Memorial Day Message: Your American Sailor

 

Recently, my wife, Darleen, and I welcomed the members of the U.S. Navy Ceremonial Guard to our home at the Washington Navy Yard for a barbecue. It was a pleasant event not unlike the Memorial Day observances many Americans will host at their homes. The evening was warm and pleasant as we greeted the Sailors who were lined up to eat. As with most shipmates I have the pleasure to meet, I asked their names and where they were from. Amazingly, almost every state and territory was represented in this group, and some of the Sailors were fresh from boot camp.

Each member of the Ceremonial Guard is offered the opportunity to join the special unit in his or her earliest days of Recruit Training Command. In addition to the 10 weeks of regimented boot camp training, these young Sailors elect to undergo years of strict drill practices and meticulous uniform inspections. They become carriers of the colors in an array of ceremonies and body bearers in Arlington National Cemetery, representing our Navy in the most joyous of celebrations and paying respects at our nation’s most solemn occasions. After two years at the Ceremonial Guard, these Sailors proceed to the Navy fleet, to face danger and different challenges far from within the Beltway of Washington, D.C.

I was struck with awe as each of these sharp young Sailors stepped up to shake my hand. These diverse, young and vibrant Americans were so enthusiastic to meet me; little did they know I was humbled to meet each and every one of them. So many of these Sailors were excited to serve our Navy. I’m so inspired and grateful for these brave Americans. They are truly representative of our organization; they come from different places and backgrounds to serve a common cause, the defense of our great nation.

On that day and every day, when I look upon the faces of our service members I see more than a brave and proud American Sailor. Each service member is representative of a link in a much larger chain. I see a chain of service that spans the history of our nation. In these young people I see the 324,179 individuals who man the 289 ships of our fleet. They are the product of 201,000 Navy Civilians who work on the logistics, planning, design, building and accounting that enable our Sailors to complete their missions. Behind each American Sailor are numerous family members, friends, mentors and communities that support them. When I meet our most junior Sailors, I’m assured of the strength of our nation: the citizens willing to take up the cloth of our nation at great personal cost.

Arlington National Cemetary.  Helicopter Squadron 2 (HS-2)  Lt. Dennis Peterson of Huntington Park, Calif.; Ensign Donald Frye of Los Angeles; and Aviation Antisubmarine Warfare Technicians William Jackson of Stockdale, Texas, and Donald McGrane of Waverly, Iowa, went missing on July 19, 1967,after their SH-3A Sea King helicopter was shot down over North Vietnam’s Ha Nam Province Sailors.

This Memorial Day, we’ll remember the fallen, those brave men and women who have given the ultimate sacrifice for their country. I would ask that you not only mourn for their loss but also recognize and remember the families who sacrifice and support our Navy and Marine Corps. Communities such as those surrounding our nation’s capital house and support our service members, and make them feel appreciated when they’re far from home. It takes the care of an entire community to create a Sailor; this same community ensures the lasting memory of our fallen remains alive. I have the benefit of witnessing this strength of courage and resolve as I travel across the globe and meet with the men and women who support our Navy.

This Memorial Day, I am grateful to the families and communities who have given so much to ensure the security, safety and future of our nation. As the Navy will never let go of the significance of our mandate of “forward presence,” let us always be mindful of the notion that with dedication of service to be where it matters, when it matters around the world also comes sacrifice. We honor this sacrifice today.

 

JONATHAN W. GREENERT
ADMIRAL, U.S. NAVY

Posted in History, Sailors, The Three Tenets, Uncategorized, Warfighting First | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Focus on Ethics

Shipmates,

Recent allegations of ethical failure and cheating on tests in some of our military units must serve to remind us that, although the vast majority of our Sailors live our navy ethos and core values, we must always remain vigilant to the potential to make mistakes. This is particularly critical when it comes to integrity.  A failure of integrity undermines a unit’s trust.  As Sailors our very survival is founded on trust – it is the core of our success at sea – and has been for centuries.

