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The KIDD Connection

By Cmdr. Matt Noland
Executive Officer
USS KIDD (DDG 100)

This month, viewers everywhere will have the opportunity to see the latest Hollywood treatment of America’s Greatest Generation: Greyhound. Tom Hanks plays a U.S. Navy destroyer’s commanding officer charged with protecting a convoy of Allied ships from a wolfpack of German U-boats as they transit the Atlantic Ocean.

Kidd (DD 661) underway off Roi Island, Kwajalein, enroute to the Saipan invasion, June 12, 1944. Anchored in left background is Tennessee (BB-43), with a destroyer alongside and an escort carrier beyond. Photographed from New Mexico (BB-40). National Archives photograph, 80-G-253680.

During the Battle of the Atlantic, between 1939 and 1945, 3,500 Allied merchant ships and 175 Allied warships were sunk, and 72,200 Allied naval and merchant seamen were killed. The Germans lost 783 U-boats and approximately 30,000 sailors.

As executive officer deployed on patrol onboard a modern destroyer, the gravity of what they faced is not lost on me or our crew. Especially today, as our nation finds itself in the Great Power competition with nations including China and Russia – each with its own capable undersea force.
 
I personally have another tie to this movie. In researching and shooting the movie, Hanks and his team frequented the WWII Fletcher-class USS KIDD (DD 661), which serves as the main attraction of the USS KIDD Veterans Museum in Louisiana. Growing up in Baton Rouge, I, too, visited the museum ship. 
 
As a Boy Scout, I spent a night aboard the World War II-era USS KIDD. I can assure you life aboard today’s USS KIDD is considerably more hospitable then it was on the WWII namesake.
 
The original USS KIDD (DD 661) was commissioned April 23, 1943, and named for Rear Adm. Isaac C. Kidd, killed in action aboard USS Arizona (BB 39) during the attack on Pearl Harbor. Kidd was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions during the attack.

Photographed on the deck of his ship, circa 1939. Capt. Kidd has inscribed the original print: ‘To my able gunnery officer and friend Commander Abercrombie. Sincerely, Isaac Campbell Kidd.’ Lt. Cmdr. Laurence A. Abercrombie was assigned to Arizona during the latter part of Kidd’s tour as the ship’s commanding officer. U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph.

USS KIDD earned 12 battle stars during her career: Eight for service in World War II and four for service in Korea.

Japanese kamikaze plane about to crash into the ship, off Okinawa, April 11, 1945. The plane hit KIDD’s side, killing 38 of the crew. Photographed from the KIDD. Note escorting destroyer in the background. Courtesy Lewis B. Jenkins, Jr., Beltsville, Maryland, 1972.

I’m humbled to serve on today’s namesake. Our USS KIDD (DDG 100) was commissioned June 9, 2007, in Galveston, Texas, and is currently conducting counter-drug operations in U.S. Southern Command area of responsibility.

PACIFIC OCEAN (June 30, 2020) Crewmembers of the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Kidd (DDG 100) deploy a rigid-hull inflatable boat (RHIB) to assist a distressed vessel, June 30, 2020. Kidd is deployed to the U.S. Southern Command area of responsibility to support Joint Interagency Task Force South’s mission, which includes counter illicit drug trafficking in the Caribbean Sea and eastern Pacific Ocean. (Photo courtesy of U.S. Navy/Released)

The parallels between the old and new ship are important to me. Now aboard USS KIDD (DDG 100), underway on deployment, you can bet the crew and I will watch the new movie Greyhound. In today’s Navy, we build and train combat-ready ships and battle-minded crews, and I’m personally inspired by the legacy of American heroism at sea in World War II. Plus, it’s always exciting to see a film about the surface Navy.

Serving as executive officer of the USS KIDD is a special assignment to me. There are fewer than 300 ships in the Navy, and for me to be placed on the USS KIDD seems like a dream.

While growing up in Baton Rouge, I visited the USS KIDD Veterans Museum in the downtown area often and even got to know the museum’s original director, Maury Drummond, quite well. I spent lots of time talking to him about ship models he had built, and if you spend any time at the museum, you will notice a lot of beautiful model warships on display. Some of the most exquisite ones were built by Mr. Drummond himself. It definitely sparked my fascination with ships and with the Navy.

When I joined the US Navy in 2002, I had no idea that it would become a way of life for me, that I would be selected for command of a warship, or get a chance to serve on USS KIDD. Not many of us are afforded the honor of command at sea, and that is very exciting to me. I started seriously considering a naval career back in high school, so it’s been a lifelong aspiration, and it’s coming true for me. It’s incredible.

With service in the Navy, there’s never a guarantee of a Hollywood ending. There’s challenge. There’s reward and satisfaction. And there are lifelong relationships and experiences you won’t find anywhere else.

I truly hope watching Greyhound is the closest our crew and I get taking on another blue-water navy at war. But I have every confidence that if called, we’d fight with tenacity, determination and lethality. Like our ships’ namesake, and those on the original KIDD crew, we live the core values of honor, courage and commitment.

You might say this is art, imitating life, imitating art.  And KIDD and remains the picture of readiness.

200428-N-SB299-1397 SAN DIEGO (April 28, 2020) The guided-missile destroyer USS Kidd (DDG 100) arrives in San Diego April 28 as part of the Navy’s aggressive response to the COVID-19 outbreak on board the ship. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Alex Millar/ Released)

Noland, from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, graduated from Louisiana State University in 2002 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in History and a Master’s in Strategy from the U.S. Naval War College. He is an Anti-Submarine and Anti-Surface Warfare Tactics Instructor.

Note: USS KIDD (DDG 100) departed San Diego June 10, continuing its scheduled deployment, conducting enhanced counternarcotics operations in the Caribbean and Eastern Pacific. Last week her crew assisted a fishing vessel in distress, where USS KIDD took the vessel under tow for about 200 nautical miles until additional assistance from the ship’s parent company was able to support.

https://navylive.dodlive.mil/2020/07/08/the-kidd-connection/ U.S. Navy

Surface Navy Association 2020 National Symposium

Owning Tomorrow’s Fight Today

Jan. 14-16, 2020

Welcome to Navy Live blog coverage of the 2019 Surface Navy Association National Symposium in Arlington, Virginia, where naval leaders, government officials and members of private industry will discuss a broad range of professional and career issues of importance to the surface warfare community.

The theme of the symposium is Owning Tomorrow’s Fight Today. The event provides an opportunity to highlight the Surface Navy’s vision for the future. Below you will find articles about and links to live events at the symposium, as well as the schedule of events.

Find out more at the SNA website: https://navysnaevents.org/national-symposium/index.html.

