One of the first steps I took in the initial stages of the merger process was to bring in VADM Marty Chanik (ret), a former SECOND Fleet Commander, to provide an independent assessment of the ability of our consolidated staff to execute our core operational functions. VADM Chanik and his team concluded that our proposed organizational structure would be capable of executing the missions, functions and primary tasks of USFF and C2F, but cautioned that there were some risks with merging the two organizations:
“The success of the consolidated staff will depend on several key principles. First, all personnel must understand where they fit in the new organization and how they are to interact both internally and externally. Development of a staff CONOP supported by SOPs and a SORM will be essential to driving desired behavior and effectiveness. Second, mechanisms and processes to manage executive bandwidth will be required to ensure the requisite speed of command. Third, as the primary individual focused on operating forces, the DCOM should be assigned as operational Commander. Fourth, the titles assigned to the DCOM and the COS will affect desired organizational behaviors.”
Accordingly, he proposed some very specific recommendations to address these potential risks. Now that we’re entering the final phase of the merger, I believe it is appropriate to review these recommendations and the corresponding actions we’re taking to address potential issues and ensure zero risk to operations.
You can find the list of actions below with my comments on each item.
All the best, JCHjr
1) Develop Concept of Operations (CONOPS), Standard Organization and Regulations Manual (SORM), Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) prior to implementation.
In progress. CONOPS, SORM, and SOPs are being developed and will be complete by the effective date of the merger.
2) Precisely define the roles, responsibilities and authorities of the DCOM, COS, and ED.
Complete. The roles, responsibilities and authorities of the DCOM, COS and ED are clearly defined in the command’s new SORM (developed per recommendation #1). The SORM is still in draft but will be final and signed out prior to the effective date of the merger.
3) Title the DCOM and COS as Deputy Commanders for Fleet Operations and Fleet Management, respectively.
Complete. The DCOM is officially titled the Deputy Commander for Fleet Operations and the COS is titled Deputy Commander for Fleet Management. You can find the organization chart here.
4) Dual-hat the DCOM with a Commander title (for example, Commander, Task Force 20).
In progress. Upon completion of the merger, the DCOM will be quadruple-hatted as the Deputy Commander of Fleet Forces, Deputy Commander for Fleet & Joint Operations; Commander, Task Force 20; and the Director, Combined Joint Operations from the Sea Center of Excellence (CJOS COE).
5) Periodically assess/evaluate effectiveness of staff construct.
In progress. To date we have completed two Merged Staff Functional Tests (MSFT) and will be conducting a third and final exercise before the completion of the merger. The first two MSFTs were successful and demonstrated that we are making very good progress towards a successful merger. Directorates and Special Assistants have been compiling and acting on lessons learned from the MSFTs and I am fully confident that we will have an effective staff in place by the effective date of the merger on 1 October.
6) Provide CSFTL with a dedicated entry point to the DCOM & N2/3 staff.
Complete. Commander, Strike Force Training Atlantic (CSFTL) is a direct report to the DCOM.
7) Align CJOS COE to the DCOM.
In progress. (See #4 above)