In response to these recent incidents and the order by Secretary of Defense to conduct two reviews I felt it important to provide my initial thoughts in these three video clips:

1.    What is the Secretary of Defense review going to look at?

“Secretary of Defense has directed two reviews. These internal reviews will conduct examinations of our nuclear enterprise. The reviews will also look at how as an organization we impart values of character and integrity to our personnel.”

2.    Do you feel we have an ethics problem across and throughout our Navy?

“I don’t think we have an ethics problem across the Navy. But I think we need to reinforce our core values and our core commitment to that…  Integrity is the foundation of what we’re about.  We need to talk about that – it needs to be part of our training program. I’m not just talking about General Military Training, we need to talk about it in the ready rooms, we need to talk about it on the bridge of our ships, we need to talk about it on our squadron flight lines, in the hangar bay and in our bilges…

 

3.    What do you expect from us?

“I expect honor, courage and commitment – commitment to the institution.  We have to have the honor to not lie cheat or steal.  We have to have the courage to not stand for those who do. We need to talk about it and I charge our leaders to talk about what our values mean because they are the foundation of what we’re about.’

Thanks for listening – I am proud to lead the hundreds of thousands of professional Sailors and Civilians who serve today, and embrace the core values of honor, courage and commitment. Whether you are on duty ashore, in the engineering spaces, on the bridge, in a ready room or hangar bay, I will continue to demand absolute integrity in all that we do; and, I will expect that you demand the same. See you in Fleet and I look forward to continuing the dialogue on this important issue. It is the foundation of what our Navy is about.

JONATHAN W. GREENERT
ADMIRAL, U.S. NAVY

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Quality of Service: Striking the Right Balance

Shipmates,

The Navy’s mandate is to be where it matters and be ready when it matters. We can only do this because of you. We have the finest Navy in the world because of the quality and dedication of our Sailors and Civilians— the men and women who pledge to support and defend the Constitution and carry out Navy’s mission. To remain the finest Navy in the world, we must provide a “Quality of Service” balancing your compensation and working environment needs and goals.

U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Abe McNatt/ReleasedLast year marked the 40th anniversary of our All Volunteer Force. In 1973, we eliminated the draft, fundamentally changing how we recruit and retain our force. In the following decades we improved pay and benefits like housing allowances, childcare and education opportunities to attract and retain a quality force. We focused on “Quality of Life” factors: pay, leave, education opportunities, time at home, access to quality health care, and a sense of financial security. Today, through a myriad of sources, we find, in general, our Sailors and Families are pleased with their overall Quality of Life. But this is not the whole story.

U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Karl Anderson/ReleasedYour “Quality of Work,” in other words job satisfaction, work enjoyment and a sense of pride in your accomplishments, also matter. Quality of Work means we have to provide you the resources and time to train, as well as enough manpower and the right leadership to get the mission done. Quality of Work means having the proper tools to do maintenance as well as access to shipyards and depots for scheduled overhauls. We all want to succeed– pass the inspection, demonstrate warfighting prowess, deploy and, ultimately, execute the mission for which we prepared so rigorously. This is not about putting platforms, materiel readiness and technology above our people; it’s about balance and ensuring our people have the right tools, the best technology and quality training to do their job. Our success also depends on Quality of Work.

Recently, we’ve made tough choices as Navy’s budget decreased. Last fiscal year, we canceled five deployments, did not procure numerous weapons, were forced to furlough Civilians and deferred important facility renovations and modernization plans. We will continue to look at all areas to help control costs and balance our overall budget so we can continue to meet our Nation’s needs. In doing so, we know we must strike the right balance between Quality of Life and Quality of Work to achieve your best Quality of Service.

I owe it to our Navy (and our Country) to man, train and equip our Sailors and Civilians so they can get the job done safely, confidently and effectively. You joined the Navy to make a difference for yourself, your family and your Country; you deserve a Quality of Service that attracts, develops, compensates and retains a highly skilled force. We will continue our missions with ready Sailors, Civilians and their Families who remain the source of the Navy’s warfighting capability. We will continue an over two-century tradition of warfighting excellence, adaptation and resilience. Above all, our actions will continue to be guided by our commitment to the Nation and to each other as part of one Navy team.