“The United States Navy has a Surface Force that is second to none, and we have taken deliberate steps to maintain that premier status in the face of great power competition,” said. “We will build on our improvements as we build the best mariners, build the most lethal ships and warfighters, and build fully-prepared warfare commanders.”

–Vice Adm. Richard Brown, Commander, Naval Surface Forces

LIVESTREAM VIDEO LINKS

Day 1 (Tuesday, Jan. 14):

Day 2: (Wednesday, Jan. 15)

Day 3: (Thursday, Jan. 16)

SCHEDULE
(Subject to change. All times EST.)

Tuesday, Jan. 14

1045-1245: Enlisted Roundtable and Luncheon
Active Duty/Reservists in Uniform/ Retired Enlisted, E-1 to E-9 only
Moderator: CMDCM Bryan Exum, USN(Ret)

1030-1145: Retired Flag Briefing (Flag Officers Only; All Branches Welcome) VADM Rich Brown, USN, Commander, Naval Surface Forces/Commander, US Pacific Fleet
RADM Gene Black, USN, Director, Surface Warfare (N96)

1130-1200: SNA Podcast
Moderator: CAPT Paul Rinn (Ret)

1230-1330: NAVSEA Media Availability: LCS in the Fleet Today

1300-1310: Opening Remarks: VADM Rick Hunt, USN (Ret), President, Surface Navy Association

1310-1410: The Surface Navy Today
VADM Rich Brown, USN, Commander, Naval Surface Forces/Commander, US Pacific Fleet

1330-1400: NAVSEA Media Availability: Surface Maintenance Engineering Planning Program (SURFMEPP) Update
John Murphy, SURFMEPP Deputy

1410-1510: Keynote Address (Seminar Package Required): ADM Michael Gilday, USN, Chief of Naval Operations

1530-1650: Updating the Surface Navy Vision
RADM Gene Black, USN, Director, Surface Warfare (N96)
Maj Gen Tracy King, USMC, Director, Expeditionary Warfare (N95)

1700: USNI Podcast Interview with VADM Rich Brown

Wednesday, Jan. 15

0900-0930: NAVSEA Media Availability: Surface Ship Modernization Update
Capt. Kevin Byrne, Surface Ship Modernization program manager

0930-1000: NAVSEA Media Availability: Amphibious, Auxiliary and Sealift Shipbuilding Update
Matt Sermon, Amphibious, Auxiliary and Sealift Office PEO Ships
executive director

10000-1030: NAVSEA Media Availability: DDG 51 Flight III Update
CAPT Seth Miller, DDG 51 Class program manager
CAPT Jason Hall, Above Water Sensors program manager

1015-1100: Coast Guard Update
ADM Charles W. Ray, USCG
Deputy Commandant, U.S. Coast Guard

1100-1145: NAVSEA Media Availability: DDG 1000 Class Update
CAPT Smith, DDG 1000 Class program manager

1100-1130: NAVSEA Media Availability: Naval Power & Energy Systems: Way Forward
Steve Markle, U.S. Navy Electric Ships program manager

1100-1145: Marine Corps Update
Gen David H. Berger, USMC
Commandant, U.S. Marine Corps

1300-1330: NAVSEA Media Availability:Surface Training Systems Update
Bob Kerno, Surface Training Systems program manager

1330-1400 NAVSEA Media Availability: Surface Ship Sustainment Update
Capt. Steve Murray, Surface Ship Sustainment program manager

1400-1430: NAVSEA Media Availability: USNS Navajo-class Towing, Salvage and Rescue (T-ATS) Overview
Chris Paulus, Support Ships, Boats and Craft assistant program manager

1400-1500: Transformation of the Navy Warfighter for the 21st Century
Moderator: VADM John B. Nowell, Jr., USN, Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Manpower, Personnel, Training and Education, N1, OPNAV Chief of Naval Personnel

1515-1615: Navy/Marine Corps Integration
Moderator: VADM James Kilby, USN, Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Warfighting Requirements & Capabilities, N9, OPNAV

1615-1700: Keynote Address: The Hon. James F. Geurts,
Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research, Development & Acquisition

1800-1930: Naval Heritage Program – “Life and Times of Admiral Bulkeley”

Thursday, Jan. 16

0830-0915: Keynote Address: ADM Christopher W. Grady, USN, Commander, U.S. Fleet Forces Command

0900-0930: NAVSEA Media Availability: In-Service Aircraft Carriers Update
Capt. Charles Ehnes, In-Service Aircraft Carrier program manager

0930-1030: NAVSEA Media Availability: CVN 78 Update
Capt. Ron Rutan, CVN 78 Class program manager

1000-1030: NAVSEA Media Availability: Future Aircraft Carriers Update
Capt. Philip Malone, Future Aircraft Carriers program manager

1015-1145: Building the Future Force
Moderator: VADM Thomas J. Moore, USN, Commander, Naval Sea Systems Command

1300-1330: NAVSEA Media Availability: Unmanned Maritime Systems Update
CAPT Pete Small, Unmanned Maritime Systems program manager

1330-1400: NAVSEA Media Availability: Mine Warfare Update
CAPT Danielle George, Mine Warfare Programs manager

1400-1430: NAVSEA Media Availability: Mission Package Program Update
CAPT Gus Weekes, Mission Modules program manager

1415-1530: Maintaining the Current Force
Moderator: VADM Moore, USN, Commander, Naval Sea Systems Command

1645-1730: Closing Remarks: VADM Richard Hunt, USN (Ret), President, Surface Navy Association

https://navylive.dodlive.mil/2020/01/13/surface-navy-association-2020-national-symposium/ U.S. Navy

PCU John F. Kennedy’s Seal Crafted to Honor the President

By Capt. Todd Marzano Commanding Officer
Pre-Commissioning Unit (PCU) John F. Kennedy

During my time serving on board USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) while the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier was undergoing maintenance at Huntington Ingalls Industries-Newport News Shipbuilding, the keel of the future USS John F. Kennedy was laid. PCU John F. Kennedy has come a long ways since I first observed initial construction in the dry dock back in 2015 following the keel laying. At that point I had no idea I’d be fortunate enough to be the ship’s first commanding officer and I’m incredibly honored, humbled, and excited to be given the opportunity to lead such an amazing team of high quality crewmembers.

Upon reporting to PCU John F. Kennedy, I was given the honorable task of creating the ship’s seal. The design was a collaborative effort, with many valuable inputs from the crew. Each element of the seal is significant for its relevance to the ship’s namesake, naval service, and our great nation.

The 35 stars located throughout the outer ring of the seal represent the Honorable John F. Kennedy as the 35th president. The 35th star is positioned after his middle initial and the two gold stars between CVN and the number 79 symbolize this is the second aircraft carrier bearing his name. The first was CV-67, commissioned back on Sept. 7 1968, and served our nation for nearly 40 years.     

