USFF Shares His Vision

USFF Shares His Vision

Commander, U.S. Fleet Forces (USFF) held a second all-hands call with his staff Oct. 9 to discuss the command’s mission, his vision, and the guiding principles that provide focus and direction.

As Adm. Bill Gortney described, the USFF mission has not changed with his arrival. USFF will continue to man, train, certify, and provide combat-ready Navy forces to combatant commanders around the globe. Those forces must be ready to conduct prompt, sustained, joint, and combined operations in support of U.S. national interests.

However, with always challenging operating environments: decreasing resources, increasing operational demands, evolving capabilities, and emerging threats, Gortney said USFF must develop an integrated approach to executing the command’s mission.

“We can no longer afford to limit ourselves to working with the resources and staffs traditionally aligned under USFF control. We must broaden our scope to ensure our policies, resources, and products are what we need to execute the Chief of Naval Operation’s Sailing Directions and the Fleet Response Training Plan.”

As a first step in the process, Gortney, who took command in mid-September, categorized the Fleet Force’s mission into five “lines of operation:” joint and fleet operations; warfighting and readiness; global force management; Sailors, civilians and families; and safety.

He realigned USFF staff structure and established an enhanced battle rhythm that allows unprecedented collaboration between the USFF staff, the type commanders, system commanders, the fleets and the Navy staff in support of the lines of operation.

To successfully manage these supported and supporting relationships requires more than just communication and coordination, explained Gortney. It requires the full integration of schedules, priorities, and staffs to achieve a common end. The USFF is now composed of two elements – a maritime headquarters and a maritime operations center – operating on a single, integrated battle rhythm.

“Our common end is the mission of providing ready and capable naval forces,” said Gortney. “We must deploy the best-trained, most capable Sailors with the best equipment. We can only accomplish this through an integrated process that we call ‘The Readiness Kill Chain (RKC).”

The RKC is all about ‘ends, ways, and means.’ The means include personnel, equipment, supplies, training, ordnance, installations and networks. Understanding how the means will be used must take into consideration training, procurement and acquisition. These are the ‘ways.’ When the Navy’s ways and means are properly organized and synchronized across the entire Navy, the ends can be achieved more efficiently and effectively.

“Using this integrated approach we can standardize readiness processes, drive costs down, increase readiness effectiveness, harness the power of properly trained and aligned staffs and synchronize actions and messages to produce successful results,” said Gortney.

Naval Today Staff,October 10, 2012; Image: US Navy