JONATHAN W. GREENERT
ADMIRAL, U.S. NAVY

Posted in Quality of Service, Sailors, Wellness | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

CNO’s 2014 Message to the Fleet

Happy New Year Shipmates!

Twenty-thirteen was a year of challenges, but it was a year of a lot of successes and you made those successes possible. And that’s why I’m looking forward to 2014. We’re going to be just fine.

Now, our Navigation Plan is going to be our guide for 2014. And my resolution is stay on course. Our three tenets will guide us through the year.

Warfighting First. We will bring you the capability and technology to get the job done.

Operate Forward. We’re going to continue that Asia-Pacific rebalance, but we’ll maintain the course and speed – if you will – in the Middle East.

And Be Ready. We’ll bring you the training that you need while at the same time getting away from those degraders from our readiness such as sexual assault or substance abuse.

Throughout it all though, you are our asymmetric advantage. I need you to take care of each other. Look out for each other. And be safe. I want you back at work after the holiday period. And be fit – physically, mentally and morally.

In this 2014, we’re going to be where it matters, when it matters. You will be the difference. I’ll see you out there in the Fleet. Happy New Year!

What is your New Year’s resolution?

JONATHAN W. GREENERT
ADMIRAL, U.S. NAVY

Posted in Be Ready, Operate Forward, Safety, Sailors, The Three Tenets, Uncategorized, Warfighting First, Wellness | Leave a comment

Women in Subs: A Sharper Warfighting Edge

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At All Hands Calls I often get asked about the integration of women into the submarine force. Sailors, male and female alike, are curious about the progress we’ve made and what’s next for women in submarines.

Integrating women into submarines is one of many ways we ensure our warfighting edge.   In my Sailing Directions, I discuss how our Sailors and Navy Civilians give us an asymmetric advantage in our warfighting capability.  When we draw upon the widest possible set of talents, skills, and backgrounds it becomes a source of our strength, both as a nation and a Navy. Attracting and retaining the best talent America has to offer requires us to ensure that every Sailor has an equal opportunity to develop his or her talent to their fullest potential.

It has been over two years since the first women stepped aboard their first boats.  Today, 46 women Officers (12 Supply Officers and 34 Unrestricted Line Officers) are serving aboard six SSBN crews and six SSGN crews. This January USS MICHIGAN (SSGN 727) will become the 7th submarine to have integrated wardrooms.  We are also expanding the class of submarines women will serve in.

Starting in 2015, women officers will have the opportunity to serve aboard Virginia-class attack submarines.  USS Virginia (SSN 774) and USS Minnesota (SSN 783) will serve as the first attack submarines with women officers.

sub 4Per the Secretary of Navy’s guidance, we have taken the first steps to integrate Enlisted women into the submarine force.  If practical, we will do this in 2016.  Last May, the Enlisted Women in Submarines Task Force began planning how to integrate Enlisted women into the submarine service.  This plan will involve a number of factors.  First, we are applying the lessons learned from previous gender integration initiatives. Lessons gathered from the integration of women officers in submarines, and lessons from when women integrated into surface ships.  One lesson we learned from that period is to ensure we have the right leadership in place at the right levels.  We’ve started with Officers and will follow with Chiefs before assigning junior Enlisted women to submarines. In addition, we need a strong cohort of prospective Sailors reporting aboard, and we also need to consider the time it takes to access and train a submariner.  To ensure the best outcome, we will survey the fleet and potential recruits to gauge interest and expectations about serving aboard submarines.  Remember, everyone in the submarine force is a volunteer.

Beyond the personnel considerations, physical factors of ship configuration have to be taken into account. Different classes of submarines require varying levels of modification to ensure appropriate berthing habitability and privacy for all crewmembers.  For example, while the wardroom and stateroom area of a Trident submarine will accommodate women officers with minor modifications, the same is not true for crew berthing which are constrained by physical limitations.  As we build new submarines, gender-neutral berthing will be built into the design.