The Roman numeral CIX (109) is a tribute to John F. Kennedy’s heroic naval service as the boat commander of PT-109 in the South Pacific during World War II. He displayed extraordinary courage, both in combat as a naval officer, and as President of the United States. 

The bow on view of the ship advancing through the water reflects the enormous power of our Navy’s newest class of aircraft carrier, fully ready to support the needs of the nation.  

President Kennedy’s image against the backdrop of the moon represents his bold vision to lead the space race. The importance of achieving this goal was highlighted during his speech at Rice University Sept. 12, 1962 when he said, “No nation which expects to be the leader of other nations can expect to stay behind in the race for space. For the eyes of the world now look into space, to the moon and to the planets beyond, and we have vowed that we shall not see it governed by a hostile flag of conquest, but by a banner of freedom and peace.” 

Finally, the motto “SERVE WITH COURAGE” truly exemplifies President John F. Kennedy’s life.  From the first day of his presidency, he challenged every American during his inauguration speech to “ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country.” He regarded serving one’s nation as an honor and held the utmost respect for those who did so with courage, especially when faced with adversity.

It was this passion that inspired President Kennedy to study and write about exceptional leaders throughout our nation’s history who served with courage, and it was the example set by these impressive individuals who helped mold him into one of our country’s most influential presidents. His powerful words spoken Jan. 20, 1961 during the inaugural address are just as applicable today, and when USS John F. Kennedy heads out to sea, the crew will “serve with courage” and take a great deal of pride and satisfaction knowing they are members of the United States Navy. 

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (Oct. 29, 2019) The aircraft carrier Pre-Commissioning Unit (PCU) John F. Kennedy (CVN 79) reaches another construction milestone, Oct. 29, 2019, as its dry dock area is flooded three months ahead of its slated production schedule leading up to the christening of the second Ford-class aircraft carrier, scheduled for Dec. 7, 2019. The flooding of the dry dock follows other milestones, including the laying of the ship’s keel on Aug. 22, 2015, the placement of the 588-metric ton island superstructure on May 29, 2019, and the arrival of the crew on Oct. 1, 2019. Kennedy is currently under construction at Huntington Ingalls Industries-Newport News Shipbuilding. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Adam Ferrero/Released)

https://navylive.dodlive.mil/2019/11/12/pcu-john-f-kennedys-seal-crafted-to-honor-the-president/ poyrazdogany

PCU John F. Kennedy’s Seal Crafted to Honor the President

By Capt. Todd Marzano Commanding Officer
Pre-Commissioning Unit (PCU) John F. Kennedy

During my time serving on board USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) while the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier was undergoing maintenance at Huntington Ingalls Industries-Newport News Shipbuilding, the keel of the future USS John F. Kennedy was laid. PCU John F. Kennedy has come a long ways since I first observed initial construction in the dry dock back in 2015 following the keel laying. At that point I had no idea I’d be fortunate enough to be the ship’s first commanding officer and I’m incredibly honored, humbled, and excited to be given the opportunity to lead such an amazing team of high quality crewmembers.

Upon reporting to PCU John F. Kennedy, I was given the honorable task of creating the ship’s seal. The design was a collaborative effort, with many valuable inputs from the crew. Each element of the seal is significant for its relevance to the ship’s namesake, naval service, and our great nation.

The 35 stars located throughout the outer ring of the seal represent the Honorable John F. Kennedy as the 35th president. The 35th star is positioned after his middle initial and the two gold stars between CVN and the number 79 symbolize this is the second aircraft carrier bearing his name. The first was CV-67, commissioned back on Sept. 7 1968, and served our nation for nearly 40 years.     

The Roman numeral CIX (109) is a tribute to John F. Kennedy’s heroic naval service as the boat commander of PT-109 in the South Pacific during World War II. He displayed extraordinary courage, both in combat as a naval officer, and as President of the United States. 

The bow on view of the ship advancing through the water reflects the enormous power of our Navy’s newest class of aircraft carrier, fully ready to support the needs of the nation.  

President Kennedy’s image against the backdrop of the moon represents his bold vision to lead the space race. The importance of achieving this goal was highlighted during his speech at Rice University Sept. 12, 1962 when he said, “No nation which expects to be the leader of other nations can expect to stay behind in the race for space. For the eyes of the world now look into space, to the moon and to the planets beyond, and we have vowed that we shall not see it governed by a hostile flag of conquest, but by a banner of freedom and peace.” 

Finally, the motto “SERVE WITH COURAGE” truly exemplifies President John F. Kennedy’s life.  From the first day of his presidency, he challenged every American during his inauguration speech to “ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country.” He regarded serving one’s nation as an honor and held the utmost respect for those who did so with courage, especially when faced with adversity.

It was this passion that inspired President Kennedy to study and write about exceptional leaders throughout our nation’s history who served with courage, and it was the example set by these impressive individuals who helped mold him into one of our country’s most influential presidents. His powerful words spoken Jan. 20, 1961 during the inaugural address are just as applicable today, and when USS John F. Kennedy heads out to sea, the crew will “serve with courage” and take a great deal of pride and satisfaction knowing they are members of the United States Navy. 

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (Oct. 29, 2019) The aircraft carrier Pre-Commissioning Unit (PCU) John F. Kennedy (CVN 79) reaches another construction milestone, Oct. 29, 2019, as its dry dock area is flooded three months ahead of its slated production schedule leading up to the christening of the second Ford-class aircraft carrier, scheduled for Dec. 7, 2019. The flooding of the dry dock follows other milestones, including the laying of the ship’s keel on Aug. 22, 2015, the placement of the 588-metric ton island superstructure on May 29, 2019, and the arrival of the crew on Oct. 1, 2019. Kennedy is currently under construction at Huntington Ingalls Industries-Newport News Shipbuilding. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Adam Ferrero/Released)

https://navylive.dodlive.mil/2019/11/12/pcu-john-f-kennedys-seal-crafted-to-honor-the-president/ poyrazdogany

USS Gerald R. Ford Returns to Norfolk

By Capt. John J. Cummings, Commanding Officer, USS Gerald R. Ford

Today, the mighty warship USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) returned home to Naval Station Norfolk for the first time in 15 months, marking the official completion of our post-shakedown availability (PSA) at Huntington Ingalls Industries-Newport News Shipbuilding.

Fifteen months. For nearly 500 days, the combined Navy-Newport News Shipbuilding team collectively expended hundreds of thousands of manhours pierside making our amazing warship stronger, more capable, and more reliable. The team’s tremendous efforts culminated this past week in six days of sea trials, an opportunity to finally get our ship to sea and evaluate our efforts.

Now I could bore you with piles of statistics, technical data, and engineering mumbo-jumbo, but what I really want you to know is this:

‘Warship 78’ is a capable, lethal, and innovative warfighting platform… and she works.

