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VCNO Adm. Moran’s Keynote Remarks at Tailhook Association Reunion

The following are Vice Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Bill Moran’s prepared remarks for his keynote address at the Tailhook Association Reunion on Sept. 8, 2018.

It is an honor to be here with you tonight. So many heroes in the audience, too many to single out.

[I] think you’d all agree that Tailhook, if nothing else, is a wonderful collection of patriotic generations who come together in the interest of national defense and to renew old friendships and to make new ones. There is nothing more American, so thank you for allowing me to join you tonight.

I know you all want to hear about what the future looks like, especially for naval aviation, and I’ll get to that, but let’s first take a look at where we are as a joint force, and where the future fight might be taking us. Thanks to Secretary [James] Mattis, we finally have the first real National Defense Strategy in quite some time. And if you look closely at the words and the important themes – words like maneuver, unpredictability, and lethality – it all sounds very much like a maritime strategy, because that’s exactly what it is.

For the cold warriors in the room, it also sounds and feels an awful lot like how we used to employ carrier strike groups in the North Atlantic to keep our adversary guessing and reacting to us. For Tom Hayward – a naval aviator, who will always be my first CNO – it was his idea to take the offensive, or in his words “lean into the Soviets in the northwest Pacific.”

Adm. Thomas Hayward
Adm. Thomas Hayward

 

This was the first step of the Maritime Strategy back then that helped to win the Cold War.

Makes complete sense that a naval aviator would be the one to make us think offensively again – back when we needed it the most.

And makes equal sense that another combat-proven naval officer, a Marine general, is doing it for us today when the stakes loom just as large for our nation.

There are two important warnings in this strategy:

  1. That we had better innovate, and quickly, in order to win.
  2. And that we have no pre-ordained right to victory.

So, if you haven’t heard, our Secretary of the Navy and CNO have challenged all of us to pick up our pace, to establish a greater sense of urgency and to think differently about solving platform, capability and conceptual gaps across our force.

Their message, and mine, is clear – it’s going to take learning. Quickly. Shared and honed throughout the institution. Something aviators are pretty good at, and have been for a long time. Pretty good, but we can get better.

And I gotta tell you, the panel discussions, especially the one led by Satan, Rear Adm. Conn, this morning on the future of the carrier air wing have been terrific. We are fortunate to have leaders like them throughout the enterprise, and it should give all of you great confidence for our future.

Rear Adm. Scott Conn
Rear Adm. Scott Conn

Aviators are also good at looking in the mirror, and perhaps admiring the view, to self-assess and stare at cold reality.

And as the big of the Navy, it’s my role to remind folks of the realities of the day.

I can’t help it, because those realities are what I deal with every day in this job, and they usually come in three bins, our platforms, our people and our purpose.

The bottom line driving all three is usually money.

And after two decades of land wars half a world away, most of you know it all too well a large part of our equipment is worn out, and readiness levels below the standards we seek to achieve and maintain, so Congress and the president have laid billions into the budget.

Now, the secretary is rightfully asking us to provide “receipts” for that money, because without them, those funds might not continue.

And after years of behaviors shaped by continuing resolutions and sequestration, when planning meant next to nothing, I’m seeing good signs of leaders thinking differently, planning for the future, owning readiness again.

The Air Boss and his team are all over this, and they’re making good progress – more up jets are on the flight line than we’ve seen in years. And it’s going to get better still. We must make sure of it.

So the reality of carrier aviation today is stronger than it’s ever been.

We are bringing amazing capability to the fleet.

ATLANTIC OCEAN (Aug. 20, 2018) An F-35C Lightning II attached to the Argonauts of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 147 approaches the flight deck of the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72). Abraham Lincoln was underway conducting carrier qualifications. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Daniel E. Gheesling/Released)
ATLANTIC OCEAN (Aug. 20, 2018) An F-35C Lightning II attached to the Argonauts of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 147 approaches the flight deck of the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72). Abraham Lincoln was underway conducting carrier qualifications. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Daniel E. Gheesling/Released)

 

A new carrier class, built to incorporate technologies that were just ideas on the drawing board not that long ago. A new fighter, the F-35, now, finally a fleet reality with VFA-147 in the lead with an aircraft that has 300,000 individual components and nearly a quarter billion lines of code! A technological marvel, hard for us old analog folks in the room to imagine, that’s enough text to fill up over 60 Rhino NATOPS manuals.

A new unmanned tanker is on contract, which will finally return Rhinos back to the role they were built for, and extend the archers even further out.

But my caution to all of you is that at events like this, we can get too enamored with numbers of platforms when in this case it’s all about the capability of the future carrier air wing.

We have to think differently – when cyber, EW and electronic maneuver warfare are the new coin of the realm.

To sustain the institution, we will challenge our very identity, we have to, in order to renew a relentless focus on mission rather than on rice bowls or tribal interests.

