has a direct impact on the readiness of our Navy. Our Navy is investing a lot of resources into the OSC program and if it’s not having the intended effect on our IA Sailors in theater, then we need to get at the root cause and fix it right away.
- Post Deployment Health Assessment and Reassessment (PDHA/PDHRA) completion rates (81%/65%) are too low. Health assessments are an important part of ensuring our Sailors receive the care necessary to proactively identify and manage health issues and concerns. It’s going to take a concerted effort, but we need to ensure that every Sailor that comes off an IA assignment is receiving the right medical evaluations at the right time.
There is no doubt in my mind that our USFF Team has done a very good job executing as well as improving the IA program. But as long as there are outstanding issues, we must keep the press on. Our IA Sailors and their families count on us and we will not let them down.
You can read through the assessment here and access the IA website here.
All the best, JCHjr