Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Gary Roughead released his 2011 guidance this morning. In it, Roughead echoes oft-repeated sea-service themes about becoming a leaner, more efficient force in a tightening fiscal environment while simultaneously preparing for the new kinds of warfare that may face the United States in the 21st century.
The report highlights accomplishments the Navy has made in the past year, including the early deployment of the first Littoral Combat Ship, deploying and operating all four of its guided missile submarines simultaneously, finishing modernization on six cruisers, destroyers and dock landing ships while starting work on another half-dozen, expanding CNO maintenance availabilities from nine to up to 15 weeks and beginning to dredge at Naval Station Mayport in anticipation of homeporting a nuclear-powered carrier there.
Roughead lays out 18 “intentions” for the coming year, with those that will receive special attention at the top of the list:
Continue to be the most dominant, ready and influential naval force, globally and across all naval missions,
Build a Navy with appropriate force structure and strategic laydown necessary to implement the Maritime Strategy,
Achieve decision superiority,
Align the requirements, resources and acquisition processes to achieve accountability and deliver the right capability and capacity on time and at the optimum cost throughout the life cycle,
We will evolve and establish international relationships to increase security and achieve common interests in the maritime domain,
Integrate warfighting capabilities with the Marine Corps to meet objectives of the Maritime Strategy and Naval Operations Concept,
Anticipate changes in joint force posture and operational demands in the Middle East, determine how those changes will affect Navy posture, positioning and operational tempo, and adjust accordingly,
Anticipate changes in global military (especially naval) forces, discern changes in operational and strategic patterns, and adjust Navy posture, positioning and operational tempo accordingly,
Optimize Navy staffs to efficiency and effectively support the Fleet and external constituencies,
Instill in our uniformed and civilian force a focus on mission and individual readiness that is underpinned by our Navy ethos,
Attract, recruit, develop, assign and retain a diverse, high-performing, competency-based and mission-focused force and ensure the welfare of our Sailors, Navy civilians and their families,
Develop preeminent expertise and proficiency in planning, organizing and commanding at the operational level,
Define the roles and responsibilities of each element within the enterprise and determine how the Enterprise construct should be most effectively integrated into the headquarters processes,
Leverage Science and Technology initiatives to ensure warfighting benefits accrue to future Sailors,
Assess the return on investment in all we do, appreciating that our people, time and money are finite; and we must manage initiatives to guarantee the appropriate balance of efficiency and risk,
Define and articulate how we win,
Complement key actions and initiatives with effective communication methods and messages to maximize our effectiveness and return on investment,
Move forward with the Coast Guard to ensure security in the maritime domain.
The admiral offers some more specific examples of how the Navy will shift resources toward vital researching and development, including directing money toward “game-changing technologies and concepts, especially those at the left end of the effects chain and in information dominance,” making sure unmanned systems are a smart way to cut back on personnel, designating 10th Fleet as a “cyber claimant” and giving it the authority to rapidly shift financial resources depending on the changing cyber environment, and invigorating the service's prototyping abilities in key areas. As part of the drive toward partnering with the Coast Guard, the CNO points to preparations for deploying the Fire Scout vertical-take off unmanned aerial vehicle on a National Security Cutter.
Roughead also highlights organizational changes. The document says the sea service will release a revised version of the OPNAV Mission, Functions, Task document in order to clarify roles and responsibilities of each command element, and will develop a streamlined and funded model for “concept generation and concept development at the operational level of war” as part of its effort to strengthen proficiencies in underwater, littoral and irregular warfare. As the United States reduces its presence in the Middle East, the guidance says that Navy non-core individual augmentee and war-on-terror support assignment billets will come down as well. Furhtermore, Roughead writes that the Navy is working on reducing its shore infrastructure in a way that “right sizes” it with the needs of the fleet.
“My guidance focuses our efforts on ensuring the dominance of our Navy tomorrow, the readiness of our Fleet today, and the well being of our people always,” the CNO wrote. “The Director of the Navy Staff will coordinate our efforts across the Navy and use relevant processes and venuse to drive progress on my intentions and update me accordingly.”