Put another way, when the power of the air wing becomes irrelevant, so too does the aircraft carrier.

The essential factor remains the human element, and the power of our amazing people. People who know what it’s like to have the port engine on fire behind the boat at night when you’re just below BINGO.

People, like Lt. Cmdr. Michael “MOB” Tremel, who have had the power of a precision guided weapon at their fingertips and been empowered to use it.

 

People who recognize that there’s nothing better than being the best in the world at what you do, especially in a flight suit and with the full support of families who understand that they too serve the cause of this great nation.

Which leads us to our purpose – to fly, fight, lead and win. I see our biggest challenge as creating a heightened sense of urgency for the things we can’t readily see.

That come from a fusion of technologies that blur the lines between the physical, digital, and biological realms.

Our adversaries over the past couple of decades have been minor league teams, throwing the 80 mph fastball, and we got use to knocking it out of the park.

The fight of the future includes 120 mph fastballs, breaking balls, wicked curves and sliders that enter the strike zone at the corners, perhaps all at once.

Our warriors will have to be ready in the on-deck circle, reading every pitch, understanding adversarial capabilities, ready to respond to that first salvo.

Truth is, when we look at cyber, EW and other capability threats, it’s likely we’ll have to fight just to get to the fight.

Americans may not perceive this change, and they’ll largely rely on us to lead through it for our national security. They also need to be confident that despite all the challenges of this big, massive enterprise, there’s never been a time when naval aviation was more powerful. And that more, not less, carrier striking power, more capability and capacity, and yes, even more unmanned, autonomous capabilities are needed.

Naval aviation is not alone in this. Every community has had to dig deep and find a new sense of urgency especially after last year’s tragedies at sea. Because today is not tomorrow and tomorrow will be tougher than anything we’ve seen. Because no force in the world has had more impact on that distinctly American capability to project power from the sea than the warriors in this room.

ATLANTIC OCEAN (Aug. 30, 2018) Aircraft attached to Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 1 and CVW-7 perform a flyover of the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75). In addition to demonstrating the Navy's inherent flexibility and scalability, this evolution provided the opportunity to conduct complex, multi-unit training to enhance maritime interoperability and combat readiness; prepare the Navy to protect our homeland; and preserve and promote peace anywhere around the world. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Joseph A.D. Phillips/Released)
ATLANTIC OCEAN (Aug. 30, 2018) Aircraft attached to Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 1 and CVW-7 perform a flyover of the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75). In addition to demonstrating the Navy’s inherent flexibility and scalability, this evolution provided the opportunity to conduct complex, multi-unit training to enhance maritime interoperability and combat readiness; prepare the Navy to protect our homeland; and preserve and promote peace anywhere around the world. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Joseph A.D. Phillips/Released)

 

Again it comes down to the ingenuity, intellect and courage of our people. Our future CAGs, commodores, CO’s and WTI’s will deal with things we can hardly imagine – hypersonics, cyber effects and deception, machine speed at the tactical edge and directed energy weapons – this is going to be heady stuff. And the reality is that our future success will depend on imagination and leaders empowering their people.

Let me close with thoughts of Senator McCain’s recent passing and this year’s commemoration of the 50th anniversary of Operation Rolling Thunder.

Vivid images and scenes from the Vietnam War, and a legacy etched by Carrier Air Wing 16 – Bloody Sixteen – where aviators like then-Cmdr. Jim Stockdale, Lt. Cmdr. McCain, and so many more, some in this room tonight, who showed us what ready looks like, showed us what courage is all about, showed us why we are aviators, showed us why we love this profession, showed us what the meaning of our oath is all about – allegiance, faith and obligation to a service above self, to each other, to this great country.

To a country as captured in the timeless words of Sen. John McCain,

“This country – this big, boisterous, brawling, intemperate, restless, striving, daring, beautiful, bountiful, brave, good and magnificent country – needs us to help it thrive.”

God speed to you, and God bless our Sailors and Marines on watch over the horizon.

http://navylive.dodlive.mil/2018/09/10/vcno-adm-morans-keynote-remarks-at-tailhook-association-reunion/ U.S. Navy

USS Manchester (LCS 14) Commissioning

Welcome to Navy Live blog coverage of the May 26 commissioning of the Navy’s newest Independence-variant littoral combat ship, USS Manchester (LCS 14).

Adm. William Moran, vice chief of Naval Operations, will deliver the ceremony’s principal address. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, senior United States Senator from New Hampshire, will serve as the ship’s sponsor. In a time-honored Navy tradition, she will give the order to, “man our ship and bring her to life!”

Live video from the State Pier in Portsmouth, New Hampshire is scheduled to begin 10 a.m. EDT.