All these factors, combined with a motivated force, will provide a deliberate way to successfully integrate women Sailors into submarines.  What we do— whether on ships, aircraft or ashore— requires a great deal of skill, knowledge, personal discipline and teamwork.  When our team draws on the talent, dedication and skills of all our Sailors we will remain the finest Navy in the world.

JONATHAN W. GREENERT
ADMIRAL, U.S. NAVY

Posted in Be Ready, diversity, History, Undersea Domain | Tagged , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

SASC Budget & Sequestration Hearing

Shipmates,

               This morning I testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC) on our budget plan for 2014 and the continuing effects of sequestration. The following is my opening statement:

Chairman Levin, Senator Inhofe, and distinguished members of the committee thank you for the opportunity to testify on the short and long term effects of sequestration, and our perspective on the Strategic Choices And Management Review. This morning I will address two main points: Our budget situation and plan for FY14, and near & long-term impacts of sequestration.

Mr. Chairman, presence- that remains the mandate of our Navy.  We have to operate forward where it matters, and be ready when it matters. And we have to be able to respond to contingencies.   Recent events this year alone have clearly demonstrated our ability to do that – Navy assets were on station within a few days, wherever needed, and offered options to the president when the situation in North Korea, Egypt and Syria dictated. This ability to be present reassures our allies, and ensures that U.S. interests around the world are properly served.

OUR BUDGET STRATEGY FOR FY 14

In fiscal year 2014, sequestration will further reduce our readiness and surely reduce our ship and aircraft investment.  The Budget Control Act revised discretionary caps will preclude our ability to execute the 2012 defense strategic guidance in both the near term and the long term. Restrictions associated with a continuing resolution preclude transferring funds across programs, increasing needed program quantities and starting important new programs.

The impacts of sequestration will be realized in 2 main categories: readiness and investment.

There are several operational impacts, but the most concerning to me is that the reductions in operations and maintenance will result in only 1 non-deployed carrier strike group and 1 amphibious ready group trained and ready for contingency response.  Our covenant with the combatant commanders is to have at least 2 CSG and 2 ARG deployed, and another three of each in or around the continental United States, ready to respond to a crisis on short notice. So, for example, right now we have one CSG deployed in both the Arabian Gulf and Western Pacific, and our one response CSG, Nimitz, is in the Eastern Mediterranean. Consequently, because of fiscal limitations we do not currently have another CSG trained and ready to respond on short notice in case of a contingency. We’re tapped out.

We will be forced to cancel aircraft and ship maintenance.  This will inevitably lead to reduced life of our ships and aircraft.

Ashore, we will conduct only safety-essential renovation of facilities, further increasing the large backlog in that area.  We will be compelled to keep a hiring freeze in place for most Civilian positions that will further degrade the distribution of skill, experience and balance in our Civilian force, which is so critical.

We will not be able to use prior-year funds to mitigate sequestration cuts in our investment accounts, as we did in FY 2013.

Without congressional action, we will be required to cancel planned procurement of a Virginia-class submarine, a littoral combat ship, and an afloat forward staging base (ship).  And, we will be forced to delay the delivery of the next aircraft carrier, the Ford, and delay the mid-life overhaul of the aircraft carrier George Washington. 

Also, we will cancel procurement of at least 11 tactical aircraft.

Mr. Chairman, the key to a balanced portfolio is a spending bill, and secondarily the option to propose (to congress) the transfer of money between accounts.  This would at least enable us to pursue innovative acquisition approaches, start new projects, increase production quantities, and complete ships we have under construction.

Just to meet minimal readiness needs, we need to transfer/reprogram about $1 billion into the Operations and Maintenance account and $1 billion into our procurement accounts, mostly for shipbuilding. We need to do this by January. 