Not only was our sea trial successful – we crushed it! We ran our ship through the paces and she passed with flying colors – in some cases surpassing expectations. I couldn’t be happier with the performance of the ship, or of our Sailors who continue to impress me with their dedication, resilience, and tenacity. It is their blood, sweat, and tears that are building our ship and the Ford-class program and that serve as the bedrock to our success of this technological marvel.

Our work was validated and sets the stage for a busy 2020. In the next year we will return to the fleet and take our ship to sea as many times as we possibly can. We will aggressively conduct independent steaming exercises, prepare our ship for further testing and certifications, and work towards our ultimate goal of sailing this 100,000 ton steel beast over the horizon and answering our nation’s call to preserve freedom and democracy around the world.

For USS Gerald R. Ford, the future is bright. Support us – jump on the bandwagon and enjoy the ride. I assure you, you won’t be disappointed. WE ARE WARSHIP 78!

ATLANTIC OCEAN (Oct. 26, 2019) Capt. John J. Cummings, commanding officer of the aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford’s (CVN 78), right, Capt. Timothy L. Waits, Ford’s executive officer, middle, and Command Master Chief De’Andre Beaufort, cut a ceremonial ribbon for the ship’s barber shop reopening. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Apprentice Angel Thuy Jaskuloski/Released)

https://navylive.dodlive.mil/2019/10/30/uss-gerald-r-ford-returns-to-norfolk/ poyrazdogany

Ten Takeaways: The Education for Seapower Report

Ten Take-Aways: The Education for Seapower Report

In February 2019, the Department of the Navy issued its landmark Education for Seapower (E4S) Report, calling for major reform and improvement of our system of naval education for commissioned and enlisted Sailors and Marines. The Department of the Navy is beginning to implement the report’s recommendations at the direction of the Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer, through his memorandum to all naval forces. When fully implemented, these changes to our education and promotion systems will have a profound impact on our naval services. Because of this, it is essential that policy makers and indeed our entire force understand the report and its conclusions. I recommend that everyone read the full E4S report: it is filled with important insights into the nature of seapower in the 21st century and the essential contribution of education and intellectual development to maintaining naval dominance. Since, however, the main section of the report is 71 pages long, I thought it would be useful to summarize its main conclusions and recommendations. Accordingly, here is my take on the 10 most important takeaways you need to know about the future of Navy and Marine Corps education from the E4S report.

1.         Education of our force is vital to national security 

After exhaustive study of the strategic challenges we face as a nation, the E4S Board concluded: “The education of our naval leaders is the single most important way to prepare the Naval services, and the nation, for a dangerous and uncertain future.” As retired Admiral James Stavridis observed in the report, “In the end, 21st century warfare is brain-on-brain conflict, and we must build our human capital and intellectual capacity as surely as we produce the best pure war fighting technology if we are going to win the nation’s wars and advance its security.” 

2.         Our current educational efforts are inadequate 

Because our intellectual capital is so vital to our nation’s security, developing that capital through education becomes a top priority, at least as important as building platforms and weapons systems. The E4S report concluded that our current system of educating Sailors and Marines is “insufficient to create the operational and strategic leaders needed for the modern Navy and Marine Corps.” Indeed, the report noted that in some respects, we have gone backwards. “While 98% of Flag officers had attended the Naval War College on the eve of World War II, today, only roughly 20% have.”

NEWPORT, R.I. (March 19, 2018) U.S. Naval War College (NWC) students participate in a learning game beta test by NWC’s Joint Military Operations and Wargaming departments. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jess Lewis/Released)

3.         Immediate action is necessary

Unlike a weapons system, we can’t just buy a strategically-minded senior non-commissioned officer or field grade staff officer – it takes years of education and the right motivation to develop the creativity and critical thinking required to lead through an uncertain future. The E4S board concluded that inadequate intellectual development of our force “is THE fundamental problem that must be corrected now.” We need to strengthen our capabilities in leadership and ethics, strategic education, technology and science, organizational management, logistics and acquisition. Failure to change and improve, the report noted, would be a “strategic blunder.” This will require a major cultural shift, so that every naval warfare community and discipline recognizes the full value of education to our national security. 

4.         We must invest in and support our educational institutions

After studying the Naval War College, U.S. Naval Academy, Naval Postgraduate School, and Marine Corps University, the E4S Board concluded that though these schools have proud histories and talented faculty, they are “underfunded, under-prioritized, under-utilized, and disconnected from one another, without any unifying strategic vision or purpose.” The report noted in particular that “Faculty are not receiving enough funding to teach effectively, develop professionally, and conduct research.” To fix these problems, the report calls for the creation of a unified Naval University System, changes to intellectual property rules for faculty, major budget process reforms within the Pentagon, and an increase in high priority funding.

5.         We must create a Naval Community College for enlisted personnel

Our enlisted Marines and Sailors represent a national treasure, both in terms of intellect and selfless dedication to service. Yet we do not provide adequate educational opportunities that will help them develop their vast capacity to help solve the strategic challenges of the future. The report notes that despite many programs to support enlisted education, “valuable talent from the largest part of the services is not being utilized.” To tap into and develop this talent, the report calls for the creation of a Naval Community College offering “rigorous associate of science degree programs for naval sciences, with concentration , such as, data analytics, organizational behavior, and information systems.” 

6.         We need 21st century education

The E4S report recognizes that residential education delivered over an extended period of time in a traditional campus setting is a very valuable educational tool, but that deployments and operational and training needs often make residential education difficult to obtain. To address this problem, the report calls for adoption of more flexible education delivery models, including short executive courses, stackable certificates that lead to degrees over time, and better use of available technology to deliver education outside the brick and mortar classroom. The report also calls for two important changes in emphasis in our school curriculums: coursework leading to “greater understanding of emerging technologies,” and “more theoretical education in order to develop true critical thinkers and leaders.”  

NEWPORT, R.I. (Aug. 15, 2018) Lt. Sarah Miller of Lacey, Washington, an instructor at Surface Warfare Officers School (SWOS), discusses virtual conning of a ship with Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps (NROTC) Midshipman 3rd Class Christopher Anstett, of Buffalo, New York, a student at State University of New York Maritime College, during the 2018 NROTC National Shiphandler of the Year competition. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Nardel Gervacio/Released)

7.         The Navy must adopt school selection standards

Achieving a high-quality educational outcomes means much more than retaining the best professors or creating challenging curricula. The E4S report noted deep concerns about how Navy officers are selected for and perform at graduate professional military education schools.  “Leaders candidly observed that the Navy often sends poorly qualified officers to fill quotas. This practice includes sending non-due course officers, junior officers to senior programs, and restricted line officers, such as dental officers and chaplains, to fill quotas meant for unrestricted line officers.” As a result, Navy officers “consistently underperform the officers of other services.” To remedy this problem, the report calls for “competitive in-residence graduate selection boards” similar to those already adopted by the Marine Corps – a process that has already begun in the Navy and is still being refined by both services.