The future USS Manchester, designated LCS-14, is the twelfth littoral combat ship to enter the fleet and the seventh of the Independence-variant design. The ship is the second naval vessel to honor New Hampshire’s largest city. The first, a light cruiser, was commissioned Oct. 29, 1946. During nearly 10 years of commissioned service, the ship completed numerous deployments, including three combat deployments in support of operations in the Korean conflict during which she earned nine battle stars. The ship was decommissioned June 27, 1956, and stricken from the Navy list April 1, 1960.

LCS is a modular, reconfigurable ship, designed to meet validated fleet requirements for surface warfare, anti-submarine warfare and mine countermeasures missions in the littoral region. An interchangeable mission package is embarked on each LCS and provides the primary mission systems in one of these warfare areas. Using an open architecture design, modular weapons, sensor systems, and a variety of manned and unmanned vehicles to gain, sustain and exploit littoral maritime supremacy, LCS provides U.S. joint force access to critical areas in multiple theaters.

The LCS-class consists of the Freedom-variant and Independence-variant, designed and built by two industry teams. The Freedom-variant team is led by Lockheed Martin (for the odd-numbered ships). The Independence-variant team is led by Austal USA (for LCS-6 and follow-on even-numbered ships). Twenty-nine LCS ships have been awarded to date: 13 have been delivered to the Navy, another 13 are in various stages of construction and testing, and three are in pre-production states.

Follow the conversation on social media using #USSManchester.

http://navylive.dodlive.mil/2018/05/26/uss-manchester-lcs-14-commissioning/ U.S. Navy

Raising Our Standards

By Adm. Bill Moran
Vice Chief of Naval Operations

Recently released Annual Standards of Conduct Guidance reminds all senior leaders of their personal ownership over their respective ethics programs and discusses my expectations concerning their personal standards of behavior and performance. In past years, the Standards of Conduct Guidance emphasized the importance of developing strong personal character in our senior officers and leading by example. While this guidance is directed at our flag officers, we must all act as standards-based leaders who aspire to elevate personal behavior and performance to higher level outcomes and better unit cohesion. Whereas rules-based leaders may foster minimally accepted levels of behavior, standards-based leaders do what is right, which almost always exceeds the legal requirement.

In short, the annual guidance illustrates the close personal involvement that the Office of the Vice Chief of Naval Operations exercises in ensuring ownership and oversight of ethics in our Navy. In turn, I expect you to take ownership for the standards of conduct within your respective command, department or division. Our collective focus on this effort will help develop standards-based leaders who apply good judgment and meet the mission.

This year’s guidance focuses on trust, which is the cornerstone for leadership at all levels within the Navy. Principled, ethical leadership strengthens the Navy’s foundation of trust, which is essential to ensuring the safety of our people, safe operations at sea and the readiness of our force. When we fail to meet the highest standards of personal and professional conduct, we jeopardize the institution and erode the efforts of everyone else on the team. In order to be the high quality Sailors the public expects and our shipmates deserve, we must go beyond mere compliance and exceed the standard in everything we do.

Here are three things all of us can do to raise the standards in our Navy:

1) Improve our professional performance: Achieving minimal levels of performance is not good enough; true professional excellence requires breaking through required minimums to reach peak performance. Before we question the boundaries of a perceived roadblock, explore the wisdom behind the rule and intimately understand what it seeks to guard against.

 

ATLANTIC OCEAN (March 29, 2018) Cmdr. David Coles, center, executive officer of the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Ross (DDG 71), gives navigation advice during a general quarters drill as the ship participates in flag officer sea training. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Kyle Steckler/Released)

 

2) Safeguard our personal character: Following the rules is important, but doing what is right is imperative. Never compromise our integrity, our morals or our honor. Our ethical compass must remain true. Our personal character is the root of our professional ethics.

 

SAN DIEGO (Jan. 5, 2018) Sailors aboard Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) prepare to man the rails as the ship departs its homeport of San Diego. (U.S. Navy Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Jake Cannady/Released)

 

3) Identify process improvements: Do not accept the status quo simply because that is how we  have done things in the past. Have a questioning attitude that respects the chain-of-command while constantly seeking process improvement. Be intellectually curious about how the Navy can do things better, and provide value to this dynamic institution. Small things matter. When aggregated across the Fleet, relatively minor improvements can make a major difference.

 

WATERS NEAR JAPAN (June 25, 2016) Sailors assigned to the Ticonderoga class guided-missile cruiser USS Shiloh (CG 67) chart courses as the ship leaves port. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Alonzo M. Archer/Released)

 

Raising standards is a mission for all hands. Today’s environment is composed of infinite challenges and limited resources. Although we navigate through an invariable sea of change, our commitment to these principles must never waiver.

Thank you for your professionalism and your steadfast devotion in standing the watch. See you in the fleet.

http://navylive.dodlive.mil/2018/04/12/raising-our-standards/ parcher

VCNO Adm. Moran’s Keynote Address at Sea Air Space 2018

The following are prepared remarks for Vice Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Bill Moran for his keynote address during the Sea Services Luncheon at the Sea-Air-Space Exposition, April 9, 2018.