LONG-TERM IMPACTS OF SEQUESTRATION

After the SCMR was completed, our focus has been on crafting a balanced portfolio of programs within the fiscal guidance provided.

Further details of this are outlined in detail in my written statement which I request be entered for the record.

In summary, we will maintain a credible and modern sea-based strategic deterrent, maximize forward presence to the extent we can using ready  deployed forces, and continue investing in asymmetric capabilities while, with the committee’s help, we’ll do our best to sustain a relevant industrial base.

However, there are several missions and needed capabilities, specified in the defense strategic guidance, that we cannot perform or keep on pace. These are detailed in my written statement.

Applying one fiscal and programmatic scenario, we would result in a fleet of about 255 ships in 2020, that’s about 30 less than today, about 40 less than planned in our PB-14 submission and 51 less than our force structure assessment – 306 ships.

CONCLUSION

Mr. Chairman, I understand the pressing need for our nation to get its fiscal house in order.  I am “on board” in that endeavor, but it is imperative we do so in a thoughtful manner to ensure we sustain appropriate warfighting capability, appropriate forward presence, and be ready – the attributes we depend on from our Navy. 

I look forward to working with the Congress to find solutions that will ensure our Navy retains the ability to organize, train, and equip these great Sailors, Civilians and their families in defense of our nation.  Thank you.

JONATHAN W. GREENERT
ADMIRAL, U.S. NAVY

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Marine Corps 238th Birthday

Shipmates,

On the 10th of November we will mark the 238th anniversary of the birth of the United States Marine Corps. From its humble beginnings at the start of the American War for Independence, the Marine Corps has grown to become the most fearsome expeditionary fighting force the world has ever known.

The Marine Corps legacy was forged in blood and fire in battles large and small, from the trenches of the First World War, to the Pacific Islands campaign of World War II, to innumerable smaller conflicts around the globe. 

That hard-won tradition continues today as Marines serve with courage and honor in Afghanistan, Southeast Asia, Africa, and myriad other locations.  The sun never sets on the Corps.

From the beginning, the Navy has been a proud partner of the Marine Corps in every conflict and endeavor, in war and in peace. As we look to the future, though our war fighting tactics and concepts will evolve, the strong relationship between our two services will remain constant.  We will stand together as the world’s dominant sea power to safeguard the Nation and its vital interests.

Semper Fi, Shipmates, and Happy Birthday!

 

JONATHAN GREENERT
ADMIRAL, U.S. NAVY

 

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A New Maritime Crossroad: The Arctic

America is a maritime nation. The Atlantic and Pacific oceans are the conduit for nearly 4 trillion dollars in annual trade. These oceans also act as a buffer, mitigating America’s vulnerability to attack or incursion by neighboring states. Our economy, foreign policy, military investments and strategy are defined in large part by our geographic position. The inevitable opening of the Arctic will create a new coast on America’s north. This opening will present new challenges and opportunities th121105-N-WL435-031at mandate change in our national policies and strategy. Change will not happen overnight. Oceanographic trends show ice melting faster than predicted four years ago, when we first published the U.S. Navy Arctic Roadmap. Many scientists now believe that significant portions of the Arctic will be “ice free,” defined as having less than 10% ice coverage, for a month or more every summer by the middle of the next decade – more than ten years earlier than predicted in 2009. We are already seeing changes in the “High North.” Last summer, the Arctic ice receded enough for 46 ships to use the “Northern Sea Route”, a path through the Bering Strait and along the northern coast of Russia between Asia and Europe. The Northern Sea Route can shorten a voyage from the Pacific to the Atlantic by over two weeks. Forty-six ships is a far cry from the 18,000 vessels that currently utilize the Suez Canal annually, but in the next 10 years transits through the Arctic will become more popular as sea ice further recedes. As sea ice melts and shipping lanes open, new opportunities in fishing and deep sea bed mining will also present themselves.