8.         The Navy must change its evaluation and promotion system to value education

For education to truly matter to the naval services, excellence in learning must be recognized and rewarded. The E4S report concluded that while Marine officers and enlisted personnel are required to pursue and complete education coursework to qualify for promotion, many Navy officers do not, because education is not seen as necessary or valuable to career advancement.  “Education is currently viewed as an obstruction in naval career paths by the majority, an obstruction exacerbated by the needs of the personnel assignment system,” and “there are not enough incentives for the personnel to continue higher education.” The report thus recommends significant changes to how we evaluate and promote officers, to insure that career incentives promote, not discourage, educational and intellectual development.

SAN DIEGO (June 1, 2018) Capt. Richard LeBron, executive officer of the amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6), places a lieutenant shoulder board onto the uniform of Lt. j.g. Allen On, the ship’s safety officer, during a promotion ceremony aboard the USS Midway Museum. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Daniel Charest)

9.         Leaders must take responsibility for education in their command

If we want our forces to reach their full strategic and operational potential, our officer and enlisted leaders must model a commitment to excellence in lifelong learning. The E4S report notes that though it is critical for leaders in our force to pursue their own intellectual development, this alone is not sufficient. In addition, our leaders need to “assume responsibility for the education of their charges.” This means that leaders at all levels, both commissioned and noncommissioned, must help the Marines and Sailors they command identify, obtain and complete the academic coursework we need for our national security.

10.       Improving education is a team effort          

Finally, the E4S report makes clear that all of us, individually and collectively, are responsible for strengthening the intellectual capabilities of our naval forces. Individual Sailors and Marines must pursue more education and take their academic performance just as seriously as they do the performance of their operational duties. Our leaders must obtain world-class education while taking responsibility for the educational advancement of the men and women they lead.  Our educational institutions need to reinvent their curriculums and delivery systems so that greater educational impact can be achieved for sea services that are by definition continually deployed. And the Department of the Navy as a whole must invest in our schools and make badly needed reforms to our personnel systems so that education becomes a top priority.  These reforms are not optional. This is a fight we must win if we are to do our duty to protect national security. 

https://navylive.dodlive.mil/2019/10/17/ten-takeaways-the-education-for-seapower-report/ poyrazdogany

Teaching Today’s and Tomorrow’s Surface Navy to Fight and Win

Kimberly M. Lansdale
Center for Surface Combat Systems Public Affairs

The Center for Surface Combat Systems (CSCS) headquarters’ staff oversees 14 learning sites and detachments located throughout the continental United States, Hawaii, Spain, and Japan. CSCS trains over 38,000 U.S. Navy and international Sailors each year. As a global organization, technology plays a key role in how we train surface warriors to fight and to win.

In an ever-advancing technological society, CSCS implements a variety of training enablers to achieve the ultimate goal of Sailor 2025’s Ready, Relevant Learning (RRL) pillar — provide Sailors the right training at the right time in the most effective manner throughout their careers. The Navy introduced Surface Training Advanced Virtual Environment (STAVE) in 2015 to provide better quality training resulting in more rapid qualifications of Navy officers and Sailors. Instructional systems and simulated physical environments provide watchstanders and maintainers the ability to gain proficiency through repeatable exercises, drills, and evolutions ashore.

STAVE-CS (Combat Systems) Solutions 

Combined Integrated Air & Missile Defense (IAMD) and Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) Trainer (CIAT)

The purpose of CIAT is to provide a warfighting training laboratory that is realistic and relevant in training our Sailors and officers to employ the full range of the combat system capability against advanced threats in complex operating environments. CSCS has two CIATs, one in San Diego, which opened in December 2018, and one in Norfolk, which opened in July 2019.  In addition, there are two Reconfigurable Combat Information Center Trainers, a CIAT minus the ASW capability, at the AEGIS Training and Readiness Center.

CIAT provides our watchstanders a state-of-the-art training lab to detect, control and engage simulated modern threats in challenging environments. With an emphasis on realism, it replicates a warship’s actual combat suite. We can reduce visibility, increase wave heights, degrade weapons systems, overwhelm the radars with clutter returns, and in the end, force every single watchstander in combat to adapt to challenging threats. We have to ensure our Sailors have trained and succeeded in a “worst case” scenario.

What makes CIAT unique is its ability to replay all decisions from a scenario in a full debrief. We synchronize all console and headset communications against the scenario ground truth to show each team the cause and effect of every decision. CIAT’s approach to immersive training has had an immediate impact on watch team cohesion and effectiveness and is unlike anything we have seen before.

Chief Operations Specialist Anna Penrod, left, assigned to the guided-missile destroyer USS Rafael Peralta (DDG 115), and Lt. Aaron Van Driessche, CSCS Det San Diego’s course supervisor for AWT, participate in an air defense scenario at the Combined Integrated Air and Missile Defense (IAMD) and Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) Trainer (CIAT). CIAT is the Navy’s newest combat systems trainer. Rafael Peralta became the first warship to pilot the advance warfare-training curriculum at CIAT. 

 

Aegis Ashore Team Trainer (AATT)

Managed by CSCS Unit Dam Neck, in Virginia Beach, Virginia, AATT serves as the single site for training and certifying rotational Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) crews to serve at the Aegis Ashore site in Romania and a future site in Poland. It houses a mock-up of the shore-based Aegis Combat Information Center and Communication Center and hosts a complete replica of the tactical warfighting, communication and information technology systems resident at Romania.

The AATT course includes an eight-week training and certification pipeline, a five-week basic phase conducted by CSCSU Dam Neck, a one-week qualification phase conducted by Afloat Training Group (ATG) Norfolk, and a two-week certification phase conducted by Tactical Training Group Atlantic (TACTRAGRULANT). During weeks one and two, CSCS instructs students on basic system capabilities and limitations, theater operational procedures, console operator familiarization, and BMD mission planning. During weeks three through five, the watch team executes a series of increasingly complex tactical team scenarios, flexing the extensive capabilities of the high fidelity trainer while turning the students into a cohesive tactical team. After the five-week basic phase, the crew completes their BMD Qualification (BMDQ) administered by ATG Norfolk. Following a successful BMDQ, TACTRAGRULANT supervises the execution of a BMD Exercise (BMDEX), in coordination with theater ballistic missile defense assets, as a capstone to the AATT course of instruction.

AATT allows us to train, qualify, and certify our Sailors so when they arrive in Romania they are immediately prepared to contribute. This represents the next evolution in combat systems training and sets a clear standard for what we will strive to achieve in future training endeavors.