Thanks for that warm intro … and good afternoon!

On behalf of CNO Richardson and Secretary Spencer, thanks for having me here for lunch and the chance to speak about our great Navy.

Sea Air and Space is one of the best conferences we get to attend all year – an unparalleled opportunity to meet new folks, talk to supporters, and share ideas.
Add my congratulations to our awardees – each of you, from industry, military, civilian organizations – each of you are real contributors and in your own ways, you have acted to improve our Navy… Thank you.

As many of you know, I’m not a big fan of big speeches, but I am big on real dialogue. So fair warning: my remarks will be short, just to set the foundation for a good exchange of ideas afterwards.

For this year, my remarks, if they are centered on any one thing, will be about “partners”… a term used often, perhaps too often, to the point where some forget how important good partners can be.
In fact, the power of partnering is critical to our core responsibility: the maritime defense of our nation.

Let’s start, though, in 1902. Back then, when Teddy Roosevelt pushed for the creation of this League, he probably predicted how often this country would be in need of strong advocates for maritime forces to protect America’s interests around the globe… and that’s held true for 116 years.

But I doubt he predicted the extent to which desperation would spread during World War I, World War II and again at times during the Cold War – all critical times in our history that required U.S. maritime superiority on the high seas… a maritime superiority that is still required. Today, as you know, our forces are on station on, under and above every major waterway around the globe … where our incredible Sailors are doing the Nation’s work, you would be proud of their effort and sacrifice.

But new challenges are upon us that require timely and thoughtful changes in scale and lethality to a Navy that has served the nation well for decades. And, I’m convinced that what got us here won’t get us there. In the near- and mid-term, we need to scale up and be more lethal at a much faster pace to match threats in all domains in a wildly unpredictable operating environment.

This is real folks, and it will take every ounce of imagination and innovation the collective we can muster in order to maintain our superiority. With the reemergence of true existential threats to international order and our American way of life, we, along with our allies and partners, face a new era of great power competition punctuated by authoritarian rule. And while we cannot discount Iran, North Korea and violent extremist organizations, the Navy of the future will largely be driven by competition from Russia and China.

Our immediate focus right now is how to strengthen all aspects of our American Naval power. And by extension, the WHO, WHAT and WHEN matter more than at any time in the past several decades. Let me share some thoughts on these three:

First, the WHO – we all have a critical responsibility to attract and retain the very best talent we can. Everyone here knows that first rate technologies, along with dependable and predictable systems, play a big role in our ability to scale up and be lethal. Less obvious to some, however, is the fact that our first-rate technologies also keep talent working for the Navy, and more importantly, ensures they are ready for any possible contingency. Our Sailors, Civilians, and Industry partners all contribute uniquely to the Navy Team. They demand and deserve autonomy, mastery and purpose in all that they do.

That means giving them the time and resources to train, learn their trade craft and operate independently. It means developing learning systems, including low-cost, high-fidelity simulators located near duty stations that enhance their skills, develop good habits, and improve their instincts. It means competitively paying them so that fair compensation is NOT on their list of concerns … and it means reducing unnecessary burdens and eliminating those 3000-mile screwdrivers from back here in DC.

Why is all this important? Because creating a workforce with autonomy, mastery and purpose baked into the culture is the best way for the Navy Team to scale up and be more lethal.

And, the WHAT – this means appreciably growing the size of our fleet in numbers and capability. This we have already begun. The first steps on the journey to a fleet in the mid-300s or greater is to maintain, modernize and grow the fleet we have today. That means continuing to put readiness dollars to good use, adding new systems that will make existing hulls and aircraft relevant for decades to come … providing common configuration to simplify training and proficiency and allow for easier replacement players to enter the game when the fight’s on … and finally building more platforms that are tried and tested while we develop new technology for the future. As we look to future technology, those that deliver agile and innovative solutions, that deliver speed of orientation, decision and action will be greatly valued.

I think it’s safe to say that the diffusion of technology, the ubiquity of ISR (intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance), the mass of data and information, and the pace, the rapid rate of change, accurately defines the competition we are in… harnessing predictive analytics and artificial intelligence, and networking our warfighting capabilities in resilient and self-healing ways are essential to staying ahead of our competitors and reducing casualties of war. We know how to fight hard – these technologies enhance our ability to fight smart.

To our industry partners in the audience… your role here is critical to ensuring we maintain our edge and stay ahead of our competitors. Every dollar has to count like it’s our very last. And partnering is the best way to get this done.