This opening of the Arctic will present the Navy and Coast Guard team with new challenges to ensure freedom of navigation, support search and rescue efforts and maintain maritime security. The recently published U.S. National Strategy for the Arctic Region describes how we will approach these challenges and opportunities by advancing our security interests, pursuing responsible Arctic stewardship, and strengthening international cooperation.

Your Navy is preparing for the opening of the Arctic. We are now updating the U.S. Navy Arctic Roadmap to guide our accelerated efforts. We are doing this using a deliberate approach: First we will establish an unambiguous projection of when conditions in the Arctic will support sustained maritime traffic. The roadmap will identify how we believe ice coverage will change over time in order to establish what type of actions we will take – and when. USS Normandy in an ice fieldSecond, we will establish projections for activity in the Arctic, focused on expected increases in shipping and resource exploitation. We will describe how we anticipate human activity to change in the Arctic as oceanographic conditions change and technology makes new techniques and approaches available. Third, we will identify potential security threats and sources of conflict that could emerge as challenges to freedom of navigation in the Arctic. Fourth, we will identify the role of our Navy in the Arctic. Demand for search and rescue and disaster relief operations may grow as activity increases in the region. Initially, these will likely consist of episodic support to Coast Guard operations; over time, periodic deployments of U.S. Navy ships may be needed in the Arctic. Eventually, we will need to be prepared for sustained and routine operations in the Arctic in support of the Coast Guard and international partners. Lastly, we will establish a plan of action and associated timelines to prepare our Navy for Arctic operations.

The Arctic can be a tough and unforgiving environment. Extremely cold temperatures, severe storms, limited nautical charts and aids to navigation, unreliable high-data rate communications, and a lack of deep-water ports and airfields will hamper our ability to ramp up our Arctic capability. 131108-N-WL435-098These challenges require a deliberate plan. This plan will include international partners to help provide operational and technical expertise as well as share common solutions. Currently we participate in events such as “Exercise Natsiq” with Canada and Denmark and “Exercise Northern Eagle” with Norway and Russia to improve our knowledge of the Arctic. We will build on exercises like these by participating in working groups and establishing agreements in areas such as information sharing and search and rescue. We will also pursue innovative ideas in technology, sustainment and communications to protect this upcoming strategic maritime crossroad.

Pushing into new frontiers and unchartered waters is part of our maritime heritage. The “United States Exploring Expedition” led to the discovery of Antarctica and exploration of the Pacific Ocean in the early 19th century. The next chapter will be the Arctic, where we will continue to operate forward – where it matters, and be ready – when it matters.

JONATHAN W. GREENERT
ADMIRAL, U.S. NAVY

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The Impact of Sequestration (Part II)

Shipmates,

 

In my last blog, I described for you how sequestration in FY 2014 will impact our operations, readiness, and investments.  Today, I’d like to describe for you a potential future scenario in which sequestration-level reductions remain in place over the long term.

A Potential Future Scenario If Sequestration-level Reductions Continue

 

If sequestration-level reductions persist in the years after FY 2014, the Navy of 2020 would not be able to execute the missions described in our defense strategy, the Defense Strategic Guidance (or DSG). There are many ways we can adjust Navy’s budget, but any scenario to address budget reductions must include sufficient readiness (maintenance and training), capability, and manpower to complement the force structure (number ships and aircraft) in the fleet. This balance would need to be maintained to ensure each unit will be effective, even if the overall fleet is not able to execute the DSG.

 

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The potential scenario I laid out for the House Armed Services Committee last week would  result in a “2020 Fleet” of about 255-260 ships, about 30 less than today, and about 40 less than planned in the budget we submitted to Congress this past February. It would include 1-2 fewer Carrier Strike Groups (CSG), and 1-2 fewer Amphibious Ready Groups (ARG) than today. As a result, this “2020 Fleet” would not be able to meet the DSG direction regarding forward presence:

·       We would not increase our global deployed presence, which would remain at today’s level of about 95 ships in 2020. The lethality inherent in this presence, based on ship types deployed, would be less than today’s 95-ship presence.

