Constants in a sea of changes in 2017

Rear Adm. John Fuller

Rear Adm. John Fuller

Rear Adm. John Fuller

Commander, Navy Region Hawaii and Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific Commander, Task Force Energy and Environment

We live in a time of great change. In this increasingly complex time and environment filled with new challenges we must be able to reset, adapt, respond and prevail if called upon to fight.

Recently U.S. Pacific Commander Adm. Harry Harris reminded all of us, “The need for and the value of American engagement in the Indo-Asia-Pacific is convincing, and it’s proven over decades as part of a long history of U.S. commitment to the region.”

At last month’s USS Oklahoma Memorial ceremony on National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, U.S. Pacific Fleet Commander Adm. Scott Swift provided us with a message of continuity inspired by the attack of 75 years ago and continuing today.

“That path began here in Pearl Harbor in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, and it led our Pacific nation to grow from a Pacific power to the Pacific power,” Adm. Swift said. “Sailors who serve today on Pearl Harbor and throughout the Pacific embody that proud heritage.”

My previous commentaries discussed Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson’s “A Design for Maintaining Maritime Superiority,” focusing on CNO’s core attributes: Integrity, Accountability, Initiative and Toughness.

In fact, it was the focus of my commentary one year ago this week: “Resolving to do more right in 2016.”

The Design is built on four lines of effort that focus on Warfighting, Learning Faster, Strengthening Our Navy Team, and Building Partnerships. The CNO describes the forces that are bringing about dynamic change in the maritime system, information system and new technology rapidly entering the environment.

What does that mean for us here in Hawaii in 2017 on the waterfront for Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific and at our installations — Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam and Pacific Missile Range Facility — for Navy Region Hawaii?

Our senior leaders provide an aligned, connected and consistent vision and guiding principles. Using those tools we navigate sea changes ahead.

Vice Adm. Thomas Rowden, Commander, Naval Surface Forces, U.S. Pacific Fleet, just issued his “Surface Force Strategy: Return to Sea Control,” focusing on Forward, Visible and Ready forces able to respond to a dynamic world. His strategy employs the concept of “Distributed Lethality” and is aligned with the CNO’s Design. I’ll present more details in an upcoming commentary.

Vice Adm. Dixon Smith, Commander Navy Installations Command, gives us the “how” from the shore perspective — the roadmap to achieve our collective vision and meet the needs of the Fleet. We welcome him back to our (his) region next week. His Guiding Principles help us ask the right questions:

Take Customer Service to the Next Level: Have we identified all of our customers? Do we have the empathy needed to understand our customers’ needs? Are we prepared to support the producers and deployers with a can-do attitude? Do we look for ways to “get to yes” when it makes sense?

Be Brilliant on the Basics: Are we committed to policy alignment, continuity of purpose and perfecting guidance and leadership? This is critical in a challenging and changing environment.

Make Smart Business Decisions: Are we operating as efficiently and effectively as possible, especially as we use energy? The Navy Shore Energy Program is part of the Department of the Navy’s effort to minimize energy consumption, reduce energy costs and use renewable resources and environmentally sustainable technologies whenever possible.

Live a Culture of Continuous Improvement: Are we self-aware, examining our performance and practicing critical self-introspection? Are we challenging assumptions, accepting disruptive ideas and using measurable data to make decisions?

Represent Navy to the Surrounding Community: What kind of relationship-building are we doing with our neighbors? Adm. Smith reminds us, “Installations are the face of the Navy. It’s all about relationships.”

This last principle, in particular, dovetails with the CNO’s “Line of Effort Purple,” which keys to this desired outcome: “A Naval Force that produces leaders and teams who learn and adapt to achieve maximum possible performance, and who achieve and maintain high standards to be ready for decisive operations and combat.”

Rooted in a common and profound heritage, our Navy Ethos, Core Values and Navy leaders’ guiding principles give continuity and clarity in these dynamic times moving forward. These are interesting times, so we must continue our commitment to operational, material and personal readiness.

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Category: News