And, finally, the WHEN. To be frank, we cannot afford, nor do we have time as a Nation, to play cat and mouse games with contracting, requirements and risk. We all have to act with a sense of urgency to make sure the U.S. Navy can win in the future. And we all know that we are in a fierce technological and geographical race. These times require (urgent) action, not the same “fits and starts” we’ve all seen over our careers. Lately I’ve seen progress here and it feels good to be working together to get after and solve problems. So, let’s continue to partner as an appropriate reaction to these challenging times – and commit ourselves to building a military, civilian and contractor team that works together on our shared goals.

Look, most everyone in his hall has been part of a 242 year old legacy of a proud Navy. We dominated technology and industry partnership after WWII; we dominated the maritime after the fall of the Berlin Wall 30 years ago; we dominated innovation throughout the 20th century; and we are still innovating today. However, now is not the time to cede any of this to authoritarian competitors – we have to be ready to win the peace!

Let me end with a famous quote by a former Assistant Secretary of the Navy Teddy Roosevelt because it’s worth repeating: “A good Navy is not a provocation to war. It is the surest guaranty of peace.” Surely, more than anything in the world, we should be dedicated to making that guarantee the surest it can be… for us, our children and our grandchildren.

If we can bring the WHO, WHAT and WHEN together, we will be a strong Navy Team, a bigger, more capable Navy, and an agile Navy that can guarantee that peace.

So with that, let’s get to the conversation. I want to hear what’s on your mind and answer your questions so it’s crystal clear for all of us when we leave, that we are partners in this together… and can work together on the tasks at hand.

http://navylive.dodlive.mil/2018/04/09/vcno-adm-morans-keynote-address-at-sea-air-space-2018/ U.S. Navy

Keep the Feedback Coming!

By Adm. Bill Moran
Vice Chief of Naval Operations

Like many, I was pleased to read NAVADMIN 065/18, which addresses aviation retention bonuses and incentive pay. Chief of Naval Personnel and his team have been working hard on this issue for months. Perhaps more than any other office, that team understands the incredible challenge associated with growing the force while maintaining high standards and quality across our warfighting communities.

Ready room after ready room around the Fleet fed back that decisions to stay in the Navy are motivated by many factors, including money. And in thousands of conversations in hangar bays, foc’sles and auditoriums across the Fleet, Sailors clearly tell us that they desire greater autonomy, mastery and purpose … in addition to competitive compensation. And that’s what we’re focused on.

OAK HARBOR, Wash. (Sept. 21, 2017) Vice Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Bill Moran answers questions from Sailors during an all-hands call at Sky Warrior Theater onboard Naval Air Station Whidbey Island (NASWI). (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Juan S. Sua/Released)

 

Let’s look at these in reverse order:

Purpose: Service to one’s country is a hard purpose to top. However, resurgent competitors like Russia and China demonstrate why, now more than ever, America needs a strong and talented Naval force, able to defend our shores and protect our interests around the world. It isn’t a stretch to say that your service has a direct impact on gas prices, the cost of electronics and food. As authoritarianism re-emerges in parts of the world, it wouldn’t be extreme to say that your service has a direct impact on the future of our way of life. It’s hard to imagine a time since the end of the Cold War when service has mattered more. And there’s no question that it’s hard to feel a sense of purpose if Sailors are sitting idle and not executing their mission.

Mastery: If we’ve learned anything from tragedy this past year, it’s that we owe Sailors the time and resources to train, hone and perfect their warfighting craft. This has been, and will continue to be, a focus and priority for our Secretary and CNO.

Autonomy: Senior leaders understand that Sailors are much closer to the issues and challenges they face each day, and we trust that you will follow our warfighting ethos and live up to our core values. Simplifying command and control and reducing administrative tasks that serve little purpose will give leaders at every level more time and authority to carry out the missions we need Sailors to execute. If we recruit a talented force, we need to trust a talented force.

MANAMA, Bahrain (Jan. 26, 2018) Sailors march in formation on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) upon pulling in for a port visit to Bahrain. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jimmi Lee Bruner/Released)

 

Every generation has its challenges and it’s no different for us: it is time to seek and keep highly skilled and talented Sailors like never before.

Please keep the feedback coming and challenge us when you think we can do better or when you have innovative ideas. Never forget: our profession is the ultimate team sport.

See you in the Fleet,
Vice Chief

http://navylive.dodlive.mil/2018/03/25/keep-the-feedback-coming/ parcher

Time Well Spent

By Adm. Bill Moran
Vice Chief of Naval Operations

I recently completed an energizing trip to Surface Warfare Officers School (SWOS) in Newport, Rhode Island, to get a first-hand look at how Surface Warriors are taught and gain important insights into what instructors and students feel are important to the future of the Surface Force.

As co-chair of the Oversight Board responsible for implementing recommendations from the Strategic Readiness Review and Comprehensive Review (SRR/CR), our team is organized to trace what has already been done to ensure near-term safe and effective operations at sea and to the longer-term institutional measures necessary for lasting improvement in today’s Surface Force.

