The U.S. Navy is developing a new fleet readiness plan that aims to enable more operations amid less funding. It is designed to avoid redundant activities or situations that might delay operations, and it will provide structure as well as flexibility in a coordinated effort across the fleet.
This endeavor was described by Adm. William E. Gortney, USN, commander of the U.S. Fleet Forces Command. Speaking at the Wednesday keynote luncheon at West 2014 in San Diego, the admiral said the command faced some tough choices when confronted with substantial funding reductions.
“We can complain, or we can lead,” he offered. “We’re choosing to lead.”
Adm. Gortney said the new optimized fleet response plan will address many issues confronting the Navy. Foremost, it will fix all forces to the same fleet readiness cycle. This will allow the Navy to deploy more of a forward presence, and then be able to retrieve the ships without scuttling the entire plan.
It also addresses operations and maintenance issues by placing spare parts aboard ships instead of removing them for a deployment and then requiring that they request them while at sea. The right parts will be available at the right time, and the maintenance and modernization schedule will be aligned.
The admiral said this plan will help the Navy overcome resource shortages brought about by new missions and less funding. “I’ve got more mission than I’ve got stuff,” he offered. “We don’t want to get rid of anything—we need more. But, we must match what we get.”