·       We would not increase presence in the Asia-Pacific, which would stay at about 50 ships in 2020. This would largely negate the ship force structure portion of our plan to rebalance to the Asia Pacific region as directed by the DSG.

·       We would not follow the DSG’s direction to “place a premium on U.S. military presence in—and in support of—partner nations” in the Middle East, since presence would decrease and, assuming we use the same ship deployment scheme in the future, there would be gaps in CSG presence totaling 2-3 months each year.

·       We would still “evolve our posture” in Europe by meeting our ballistic missile defense European Phased Adaptive Approach (EPAA) requirements with four BMD-capable DDG homeported in Rota, Spain and two land based sites in Romania and Poland. Additional presence would still be provided by forward operating JHSV, MLP, AFSB and some rotationally deployed combatants.

·       We would still provide “innovative, low-cost, and small-footprint approaches” to security in Africa

The DSG also requires that the Armed Services be able to conduct 10 primary missions, from counter-terrorism to strategic deterrence. Most notably, the 2020 Fleet in this scenario would not be able to execute the mission to Deter and Defeat Aggression, which requires that the military be able to conduct one large-scale operation and also counter aggression by an opportunistic aggressor in a second region. The 2020 fleet would sustain one CSG and one ARG deployed in the Middle East and Pacific, but only would have one non-deployed CSG and one non-deployed ARG ready and able to surge; this is not enough to execute the DSG. According to our Force Structure Assessment (FSA), the 2020 fleet would be able to conduct either one large-scale major combat operation or respond to smaller conflicts in two separate regions.

 

The 2020 fleet would also fall behind in another important DSG mission: Project Power Despite Anti-Access/Area Denial (A2/AD) Challenges.  Capability improvements, particularly in air and missile defense, would deliver later than planned and in smaller numbers.  The fleet’s transition to the P-8A Poseidon, the F-35C Lightning II, and the E-2D Advanced Hawkeye would all be slowed down and fewer of these next-generation aircraft would be in service at the end of this decade.  Important new capabilities such as the LCS Anti-Submarine Warfare Mission Package, improved surface ship electronic warfare capabilities, the Air and Missile Defense Radar, the Navy Integrated Fire Control-Counter-Air (NIFC-CA) system, and new infrared and radio frequency “kill chains” for the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet (including the next versions of the AIM-9 and AIM-120 air-to-air missiles) would all be delayed or reduced in number.

 

The DSG also requires that U.S. forces be able to Counter Terrorism and Conduct Irregular Warfare. Today we dedicate several ships to support special operations forces in degrading terrorist organizations such as Al-Qaeda. According to our FSA, the 2020 fleet would be able to provide this dedicated support in the future.
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I am optimistic that we will be able to work with Congress and find solutions to these budget challenges. In particular, we will work to protect and improve your “Quality of Service.” To me, Quality of Service is a combination of our Quality of Life (our pay, benefits, housing, family support, etc.) and our Quality of Work – whether we feel like our work is making a difference and is satisfying. To deal with the constraints on the defense budget in the coming years, we will need to consider slowing the rate of increase in our pay and benefits. At the same time, however, we must ensure we stay proficient when we are home and are able to do good work and make a difference when we deploy.

 

Coming up with a long-term budget plan and defense strategy will be the main challenges back here in Washington for a while. Out in the fleet, however, I ask that you continue to view each of the difficult choices we face through the lens of my three tenets: Warfighting First, Operate Forward, and Be Ready. I look forward to seeing you in the fleet.

 

JONATHAN W. GREENERT
Admiral, U.S. Navy

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The Impact of Sequestration (Part 1)

Shipmates,

I was privileged to represent you before the House Armed Services Committee (HASC) Talisman Saber 2013this week. I was there to testify about the impact of sequestration continuing into Fiscal Year (FY) 2014 and how our Navy will change if these reductions continue into the next decade.

Over the long term, sequestration-level budget reductions will prevent us from executing our nation’s defense strategy.  In the near term, sequestration in FY 2014 will reduce our readiness and prevent essential investments in the future fleet.