NEWPORT, R.I. (Nov. 18, 2016) Students at Surface Warfare Officers School (SWOS) train on the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) Full Mission Bridge (FMB) simulator. The LCS Full Mission Bridge simulator is a full-sized trainer that uses the same software as the FMB and Conning Officer Virtual Environment (COVE). The LCS trainer has every Navy homeport modeled and allows the student to navigate in and out of designated ports using the highly sophisticated controls of a littoral combat ship. (U.S. Navy photo/Released)
NEWPORT, R.I. (Nov. 18, 2016) Students at Surface Warfare Officers School (SWOS) train on the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) Full Mission Bridge (FMB) simulator. The LCS Full Mission Bridge simulator is a full-sized trainer that uses the same software as the FMB and Conning Officer Virtual Environment (COVE). The LCS trainer has every Navy homeport modeled and allows the student to navigate in and out of designated ports using the highly sophisticated controls of a littoral combat ship. (U.S. Navy photo/Released)

 

Addressing issues as important as those reported by the SRR/CR with an oversight board is not necessarily new. However, the scope of the tragedies and the obligation we all have to our lost shipmates demands our full attention as senior leaders in order for the fleet to maintain its warfighting edge. A key assumption of our team is that we don’t have all the answers; if we go it alone, we will fail. Success will require input and two-way dialogue with the fleet, especially with our commanding officers in the fleet.

To that end, a trip to SWOS seemed necessary and appropriate. Spending time with instructors and prospective COs and XOs attending the Surface Commanders Course was my primary priority for the visit. Much has been written lately about what SWO leaders are thinking and feeling – hearing directly from them was an important first step.

A dialogue and rapport that promotes sharing of ideas and feedback is vital to not only implementing the suggestions from the two reviews, but importantly, to building a culture that addresses problems before they become crises. It is also imperative to let those whom we have selected to lead know we have their backs and are listening.

NEWPORT, R.I. (May 23, 2017) Staff members of Surface Warfare Officers School practice ship handling techniques in the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) Full Mission Bridge (FMB). The FMB provides students reporting to LCS commands the opportunity to learn their platform's specific ship handling techniques prior to reporting to their ship. (U.S. Navy photo by Lt. Megan Chester/Released)
NEWPORT, R.I. (May 23, 2017) Staff members of Surface Warfare Officers School practice ship handling techniques in the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) Full Mission Bridge (FMB). The FMB provides students reporting to LCS commands the opportunity to learn their platform’s specific ship handling techniques prior to reporting to their ship. (U.S. Navy photo by Lt. Megan Chester/Released)

 

At SWOS, it was immediately clear that leaders there were all in. They showed a passion for learning, were chomping at the bit to get out into the fleet and had given real thought to how we should continue to improve Surface Warfare. They wanted more reps and sets – preferably underway – but they all valued modern simulators and scenarios that practice their decision-making under stress. They also saw great value in more tailored courses throughout the SWO pipeline, and more one-on-one training to build self-confidence at sea. They were ready, and we owe them the tools, resources and processes to do so.

Some elements of this process have begun. Specific recommendations from the two reviews last fall are already underway. Examples include ensuring that no Forward Deployed Naval Force Japan ships are operating without certification for their assigned missions; completing an evaluation of naval requirements in the Western Pacific to prioritize operations in theater; and establishing a comprehensive fatigue and endurance management policy to guide command teams to make balanced risk decisions.

Additional near-term recommendations being evaluated by our new SWO Boss, Vice Adm. Brown, include: improving the SWO career path with emphasis on experience at sea; revamping the standards for shipboard qualifications; and reviewing all inspection and certification requirements with the goal of buying time back for commanding officers.

Make no mistake, this is my top priority, and there is plenty of work in front of us and more feedback to collect. The Oversight Board is not intended to be another administrative burden. The SRR/CR recommendations are solid, and it is our work to remain locked at the hip with the fleet and Vice Adm. Brown to do everything within our power to make sure that these changes are meaningful and enduring.

Success requires listening to your feedback and incorporating what makes sense. Implementing change in a vacuum will lead to failure.

Thank you for your patience, your professionalism and your steadfast devotion in standing the watch. See you in the fleet.

NEWPORT, R.I. (May 23, 2017) Staff members of Surface Warfare Officers School practice ship handling techniques in the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) Full Mission Bridge (FMB). (U.S. Navy photo by Lt. Megan Chester/Released)
NEWPORT, R.I. (May 23, 2017) Staff members of Surface Warfare Officers School practice ship handling techniques in the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) Full Mission Bridge (FMB). (U.S. Navy photo by Lt. Megan Chester/Released)

http://navylive.dodlive.mil/2018/01/29/time-well-spent/ U.S. Navy

Time Well Spent

By Adm. Bill Moran
Vice Chief of Naval Operations

I recently completed an energizing trip to Surface Warfare Officers School (SWOS) in Newport, Rhode Island, to get a first-hand look at how Surface Warriors are taught and gain important insights into what instructors and students feel are important to the future of the Surface Force.