During a team training exercise at the Aegis Ashore Team Trainer (AATT), AATT students work at the consoles to gain experience working with the system and to certify for operations prior to deployment.

 

High Fidelity Shore-Based Trainers

The Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) Training Facility (LTF) is the first surface warfare training facility to provide integrated bridge and combat systems tactical scenario training for Sailors serving with an LCS. The LCS drives a new approach to individual, team, and unit-level training to accommodate the minimum manning and rotational crewing concepts. Operational demands do not allow sufficient time for under instruction watchstanding or proficiency training during operational periods, and crews do not have organic training teams or embedded training systems. This new approach drives the need for the shore-centric Train-to-Qualify and Train-to-Certify concepts, which rely heavily on high-fidelity shore-based trainers.

Currently, an LTF in San Diego provides training for both LCS variants. Fleet Anti-Submarine Warfare Training Center (FLEASWTRACEN) operates it. CSCS has a second LTF, located at Naval Station Mayport, which CSCS Detachment Mayport operates. It provides training for the LCS 1 variant.

LCS’s small crew size and lack of embedded systems mandate the use of high-fidelity training systems ashore to achieve crew training and readiness objectives.

Lt. j.g. Journae Webb, assigned to the Freedom-class littoral combat ship USS Little Rock (LCS 9), serves as Officer of the Deck during live-action, interactive virtual-reality training at the Littoral Training Facility, Naval Station Mayport, June 26, 2019. All Sailors and officers assigned to an LCS train in watch stations using virtual-reality technology, and are required to demonstrate proficiency in their respective watch stations, before manning live, shipboard watches. 

 

Looking Ahead

These are just a few of our STAVE-CS initiatives. STAVE-CS is already improving combat readiness by providing better-trained, better-qualified Sailors to the fight. CSCS will continue to implement new technologies that shape the Sailor of today and tomorrow. An example of this is Distributed STAVE-CS, which encompasses instructional systems and simulated physical environments that can be taught from one location and delivered simultaneously through high-bandwidth communications flow to multiple other sites. It will provide tactical watchstanders and maintainers the ability to gain proficiency through repeatable exercises, drills and evolutions ashore.

Surface Training Advanced Virtual Environment – Combat Systems (STAVE-CS) 

The video below highlights how STAVE-CS provides significant advantages by training in a virtual environment using courseware and simulators owned and implemented by the Navy.

Combined Integrated Air and Missile Defense (IAMD) and Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) Trainer (CIAT)

CIAT was delivered in 2018 as the most capable combat systems trainer developed for the Navy surface force. This video highlights how CIAT trains operators of current AEGIS Baselines in IAMD and the latest AN/SQQ-89A(V)15 ASW deliveries using virtualized tactical code in San Diego and Norfolk. CIAT includes an in-depth, integrated debrief capability for individual and team analysis by recording simulation of scenario ground truth, instructor and watchstander console displays and audio for after-action reporting in support of student and instructor analysis.

For the latest CSCS news, make sure to visit our Facebook page.

 

https://navylive.dodlive.mil/2019/08/21/teaching-todays-and-tomorrows-surface-navy-to-fight-and-win/ poyrazdogany

Teaching Today’s and Tomorrow’s Surface Navy to Fight and Win

Kimberly M. Lansdale Center for Surface Combat Systems Public Affairs The Center for Surface Combat Systems (CSCS) headquarters’ staff oversees 14 learning sites and detachments located throughout the continental United States, Hawaii, Spain, and Japan. CSCS trains over 38,000 U.S. Navy and international Sailors each year. As a global organization, technology plays a key role in how we train surface warriors to fight and to win. In an ever-advancing technological society, CSCS implements a variety of training enablers to achieve the ultimate goal of Sailor 2025’s Ready, Relevant Learning (RRL) pillar — provide Sailors the right training at the right time in the most effective manner throughout their careers. The Navy introduced Surface Training Advanced Virtual Environment (STAVE) in 2013 to provide better quality training resulting in more rapid qualifications of Navy officers and Sailors. Instructional systems and simulated physical environments provide watchstanders and maintainers the ability to gain proficiency through repeatable exercises, drills, and evolutions ashore. STAVE-CS (Combat Systems) Solutions Combined Integrated Air & Missile Defense (IAMD) and Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) Trainer (CIAT) The purpose of CIAT is to provide a warfighting training laboratory that is realistic and relevant in training our Sailors and officers to employ the full range of the combat system capability against advanced threats in complex operating environments. CSCS has two CIATs, one in San Diego, which opened in December 2018, and one in Norfolk, which opened in July 2019.  In addition, there are two Reconfigurable Combat Information Center Trainers, a CIAT minus the ASW capability, at the AEGIS Training and Readiness Center. CIAT provides our watchstanders a state-of-the-art training lab to detect, control and engage simulated modern threats in challenging environments. With an emphasis on realism, it replicates a warship’s actual combat suite. We can reduce visibility, increase wave heights, degrade weapons systems, overwhelm the radars with clutter returns, and in the end, force every single watchstander in combat to adapt to challenging threats. We have to ensure our Sailors have trained and succeeded in a “worst case” scenario. What makes CIAT unique is its ability to replay all decisions from a scenario in a full debrief. We synchronize all console and headset communications against the scenario ground truth to show each team the cause and effect of every decision. CIAT’s approach to immersive training has had an immediate impact on watch team cohesion and effectiveness and is unlike anything we have seen before.

Chief Operations Specialist Anna Penrod, left, assigned to the guided-missile destroyer USS Rafael Peralta (DDG 115), and Lt. Aaron Van Driessche, CSCS Det San Diego’s course supervisor for AWT, participate in an air defense scenario at the Combined Integrated Air and Missile Defense (IAMD) and Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) Trainer (CIAT). CIAT is the Navy’s newest combat systems trainer. Rafael Peralta became the first warship to pilot the advance warfare-training curriculum at CIAT. 

  Aegis Ashore Team Trainer (AATT) Managed by CSCS Unit Dam Neck, in Virginia Beach, Virginia, AATT serves as the single site for training and certifying rotational Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) crews to serve at the Aegis Ashore site in Romania and a future site in Poland. It houses a mock-up of the shore-based Aegis Combat Information Center and Communication Center and hosts a complete replica of the tactical warfighting, communication and information technology systems resident at Romania. The AATT course includes an eight-week training and certification pipeline, a five-week basic phase conducted by CSCSU Dam Neck, a one-week qualification phase conducted by Afloat Training Group (ATG) Norfolk, and a two-week certification phase conducted by Tactical Training Group Atlantic (TACTRAGRULANT). During weeks one and two, CSCS instructs students on basic system capabilities and limitations, theater operational procedures, console operator familiarization, and BMD mission planning. During weeks three through five, the watch team executes a series of increasingly complex tactical team scenarios, flexing the extensive capabilities of the high fidelity trainer while turning the students into a cohesive tactical team. After the five-week basic phase, the crew completes their BMD Qualification (BMDQ) administered by ATG Norfolk. Following a successful BMDQ, TACTRAGRULANT supervises the execution of a BMD Exercise (BMDEX), in coordination with theater ballistic missile defense assets, as a capstone to the AATT course of instruction. AATT allows us to train, qualify, and certify our Sailors so when they arrive in Romania they are immediately prepared to contribute. This represents the next evolution in combat systems training and sets a clear standard for what we will strive to achieve in future training endeavors.

