U.S. Fleet Forces Commander Visits Surface Warfare Officers School


Staff and students assigned to Surface Warfare Officers School (SWOS) received a visit from the commander of U.S Fleet Forces Command May 2.

Adm. John C. Harvey Jr. held a town hall meeting in the Admiral Michael Mullen Auditorium, where he shared his views on the current state of the surface force and where it is headed in the future. One prominent topic of discussion was maintenance challenges affecting the surface fleet.

As future commanding officers (COs), executive officers (XOs), and department heads, I want you to focus on ensuring your ships are ready to fight,” said Harvey. “You tell me what you need and I will go down in the trenches and get you the people, get you the parts, and get you the money needed for repairs to ensure you can go out and fight your ships.”

Adm. Harvey took time to talk about his command experiences and the effect that the officers in the audience could have on their ships.

“A totally focused CO, XO, or department head that goes all-in is extremely powerful,” said Harvey. “Your passion and intensity spreads to everyone around you, leading to you being able to get the most out of your ship.”

Harvey’s comments had a significant impression on the crowd, from junior to senior officers.

Listening to Adm. Harvey speak was extremely inspiring,” said SWOS student Lt. Doug Brayton, prospective engineering officer for USS Oscar Austin (DDG 79). “As a future department head and chief engineer, you worry about maintenance and its effect on the ship’s ability to complete its mission. It’s great to know that our leaders are willing to go to the extreme to ensure our ships get what they need to be effective.”

SWOS is responsible for providing a wide range of professional development courses, including the Advanced Shiphandling and Tactics (ASAT), Surface Navigator, and the Department Head course. SWOS also provides training to officers preparing for command at sea. The command at sea courses and curricula are designed to prepare prospective major commanders, COs and XOs with the tactical, operational, material management, and personnel skills to excel in command.

Naval Today Staff , May 09, 2012;