Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Damning words about our great Navy

"Poor training, impenetrable bureaucracy and cultural resignation have caused a spike in the number of technical problems and a dip in the operational performance in"... _______________ (fill in the blank; the problems are widespread).

"it can be assumed that less important systems could well be in worse material condition."

The findings came in the report of the "fleet review panel," convened last September by Adm. John Harvey, head of Fleet Forces Command, to conduct an outside assessment into the readiness of the surface force.


Anonymous said...

We kept trying to tell the C.O.C. that the changes to training were a bad idea and the "Revolution in Training" had failure written all over it.

While I can't speak for what the other centers' responses were, I can speak for what we were told at CID. "The train has left the station. You just need to get on board or you will be left behind."
We heard that so often it became a punch line.

Well, I guess we see how that turned out. Some folks probably got promoted and received some shiny new medals while screwing over the fleet.

It is ALWAYS the case: the worst policies are created by those who will be least impacted by them. ADM Clark was never going to get bit in the butt for his decisions. Nor were those at the top at NPDC or any of the centers (especially CID)

Now ADM Harvey has the unenviable task of trying to correct the mistakes of the past decade. Good luck ADM.

CFFC Captain said...

If Admiral Harvey can not solve this problem, burn the boats because the problem can't be solved.

Captain - Special Duty Cryptology said...

I DO NOT think ADM Harvey can solve it. I do respect him immensely for trying to address it.

Anonymous said...

It may be a case of reaping what you sow. These changes occurred while ADM Mullen (now CJCS) was CNO and ADM Harvey (now CFFC) was CNP.

As someone who was a surface warfare training officer in the midst of this "Revolution", I can tell you that it was not well thought out in many cases. When I received the new SWO division officer training CDs on my ship, imagine my surprise when they would not run on the ship's LAN because the CDs were programmed to run on a standalone PC. So here I am on a CVN with one set of CDs for a wardroom where a couple dozen officers were working on surface warfare qualification and having to go scrounge up some standalone PCs and tell the trainees to share one set of CDs.

In defense of ADMs Mullen and Harvey, however, the Navy has reached a point where personnel costs are the bigger than either procurement (i.e., shipbuilding and other procurment) or operations & maintenance costs. It's not easy to know what the right answer is when it comes to making cuts but personnel is the biggest piece of the pie now.

One thing is clear: you can't cut manpower before you invest in (and adopt) real manpower saving technologies and change your culture that relies on manual processes. For example, this includes breaking the tradition that old schoolers have that some things must be done on paper. For crying out loud, in 1996, ASW was still being taught with colored pencils and paper. Every navigation fix was logged and plotted by hand on a paper chart despite the technology existing in the Coast Guard for its buoy tenders to place navigation aids to WGS84 standards using paperless navigation. If you ever suggested driving the buoys for a nav detail and using the recorded electronic GPS positions, you'd likely be disqualified and thrown off the bridge before the next navigation fix for speaking heresy.

This is beyond one person. The Luddite culture that has ruled the Navy must be changed.