During a team training exercise at the Aegis Ashore Team Trainer (AATT), AATT students work at the consoles to gain experience working with the system and to certify for operations prior to deployment.

  High Fidelity Shore-Based Trainers The Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) Training Facility (LTF) is the first surface warfare training facility to provide integrated bridge and combat systems tactical scenario training for Sailors serving with an LCS. The LCS drives a new approach to individual, team, and unit-level training to accommodate the minimum manning and rotational crewing concepts. Operational demands do not allow sufficient time for under instruction watchstanding or proficiency training during operational periods, and crews do not have organic training teams or embedded training systems. This new approach drives the need for the shore-centric Train-to-Qualify and Train-to-Certify concepts, which rely heavily on high-fidelity shore-based trainers. Currently, an LTF in San Diego provides training for both LCS variants. Fleet Anti-Submarine Warfare Training Center (FLEASWTRACEN) operates it. CSCS has a second LTF, located at Naval Station Mayport, which CSCS Detachment Mayport operates. It provides training for the LCS 1 variant. LCS’s small crew size and lack of embedded systems mandate the use of high-fidelity training systems ashore to achieve crew training and readiness objectives.

Lt. j.g. Journae Webb, assigned to the Freedom-class littoral combat ship USS Little Rock (LCS 9), serves as Officer of the Deck during live-action, interactive virtual-reality training at the Littoral Training Facility, Naval Station Mayport, June 26, 2019. All Sailors and officers assigned to an LCS train in watch stations using virtual-reality technology, and are required to demonstrate proficiency in their respective watch stations, before manning live, shipboard watches. 

  Looking Ahead These are just a few of our STAVE-CS initiatives. STAVE-CS is already improving combat readiness by providing better-trained, better-qualified Sailors to the fight. CSCS will continue to implement new technologies that shape the Sailor of today and tomorrow. An example of this is Distributed STAVE-CS, which encompasses instructional systems and simulated physical environments that can be taught from one location and delivered simultaneously through high-bandwidth communications flow to multiple other sites. It will provide tactical watchstanders and maintainers the ability to gain proficiency through repeatable exercises, drills and evolutions ashore. Surface Training Advanced Virtual Environment – Combat Systems (STAVE-CS)  The video below highlights how STAVE-CS provides significant advantages by training in a virtual environment using courseware and simulators owned and implemented by the Navy. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Uf3WtQ-phY&feature=youtu.be Combined Integrated Air and Missile Defense (IAMD) and Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) Trainer (CIAT) CIAT was delivered in 2018 as the most capable combat systems trainer developed for the Navy surface force. This video highlights how CIAT trains operators of current AEGIS Baselines in IAMD and the latest AN/SQQ-89A(V)15 ASW deliveries using virtualized tactical code in San Diego and Norfolk. CIAT includes an in-depth, integrated debrief capability for individual and team analysis by recording simulation of scenario ground truth, instructor and watchstander console displays and audio for after-action reporting in support of student and instructor analysis. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YPJKsFhBp30&feature=youtu.be For the latest CSCS news, make sure to visit our Facebook page.  

https://navylive.dodlive.mil/2019/08/21/teaching-todays-and-tomorrows-surface-navy-to-fight-and-win/ poyrazdogany

Remembering the Battle of Midway

By Rear Adm. Roy Kelley

Commander, Naval Air Force Atlantic

If time travel were possible, it would be interesting to go back and watch the Battle of Midway unfold. Sitting in the radio room, I could listen to pilots give updates on the position of the Japanese fleet. Then I would make my way to the flight deck and stand in awe watching Navy Avengers and Wildcats launch and recover. How amazing it would be to see and hear firsthand the actions of brave Sailors who literally reshaped history and the world as we know it today.

As a member of the Naval Air Force Atlantic team, the Battle of Midway is especially close to my heart because of the incredible impact it had on the Navy, Naval aviation and the evolution of how we conduct war from the sea.

Battle of Midway, June 1942. Torpedo Squadron Six (VT-6) TBD-1 aircraft are prepared for launching on USS Enterprise (CV-6) at about 0730-0740 , June 4, 1942.Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.

From 1942 to 2019, over the course of 77 years, many aspects of naval warfare have evolvedbut some things remain resolute. During World War II, the aircraft carrier and its embarked air wing replaced the battleship as the most powerful naval offensive weapons system; that tide has not shifted.

It is amazing to see aircraft carriers are just as strategically vital to our nation’s defense now as then. While the concept of launching and recovering aircraft at sea has remained the same, the capability and lethality of our flattops has changed enormously.

The carriers at Midway were 820 feet long and dependent on oilers for fuel. Modern carriers are nearly 1,100 feet long and run on nuclear power. They can remain at sea for 25 years before needing to refuel.

As for our aircraft, the evolution is striking. Modern jets and helicopters have an increased lethality and can conduct a much wider range of missions, to include anti-submarine warfare, intelligence gathering, search and rescue, precision strike, offensive and defensive counter-air and many others.

One area where you would find little difference, however, is the quality of our men and women serving in uniform. From the Revolutionary War through the Battle of Midway to our ships deployed around the world today, our Sailors transcend time, passing pride, patriotism and professionalism from one generation to the next.

Those serving today are a direct reflection of the Sailors that stood on the bridge, worked on the flight decks and sat in the cockpit of aircraft taking off from USS Yorktown, USS Enterprise and USS Hornet in June 1942. I have no doubt that just like their predecessors, these dedicated and extremely bright men and women will lead the next “greatest generation.”

In 1942, our Navy was the only thing standing between freedom and tyranny. And ironically, today we are facing similar global threats around the world.

 

GULF OF ALASKA (May 25, 2019) The aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) transits the Gulf of Alaska. Theodore Roosevelt is conducting routine operations in the Eastern Pacific. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Erick A. Parsons/Released)

Our fleet of 11 aircraft carriers have traveled millions of miles across the world’s oceans to fight our adversaries, deter aggression and ensure international waters remain free. Our current adversaries may be flying a different flag than those in 1942, but their intent to restrict access and intimidate other nations on the high seas is something we have seen before.

