NAVAL AIR FACILITY MISAWA, Japan (NNS) -- Secretary of the Navy (SECNAV) Ray Mabus visited with Sailors and Navy civilians at Naval Air Facility Misawa, Feb. 21.
While in Misawa, SECNAV conducted an all hands call with Navy Misawa personnel and took time to tour NAF Misawa and its tenant and deployed commands.
During the call, Mabus discussed issues currently affecting the fleet, including operational and personnel matters, and the potential impacts of sequestration and continuing resolution.
He said that if the Navy needs to make budget cuts, it needs to be done without sacrificing overall naval readiness.
"We need to do it in a smart way in that does not hurt our readiness, and in a way that it does not harm our national security," he said. "Sequestration and operating under the continuing resolution forces us to make mindless cuts which will have an impact on training, sailing, flying and virtually everything that we do."
But Mabus said that if there are cuts, military pay and benefits will not be one of them.
"It will not affect pay and benefits for active duty Navy and Marine Corps and their families," said Mabus.
During his visit, Mabus also took time to thank the Sailors of Navy Misawa for their contributions and service.
"You couldn't have a better force than we have in Japan," he said. "We have the most formidable expeditionary fighting force the world has ever known.
"The type of capabilities that you give, not only to this particular region, but to the entire western Pacific and the fleet, are invaluable and we need to make sure that the contribution continues to be made," said Mabus. "Especially in a place like Misawa, which is cold and snowy, but incredibly important."
But Misawa's cold and snow did not keep away the hundreds of Misawa Sailors who packed the all hands call to hear what the SECNAV had to say.
"I liked that he didn't sugarcoat anything, and provided his unique perspective on the current state of the Navy," said Chief Construction Mechanic Michael Robb, a native of Goliad, Texas.
"But what impressed me the most was how he took the time to take pictures and chat with every single Sailor who approached him. I've never seen that before," he said. "It just goes to show how much he cares about the Navy and our Sailors."
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