As many of you are aware, last month Secretary Gates directed the disestablishment of U.S. Second Fleet (C2F) and the transfer of its functions to U.S. Fleet Forces. This decision is part of SECDEF’s reform efforts to make our military a more efficient and, more importantly, more effective fighting force.
As part of the consolidation work, I formed a "Red Team," led by retired VADM Marty Chanik, a former Second Fleet commander, to provide an independent assessment of the ability of our consolidated C2F/USFF staff to execute our missions, functions and tasks. The Red Team report determined that our proposed consolidated staff organization is viable and provides an opportunity for the new, consolidated staff to be more agile, streamlined and responsive.
The Red Team report also solidified my thoughts on the challenges ahead of us and confirmed that this consolidation will fundamentally change our focus and how we operate in the future. My priority remains to ensure that all current operational C2F missions, functions and tasks are seamlessly and successfully executed as we complete the consolidation. Today, we at USFF spend most of our time at the strategic and operational levels of issues, while C2F is focused primarily at the operational and tactical level of execution. Our consolidated staff must remain capable across all three of these levels, and it’s critical that we do not accept any risk in the execution of our current (USFF and C2F) operational and tactical responsibilities during or after this transition. Maintaining our operational responsiveness through this transition will be our paramount objective in the months ahead.
Based on the Red Team report and the Merger Team's ongoing efforts, I have approved the broad organizational structure of the consolidated command (attachment 1). Establishing this baseline structure is the crucial first step that will lead to finalizing the division and branch structures within each directorate, and eventually to updated job descriptions for each of our billets. Attachment 2 provides a timeline for several of the key milestones necessary for a successful 1 October 2011 merger.
My next update will be during a USFF All Hands' Call scheduled for March 2011. In the interim, RDML Craig will be holding Town Hall-style meetings with each directorate to introduce our new organizational structure, answer questions, and receive feedback and recommendations. We will also display information about the merger in the USFF quarterdeck area, along with a comment box to capture your feedback. If those options are not available to you, then I encourage you to follow the updates here and post your comments on the USFF Staff Page. I'm counting on your engagement, thought and input to help us develop the detailed processes, staff battle rhythms and standard operating procedures for how we will function internally and engage externally.
I want to reiterate that this consolidation only affects military manpower and will not result in the loss of government civilian jobs. Fleet Stevens and I both remain committed to ensuring that no Sailor's career is disadvantaged by the timing of this merger.
In closing, we must all accept that this is not "just another reorganization," but a comprehensive consolidation of two dynamic commands with different responsibilities and cultures. Again, I encourage you to get involved by sharing your comments and ideas with RDML Craig and his team or by posting your thoughts here.
All the best, JCHjr