The aircraft carrier proved its worth at Midway. And today and for decades to come, our Nimitz- and Ford-class carriers will remain the backbone of the fleet.

Three U.S. Navy aircraft carriers at Midway turned the tide of the war in the Pacific. Today, at this moment, we have four carriers at sea: Lincoln, Reagan, Truman and Eisenhower. Each is manned by our nation’s best, prepared to take the fight to our enemies and ensure tyranny remains far from our shores.

For those who served at the Battle of Midway, we thank you for stepping forward to defend our great nation. For those who gave their lives during this historic engagement, your sacrifice was not in vain and will forever be rememberedespecially by your shipmates in Naval aviation.

https://navylive.dodlive.mil/2019/06/07/remembering-the-battle-of-midway/ jbell

Resourcing a Ready Surface Force

Since the establishment of the Readiness Reform and Oversight Council (RROC), the Navy made significant progress in its reform efforts to deliver a more ready and more capable Surface Force. With the support of Congress, the Navy invested in meaningful Surface Force reform, and remains committed to doing everything necessary to create a culture of excellence. The Fiscal Year 2020 budget reflects that commitment by allocating $345.8M for readiness reform efforts, with a total $1.1B projected across Future Years Defense Program (FYDP) for RROC initiatives.

Here, we explain some of the investments in the FY20 budget that will make our fleet safer and more effective, categorized into four functional areas:

Personnel

The FY20 budget request includes $14.9M for readiness efforts that impact personnel issues. In order to maximize shipboard experience, the Navy examined changes to the Surface Warfare Officer (SWO) career path, Division Officer (DO), and Department Head (DH) billet bases and tour lengths. These new billets will facilitate the addition of a Plans and Tactics Officer (PTO) aboard more ship classes, and will increase the opportunities for single, longer tour assignments in which first-tour Department Heads can “Fleet-up” to second-tour Department Head positions aboard the same ship. This change not only maximizes at-sea experience for the DH, but also positively influences the safety and operational competence of the ship through leadership continuity.

The FY20 budget also allocates funds for Human Performance Expertise on Type Commander (TYCOM) staffs. These experts, with extensive backgrounds in psychology and organizational management, advise TYCOM leadership and implement safety and training process improvements while also assessing human-centric requirements for proposed equipment acquisition projects aboard surface ships.

The FY20 budget request also enhances Fleet services by funding additional Embedded Mental Health (EMH) provider billets within each Fleet Concentration Area (FCA). This initiative will increase the timeliness of care provided to our Sailors, thereby improving the readiness of afloat units Navy-wide.

Operations

The $39.1M allocated for operational efforts in the FY20 budget funds the reestablishment of Second Fleet, as well as the procurement and installation of an additional Automatic Identification System (AIS) laptop for all surface ships.

The reestablishment of Second Fleet will optimize force generation and force employment processes, helping to balance operational requirements among the numbered fleets in a time of increasing great power competition. Vice Adm. Andrew “Woody” Lewis assumed command as Commander, U.S. Second Fleet in August 2018, and Second Fleet will reach initial operating capability this summer.

To promote safe and effective Naval operations across the fleet, all surface ships will receive an additional AIS laptop, which will also include the latest Electronic Chart Display and Information System (ECDIS). This additional navigational tool will give our watchstanders the latest navigation technology to accurately monitor underway ship positions and movements. Pending successful testing, distribution of the AIS laptops will begin in May 2019.

These renderings show some of the planned Navigation, Seamanship, and Shiphandling Trainers (NSSTs) that will provide more robust mariner skills training capabilities for individual watchstander training, as well as team and unit level instruction.

Modernization

A total of $81.5M is included in the FY20 budget for surface ship modernization and upgrades. The Navy will continue its effort to install Next Generation Surface Search RADAR (NGSSR) across the Fleet. The NGSSR will ultimately replace the Navy’s current radar systems, and will help Sailors safely navigate when transiting through congested waters. Additionally, the Navy continues to procure more Commercial Off-the-Shelf (COTS) radars for ships in order to ensure our Sailors have the most up-to-date and effective radar systems, thereby enhancing navigational equipment redundancy. Fleet delivery and installation commenced in April 2019.

Training

Of the $210.3M allocated for readiness training initiatives in the FY20 budget, a significant portion is for the Mariner Skills Training Program (MSTP). This program is designed to enhance overall mariner skills training for our Sailors and Junior Officers. It includes standing up an initial four-week Junior Officer of the Deck (JOOD) course in the spring of 2019 in San Diego, Norfolk and Newport, as well as the establishment of facilities in various Fleet Concentration Areas for the new Integrated-Navigation Seamanship and Shiphandling Trainers (I-NSSTs). These trainers will be invaluable tools to better train our watchteams on shiphandling and navigation, especially since the I-NSSTs will integrate multiple watch stations and command centers with the ship’s bridge – such as the Combat Information Center (CIC), bearing-takers, and lookouts. The Mariner Skills Training Program also includes curriculum development and instructors for comprehensive individual, team, and unit-level training to include: a new six-week Officer of the Deck (OOD) Phase One and a three-week OOD Phase Two course; expanding the Basic Division Officer Course (BDOC); and the fielding of a number of stand-alone Standards of Training, Certification, and Watchkeeping (STCW) certified mariner skills courses.

The largest and most important component of MSTP is the design and construction of Mariner Skills Training Centers (MSTCs) in Norfolk and San Diego. These centers will consolidate critical navigation, shiphandling and leadership training efforts for our Sailors into one location.

Artist’s Conception of Mariner Skills Training Center San Diego, adjacent to the Littoral Combat Ship training facility.

 

Each facility will house 30 COVE III / NSST-2 simulators for individual training during the Surface Warfare Officer School courses, as well as a number of I-NSSTs to support both individual, team and unit training. MSTCs will also provide a wide variety of instructional courses, including the OOD courses; Radar Observer, Automated Radar Plotting Aid (ARPA) and ECDIS-N radar training; and Bridge Resources Management (BRM) mentoring workshops.

The Way Ahead

Every recommendation stemming from the RROC process is designed to give our Sailors and ships the resources they need for safe and effective operations in order to build a culture of excellence. We’ve made progress on many of the RROC recommendations, but there is certainly more hard work ahead. We recognize that we must remain dedicated and vigilant in pursuit of meaningful and enduring Surface Force reforms. With Congress’ continued support, we will fund and execute every effort that keeps our number one asset – our Sailors – safe as they defend our country in a competitive and dangerous world.

Our progressive blog, Special Report: Surface Force Readiness Reforms, highlights the developments made to have a safer and more combat-effective Navy. 

https://navylive.dodlive.mil/2019/05/06/resourcing-a-ready-surface-force/ poyrazdogany