USA: Chief of Naval Operations Talks Deployment Length to Bremerton Sailors

Chief of Naval Operations Talks Deployment Length to Bremerton Sailors

The Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) and the Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (MCPON) held an all hands call on Naval Base Kitsap Aug. 6.

CNO Adm. Jonathan Greenert and MCPON (SS/SW) Rick West spoke with Sailors assigned to the aircraft carriers USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74), USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76), Trident submarines, and other Kitsap-area commands.

During the all hands call, the CNO addressed one of the key issues concerning Sailors in the Pacific Northwest, the length and schedule of upcoming carrier deployments along with the effect it will have on other ships around the fleet.

“(Stennis’) early deployment will cause an increase in our average carrier deployments length,” said Greenert. “We had expected, on the average, carrier deployments would be about seven months for this year. And because of the demand in the Arabian Gulf, the average deployment for carriers will be about eight months and a week for the rest of this year and early into [2013].”

Greenert also said Stennis’ deployment will have minimal to no impact on the schedules of the other surface ships and submarines around the globe.

“Submarines operate on their own schedule, and the carrier schedules do not really affect them,” said Greenert. “Now, the surface ships rotate in and out of strike groups, so those that will go into the Stennis and those that go into some of the others may go up a small amount, but generally speaking it will not affect destroyer deployments, on average, for this year and the rest of next year.”

Other issues addressed by the CNO and MCPON ranged from budgetary concerns, global issues, spice, and sexual assault awareness and prevention.

As we look forward into the future, we expect about seven and a half, maybe eight months for some carriers in the future, but eight or nine-month deployments should not be the norm,” said Greenert.

Greenert went on to say if we continue the two carrier requirement in the Gulf we’ll need to take a close look at maintenance schedules, training schedules, and the impact on our people.

Following the all-hands call Greenert and West answered questions directly from the Sailors in attendance both during and immediately after the all-hands call concluded.

Chief Hospital Corpsman (FMF) Noel Gravina, assigned to Naval Hospital Bremerton, said this opportunity was good for Sailor morale, because it allowed junior Sailors the opportunity to ask questions and receive answers directly from the CNO himself.

“It’s always good to have the top-ranked Sailor visit us because it makes us feel good and validates that what we’re doing is important to the Navy,” said Gravina.

Greenert also reenlisted 15 Sailors and pinned four other Sailors with their respective warfare specialist pins.

Yeoman 2nd Class (SS) Thayne Stahlecker, assigned to the Ohio Class Fleet Ballistic Missile Submarine USS Kentucky (SSBN 737), said this was the second time he has been reenlisted by the CNO.

“It was amazing,” said Stahlecker. “It’s really great to be reenlisted by the most senior officer in the Navy.”

Greenert is scheduled to continue his visit in the Pacific Northwest with visits to other bases in the region and an all-hands call for Sailors stationed on Naval Air Station Whidbey Island Aug. 7.

“I want to say thank you for what you’re doing. You guys do an amazing job here,” said Greenert. “I want to thank the community of Bremerton for being a Navy town for so many years and taking care of our Sailors and our families; thank you very much for that.”

Naval Today Staff, August 8, 2012; Image: US Navy