In July 2010 I testified to Congress that institutional risk to the Navy was moderate trending to significant. High operational tempo as a result of growing operational demand was consuming the Fleet at a higher than planned rate. Although there was no doubt that we were deploying units that were operationally ready, overall readiness trends were in the wrong direction, particularly in our surface force, putting at risk our ability to sustain operational readiness into the future.
Over the past three years, the Fleet and maintenance community have taken significant actions to reverse negative surface force readiness health trends, as documented in this memo. What we have accomplished is a good news story for our Navy and reflects CNO's very strong and enduring commitment to Fleet Wholeness. These negative trends (underfunding of surface ship maintenance and our manpower accounts), however, were twenty years in the making and will take constant pressure and daily attention from us over time to fully resolve. So, while we can say we’ve arrested the decline in surface force readiness, we cannot declare victory. And in January we face the strong possibility of Sequestration, either as currently enacted in law or in some other form.
In this environment, deploying ships/submarines/aircraft/equipment that perform to design specification with Sailors confident in their ability to accomplish all assigned missions means we MUST hold the line on time-tested, combat proven standards that govern how we operate, maintain, inspect, certify and command our units. We have already proven that resourced-based outcomes are detrimental to Fleet Wholeness and mission success. Achieving and sustaining Fleet Wholeness will require that we all apply constant pressure - up and down the chain-of-command - to achieve outcome-based resourcing.
All the best, JCHjr