13 May 2011

Fleet Readiness Review Panel – One Year Later

In February 2010, a senior panel of subject matter experts led by Vice Admiral Phillip M. Balisle, USN (Ret) completed a comprehensive assessment of Surface Force readiness. This assessment very candidly identified the root causes of the negative trends we were experiencing in the Surface Force and recommended steps to arrest and reverse these trends.
In July of last year, I testified before the Readiness Subcommittee and Seapower and Expeditionary Forces Subcommittee of the House Armed Services Committee on Fleet Readiness. My written statement to the Committee can be found here, and a complete webcast of the hearing can be found on the HASC website here.
I also previously posted here about some of the actions we were taking to improve Surface Force readiness even before the panel released its findings.
In order to build upon this work and sustain the Fleet Readiness Review’s momentum, Admiral Walsh (COMPACFLT) and I established a senior executive body, the Fleet Review Panel Senior Leadership Oversight Council (FRP SLOC), to guide and oversee our efforts to improve Surface Force readiness and unit wholeness.
This week I released a memo to provide an update on the significant progress the FRP SLOC has made fixing many of the readiness shortfalls cited by the panel as well as identifying areas that still require additional attention.
You can find a copy of the memo here. I encourage you to read through it and provide your comments. While I believe we’ve certainly made good progress, there is still much work to be done.
All the best, JCHjr


Anonymous said...

Great Memo and the ongoing focus to unscrew Surface Navy is greatly appreciated. I commented one year ago on your original "SRF" memo and I would agree that the wheels of progress grind slowly as most of what I said then still applies..."Lots of assessments and few wrench turners". Moving or reaffirming that responsibility and accountability lies with the ISICs and TYCOM is great, but when you leave the funding at NAVSEA instead of at FLEET/ TYCOM levels they still have to 'beg/focus' the DC organization towards their target goals.
Moving ATG into a more basic waterfront training org along the lines of embarked Fleet training centers will get the senior enlisted trainers off the golf courses and back on the ships where they can train on actually putting out fires instead of "building realistic scenarios". Keep driving the bus in 10th gear and hopefully we'll see a change in the waterfront culture that actually develops back into the pride in ownership of our ships.
Retired 0-6

Anonymous said...

My understanding is that many of the initiatives cited in the Balisle report were already underway via the Surface Forces and the SWE.

Anonymous said...

As soon as NAVSEA and TYCOMs take on the responsibility of maintaining ships as a life cycle process vice trying to make the Commanding Officer and its crew into Maintenance Life Cycle Managers that rotate every two to three years then you might start seeing a turn around in the fleet's overall material conditions. Let the War Fighter concentrate on training, fighting and able to perform the level of maintenance that will enable their ship to continue fighting when equipment fail not what it is going to take to pass INSURV or ensure the ship last for 30 years. The needs to be aware of the material condition of his/her ship not the Life Cycle Maintenance Manager.

Anonymous said...

Reading recent Navy Times articles... once again a CO at Norfolk Naval Shipyard has been removed. Probably a more systemic problem exists if CO's keep getting replaced in short periods and no senior civilans follow lashed to their shoelashes. It's good to see accountability, but when the head officer of a large complex is removed twice in a short period it makes one wonder if the problems are more ingrained within the entire organization?

Anonymous said...

"...to expose our junior officers to the fundamentals of shipboard operations, maintenance, and administration."

In my Navy the Chief introduced the junior officer to these things. Is the CPO community failing to live up to this role? If not, then what is the point of another school for it?

"...is shifting its focus from assessing shipboard training teams to providing true 'over the shoulder' training..."

As a victim of FTG in my youth and an active participant in shaping the current ATG and training continuum, all I can say is: "Excellent. It is about time we took out the middle man and just trained."

"...Advanced Warfare Training..." It is about time. Our warfighting effectiveness nose dived shortly after we started eliminating rigid / directed team training from our fleet combat training centers. It took a long time to become the best at what we did, but a very short time to become a paper tiger.

OAK HILL is a great object lesson in what can be done when a crew takes ownership of their ship. As an old hand at plucking the low hanging fruit prior to INSURV, I can tell you it isn't as hard as many think. I am astounded every time I hear of a ship failing.