BY DEBBIE DORTCH, NAVSUP CORPORATE COMMUNICATIONS AND SARAH GLINSKI, NAVSUP WEAPON SYSTEMS SUPPORT CORPORATE COMMUNICATIONS
Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. John Richardson visited Naval Supply Systems Command (NAVSUP) at Naval Support Activity Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, to celebrate the Navy’s 241st birthday Oct 13.
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CNO Adm. John Richardson answered questions from the audience after discussing Navy hot topics. Photo by Dorie Heyer.
NAVSUP Commander Rear Adm. Jonathan Yuen welcomed and introduced Richardson.
During his visit, Richardson discussed current naval affairs, policies, and the importance of logistics to the Navy.
“Much has changed in the years since our Navy was established,” Richardson said, “but much has stayed the same.”
Richardson talked about U.S. military strikes against radar sites in Yemen involved in recent missile launches threatening guided-missile destroyer USS Mason (DDG 87) and other vessels operating in international waters in the Red Sea and the Bab al-Mandeb.
“We are still a maritime nation and it’s important we maintain open sea lanes of communication,” Richardson said.
He later added, “I sense the next decades will impose more responsibility on our maritime forces, and maritime power will be extremely important going forward.”
Richardson recognized the more than 600 civilian and military personnel in attendance and told them how much he appreciates their work.
“I have a great amount of respect for you,” he said. “This is our logistics center of excellence. I know the people here today have tremendous talent and that you have a lot of choices for where you can take your talent, but you choose to raise your right hand to support and defend the Constitution and take that oath to be something bigger than yourself ... the fact that you do that and make that choice gives me respect for you and the service you provide here in Mechanicsburg and around the world. As the chief of naval operations, I want to assure you that every decision I make starts with you in mind and ends with you in mind.”
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Rear Adm. Jonathan Yuen welcomes CNO Adm. John Richardson to NAVSUP. Photo by Dorie Heyer
Richardson talked about the Navy’s “A Design for Maintaining Maritime Superiority” and how we will adapt to changes in the security environment and continue to fulfill our mission. He addressed the strategy’s four core attributes that serve as guiding criteria for command decisions in decentralized operations--integrity, accountability, initiative and toughness.
He also emphasized the importance of creating an environment of trust among each other, noting people of character who demonstrate these core attributes bring trust to our team.
Richardson then addressed the four lines of effort in the strategy--Strengthen Naval Power at and from Sea; Achieve High Velocity Learning at Every Level; Strengthen our Navy Team for the Future; and Expand and Strengthen our Network of Partners.
A question and answer session followed Richardson’s remarks, during which he addressed the enlisted ratings modernization, mine warfare, counterterrorism, the Department of Defense’s new blended retirement plan for military personnel, and the future of civilian careers.
After cutting a Navy birthday cake, Richardson visited NAVSUP headquarters, where Yuen and members of his team briefed him on innovation such as additive manufacturing, social business, and food service initiatives; character and competence through ethics training and culture programs; NAVSUP’s face to the fleet through platform support, supply chain management, and contracting; and NAVSUP’s current and future operational readiness through fleet and regional support.
Later in the day, Richardson travelled to the NAVSUP Weapon Systems Support (WSS) Philadelphia site, where he met with the civilian and military leadership team to review NAVSUP WSS
logistics support systems.
During the visit, NAVSUP WSS Commander Rear Adm. Duke Heinz presented the command’s successes, challenges and new training and acquisition initiatives aligned with the CNO’s lines of effort. Richardson and Heinz focused on recent strategic industry engagements, comprehensive training regimens for the NAVSUP WSS workforce, and the stand-up of a Performance-Based Logistics Center of Excellence and Strategic Contracting Group.
Richardson also received briefs from the leadership team on several NAVSUP WSS-supported platforms to include nuclear platforms, Virginia-class submarines, littoral combat ships, foreign military sales and the P-8 Logistics Cell (LOGCELL). At the LOGCELL, Richardson experienced firsthand the new collaborative space used seamlessly by both government and industry stakeholders.