As co-chair of the Oversight Board responsible for implementing recommendations from the Strategic Readiness Review and Comprehensive Review (SRR/CR), our team is organized to trace what has already been done to ensure near-term safe and effective operations at sea and to the longer-term institutional measures necessary for lasting improvement in today’s Surface Force.

NEWPORT, R.I. (Nov. 18, 2016) Students at Surface Warfare Officers School (SWOS) train on the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) Full Mission Bridge (FMB) simulator. The LCS Full Mission Bridge simulator is a full-sized trainer that uses the same software as the FMB and Conning Officer Virtual Environment (COVE). The LCS trainer has every Navy homeport modeled and allows the student to navigate in and out of designated ports using the highly sophisticated controls of a littoral combat ship. (U.S. Navy photo/Released)
NEWPORT, R.I. (Nov. 18, 2016) Students at Surface Warfare Officers School (SWOS) train on the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) Full Mission Bridge (FMB) simulator. The LCS Full Mission Bridge simulator is a full-sized trainer that uses the same software as the FMB and Conning Officer Virtual Environment (COVE). The LCS trainer has every Navy homeport modeled and allows the student to navigate in and out of designated ports using the highly sophisticated controls of a littoral combat ship. (U.S. Navy photo/Released)

 

Addressing issues as important as those reported by the SRR/CR with an oversight board is not necessarily new. However, the scope of the tragedies and the obligation we all have to our lost shipmates demands our full attention as senior leaders in order for the fleet to maintain its warfighting edge. A key assumption of our team is that we don’t have all the answers; if we go it alone, we will fail. Success will require input and two-way dialogue with the fleet, especially with our commanding officers in the fleet.

To that end, a trip to SWOS seemed necessary and appropriate. Spending time with instructors and prospective COs and XOs attending the Surface Commanders Course was my primary priority for the visit. Much has been written lately about what SWO leaders are thinking and feeling – hearing directly from them was an important first step.

A dialogue and rapport that promotes sharing of ideas and feedback is vital to not only implementing the suggestions from the two reviews, but importantly, to building a culture that addresses problems before they become crises. It is also imperative to let those whom we have selected to lead know we have their backs and are listening.

NEWPORT, R.I. (May 23, 2017) Staff members of Surface Warfare Officers School practice ship handling techniques in the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) Full Mission Bridge (FMB). The FMB provides students reporting to LCS commands the opportunity to learn their platform's specific ship handling techniques prior to reporting to their ship. (U.S. Navy photo by Lt. Megan Chester/Released)
NEWPORT, R.I. (May 23, 2017) Staff members of Surface Warfare Officers School practice ship handling techniques in the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) Full Mission Bridge (FMB). The FMB provides students reporting to LCS commands the opportunity to learn their platform’s specific ship handling techniques prior to reporting to their ship. (U.S. Navy photo by Lt. Megan Chester/Released)

 

At SWOS, it was immediately clear that leaders there were all in. They showed a passion for learning, were chomping at the bit to get out into the fleet and had given real thought to how we should continue to improve Surface Warfare. They wanted more reps and sets – preferably underway – but they all valued modern simulators and scenarios that practice their decision-making under stress. They also saw great value in more tailored courses throughout the SWO pipeline, and more one-on-one training to build self-confidence at sea. They were ready, and we owe them the tools, resources and processes to do so.

Some elements of this process have begun. Specific recommendations from the two reviews last fall are already underway. Examples include ensuring that no Forward Deployed Naval Force Japan ships are operating without certification for their assigned missions; completing an evaluation of naval requirements in the Western Pacific to prioritize operations in theater; and establishing a comprehensive fatigue and endurance management policy to guide command teams to make balanced risk decisions.

Additional near-term recommendations being evaluated by our new SWO Boss, Vice Adm. Brown, include: improving the SWO career path with emphasis on experience at sea; revamping the standards for shipboard qualifications; and reviewing all inspection and certification requirements with the goal of buying time back for commanding officers.

Make no mistake, this is my top priority, and there is plenty of work in front of us and more feedback to collect. The Oversight Board is not intended to be another administrative burden. The SRR/CR recommendations are solid, and it is our work to remain locked at the hip with the fleet and Vice Adm. Brown to do everything within our power to make sure that these changes are meaningful and enduring.

Success requires listening to your feedback and incorporating what makes sense. Implementing change in a vacuum will lead to failure.

Thank you for your patience, your professionalism and your steadfast devotion in standing the watch. See you in the fleet.

