PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii (NNS) -- The Chief of Naval Personnel spoke with Sailors at an all hands call at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam's historic Bloch Arena Nov. 16.
Vice Adm. Scott R. Van Buskirk is going fleet-wide to speak about key personnel policies, including force management initiatives, efforts to improve sea duty manning, and 21st Century Sailor and Marine programs.
"It's a great opportunity to get the pulse from the fleet," Van Buskirk said. "We are hearing what the Sailors want to say and the issues that they are concerned about. As a result of what we are hearing, we're doing things about it. We are working towards getting manning right in the fleet, working at delivering the manning with the critical skills that are necessary to ensure that our ships can fulfill their missions.
"We are aggressively attacking the issues that the fleet and our Sailors are concerned about; increasing manning where it needs to be, and focusing on those critical skills that the ships need to have out there."
Culinary Specialist 3rd Class Melanie Beverly, of Baton Rouge, La., said, "A lot of the questions were about PTS (Perform to Serve). There was a question about liberty and a detailer question," she said. "They're trying to get more Sailors with more training to the ships. They're trying to balance the workforce."
Navy Region Hawaii Command Master Chief (SW/AW) Marc Sibal said, "Today's all hands call with Vice Adm. Van Buskirk was an opportunity for Sailors interested in their career goals and Navy's personnel policies. What are the voluntary and involuntary measures to reduce gaps at sea, and how will that affect shipmates? How are under-manned ratings being filled? What are the latest ways the Navy is trying to help Sailors and their families? These were just some of the questions and topics open for discussion," he said.
Van Buskirk also spoke about what makes duty in Hawaii unique.
"Hawaii will always be a pivotal homeport for our Navy. It has a historic place in our history and in the future it will remain a cornerstone for our Navy and for our nation," he said.
"It's a tremendous honor and pleasure to be back in Hawaii," Van Buskirk added. "I've served over six years in this wonderful place and everytime I return I am reinvigorated with the aloha spirit, it is always great to see old shipmates. It's truly a wonderful place to live, a tremendous place to work, and in our Navy it is a wonderful place to operate out of.
Van Buskirk reinforced the message from Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jon Greenert about rebalancing to the Pacific.
"The Pacific region is vitally important to our global economy, and commerce," said Van Buskirk. "It's an area that we will continue to have a tremendous amount of presence and engagement in, so as a result we are looking at the investment of where our ships are and where our people are to ensure we have it right."
Summing up his all hands call in Hawaii, he said, "It's a great opportunity to get the pulse from the fleet, about issues they are contending with, things that they want changed, things that are working well, and things they want to address."
For more news from Commander, Navy Region Hawaii, visit www.navy.mil/local/cnrh/.