I will recap here what I told the Committee about how sequestration will affect us in FY 2014.  In a second blog I will describe a potential long-range scenario if sequestration level reductions remain in place until 2023.

The impact of sequestration in FY 2014

Sequestration will take about 10% from the Navy’s budget; however, with military personnel accounts exempted, the cut could increase to 14% in all other areas.  We would normally address this kind of reduction by ensuring we have the right mix of force structure, maintenance, training, weapons, and Sailors.  Sequestration, however, isn’t just a budget reduction. It takes about 14% from each and every program or activity.  The impacts from this budget cut will be in two main areas: (1) operations and maintenance and (2) investments.

(1) Operation and maintenance accounts will absorb a larger reduction in FY 2014 than in FY 2013; in addition we must begin to address carried over bills from sequestration in FY 2013 that total approximately $2.3 billion over the next five years. We will prioritize forward presence for Combatant Commanders and preserve about 95% of the deployments originally planned for FY 2014. But this presence will come at the expense of training and maintenance for non-deployed forces.

Because of the mechanics of sequestration, we cannot reprogram (move) funds from other accounts such as procurement into operations and maintenance to make up for the sequestered amount. As a result, within operations and maintenance, we have to “go where the money is” – that means finding savings in training, maintenance, civilian personnel, and shore facilities. In particular, the reductions in fleet training we are compelled to make will result in only one non-deployed CSG and one ARG being trained and ready to respond to a contingency – notionally there would be three of each ready to deploy within a couple weeks.

090219-N-4003L-003We will be compelled to cancel planned FY 2014 fleet maintenance, including 34 of 55 surface ship maintenance periods totaling about $950 million – all in private shipyards – and 191 of about 700 aircraft depot maintenance actions. This missed maintenance will inevitably take time off the expected service life of our ships and aircraft, which in turn will make it harder to sustain even the smaller fleet we will have if sequestration level reductions remain in place for the long term.

We will be compelled to keep in place our freeze on hiring for most civilian positions. And ashore we will continue to conduct only safety-essential renovation and modernization of facilities, further increasing the large backlog in that area.

(2) Investment accounts will be particularly impacted by sequestration in FY 2014. Without Congressional action or mitigating circumstances, the reductions imposed by sequestration and the limitations from not having an FY 2014 spending bill will compel us to:

·         Cancel planned FY 2014 procurement of an SSN, an LCS and an AFSB; also, delay an SSN planned for FY 2015 procurement. Each of these would further worsen the reduction in fleet size that sequestration would compel us to make over the long term.

·         Delay the planned start of construction on the first SSBN(X) from FY 2021 to FY 2022. This would cause us to be unable to meet U.S. Strategic Command presence requirements when the Ohio-class SSBN retires.

·         Cancel procurement of 11 tactical aircraft (4 EA-18G Growler, 1 F-35C Lightning II, 1 E-2D Advanced Hawkeye, 2 P-8A Poseidon, 3 MH-60 Seahawk) and about 400 weapons, exacerbating future sequestration-driven reductions in our capabilities to project power despite Anti-Access/Area Denial (A2/AD) threats.

·         Delay delivery of USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) by two years, extending the period of 10 CVN in service, and lowering surge capacity.

·         Delay the mid-life overhaul of USS George Washington (CVN-73) scheduled for FY 2016.

In order to avoid or remedy some of the FY 2014 impacts described above, we need Congress to approve authorization and appropriations bills or provide us authorities to transfer funds, pursue innovative acquisition approaches, start new projects, increase production quantities, and complete building ships.

I will continue working with Congress and others to mitigate the impacts of sequestration.  I understand the challenges and uncertainty this situation causes and I greatly appreciate the “can do” attitude and creative problem solving you are tackling them with.  We will weather this storm and continue to deliver the forward presence, readiness and warfighting capability the country needs.

 

JONATHAN W. GREENERT
Admiral, U.S. Navy

 

 

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