PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii (NNS) -- The Navy is adapting the Fleet Response Plan (FRP), a program developed to change the way ships deploy and to provide the United States with a greater range of naval options, adding the element of flexibility to naval efficiency.
"Through the FRP, the president and secretary of defense have a responsive, flexible Navy that can be called upon to deploy whenever we're needed with as little as 30 days notice," said Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet Adm. Walter F. Doran. "With the current world situation, this is the way we're going to have to run our Navy."
The idea behind FRP is to keep the Navy ready to surge and to vary the lengths of deployments, meaning the Navy will be more flexible, ready to deploy whenever, wherever.
While the Navy has been forced to extend deployments to fight the war on terrorism, FRP does not mean Sailors will always spend more than six months at sea. According to Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Vern Clark, through FRP, the possibility exists for shorter, more frequent deployments during ships' operational availability.
"I would rather muster two battle groups for three months and do something really significant internationally, and cooperate with partners in training and so forth, than just go over and hang out for six months without purpose," Clark told a Navy Times editorial board. "The position that I'm pushing is that we should be less interested in presence and more interested in presence with a purpose."
By increasing the duration of time a ship can be deployed, the operational availability of several ships will always overlap, giving the Navy the possibility of deploying multiple ships or battle groups at once.
"Just because a carrier strike group or an expeditionary strike group is surge-capable, it does not mean they will be surged, nor does it mean that if surged, they'll be gone for six months," Doran said. "All groups will still have a set deployment date, but once they get to a certain period in their training, if we ask for them, if they're needed to surge for an operation, they can be deployed. FRP is the way we are going to run the Navy in the future, because it gives our nation's leaders the flexibility they need.
"This is a new operational concept that relies on active involvement by all levels of the chain of command to work," Doran said. "It is important for each ship, each squadron and each submarine crew to talk about the FRP model, so our Sailors and their families have a better idea of what to expect with future fleet operations."
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