NEWPORT, R.I. (May 23, 2017) Staff members of Surface Warfare Officers School practice ship handling techniques in the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) Full Mission Bridge (FMB). (U.S. Navy photo by Lt. Megan Chester/Released)
NEWPORT, R.I. (May 23, 2017) Staff members of Surface Warfare Officers School practice ship handling techniques in the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) Full Mission Bridge (FMB). (U.S. Navy photo by Lt. Megan Chester/Released)

http://navylive.dodlive.mil/2018/01/29/time-well-spent/ U.S. Navy

Honor Our Heritage

By Adm. Bill Moran
Vice Chief of Naval Operations

This past weekend aboard Kings Bay Submarine Base in Georgia, there was a small but powerful reminder of what it means to honor and remember our veterans. This remembrance event honored WWII submarine veterans. For years now, the numbers of vets attending this special event have been sadly decreasing, and this year 15 Sailors from as far away as California and Rhode Island made the pilgrimage.

KINGS BAY, Ga. (Nov. 4, 2016) Vice Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Bill Moran delivers remarks at a submarine veterans ceremony at the World War II pavilion at Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay. The annual event honors the World War II submarine veterans and remembers the 52 American and 83 British submarines lost in the war. (U.S. Navy photo by Lt. Lily Hinz/Released)
KINGS BAY, Ga. (Nov. 4, 2016) Vice Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Bill Moran delivers remarks at a submarine veterans ceremony at the World War II pavilion at Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay. The annual event honors the World War II submarine veterans and remembers the 52 American and 83 British submarines lost in the war. (U.S. Navy photo by Lt. Lily Hinz/Released)

 

When these veterans – most in their 90’s – entered the ceremony, the packed crowd instantly rose to meet them with affirmation. Standing there, I was struck by a great sense of pride, honor and duty. Not only are their stories filled with unbounded courage, they are some of the most humble people you’ll ever meet.

Tony Faella was at home with his cousin, listening to the radio when his show was interrupted with news of the attack on Pearl Harbor. They both decided right then and there that they were going to join the Navy and went the next morning to a recruiting station to enlist.

Fred Richards, who already had two brothers in the Navy, joined when he was only 15 years old. He said he was called to submarines after watching the movie Destination Tokyo. After enlisting, he learned about submarines on a school boat, S-28. But, while he was on a training break away from the sub, S-28 went down with his best buddy, Petty Officer First Class Anderson, on board.

KINGS BAY, Ga. (Nov. 4, 2016) Vice Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Bill Moran delivers remarks at a submarine veterans ceremony at the World War II pavilion at Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay, Ga., Nov. 4. (U.S. Navy photo by Lt. Lily Hinz/Released)
KINGS BAY, Ga. (Nov. 4, 2016) Vice Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Bill Moran delivers remarks at a submarine veterans ceremony at the World War II pavilion at Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay, Ga., Nov. 4. (U.S. Navy photo by Lt. Lily Hinz/Released)

These incredible Sailors, and many more like them, joined the Navy submarine force during a period of great danger and great complexity. Like the young men and women joining today, they raised their right hands, and were scattered all over the world, to the cold waters of the North Atlantic, and throughout the Pacific from Australia to the coast of Japan.

Collectively, these 15 Sailors represented 59 war patrols and 190 years in the Navy. Patrick Zilliacus made four successful war patrols with the USS Spot, sinking 17 enemy ships in the Pacific and surviving a harrowing surface gun fight with an armed minelayer.

Paul Casavant was an 18-year-old shipbuilder in Groton, Connecticut, when Pearl Harbor was attacked. Not long after, he went from building submarines to patrolling the Pacific aboard USS Narwhal. He completed nine war patrols and retired from the Navy with 30 years of service. When asked how he made it through nine dangerous patrols, he said he was “very lucky.” Keep in mind that serving on submarines during World War II was the most dangerous duty a Sailor could be assigned – 52 submarines were lost during the war. One in five submariners never made it home.

In both November 1943 and November 1944, we lost three submarines each month. Imagine that– for all today’s Sailors, three submarines on patrol that would never come back. 500 Sailors on eternal patrol – It’s unthinkable.

Legacy is an important word in our English language – to some it refers to age, to others more importantly it refers to the enduring and meaningful lessons of example. Some of the men honored in Kings Bay paid the ultimate sacrifice for generations to come. They never gave in, even when the prospect for success or survival seemed dim. That toughness, that determination to serve the guy next to them became part of their legacy and part of our DNA. Their sacrifices helped build the greatest maritime power in the world.

As we get ready to enjoy a day of liberty and remember our veterans, let us reflect on the sacrifices of those who have gone before us, and strive to live up to their example.  The DNA of this greatest generation is built into our character as a Navy – every Sailor, every oath. So as we look to future challenges, let us again rise to meet these amazing men and honor their past by our actions and deeds in service to our country.

http://navylive.dodlive.mil/2016/11/09/honor-our-heritage/ U.S. Navy