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Hampton Roads Installations Critical to Navy Readiness

19 April 2021

From Vice Chief of Naval Operations Public Affairs

WASHINGTON – U.S. Navy Vice Chief of Naval Operations (VCNO) Adm. Bill Lescher visited Hampton Roads, Virginia, April 19, to visit two major shipyards and meet with Sailors in the region.

VCNO is focused on key areas of the Navy’s operational, personnel, and maintenance readiness and capacity. To that end, he spent time with public and private shipyard leaders and workers to get an update on process improvements being made to accelerate improved outcomes.

While at Norfolk Naval Shipyard (NNSY), VCNO visited several production shops and discussed recent changes being implemented by the entire shipyard team to improve project efficiency. These changes are occurring as part of NSS-Shipyards in an ongoing effort to improve efficiency across the Navy’s four public shipyards.

“The impressive thing about NNSY is the outcomes you are generating for the Navy,” Lescher said while addressing command influencers during the visit. “This “Get Real, Get Better” improvement process is part of our larger improvement journey. The imperative to drive radical change and embrace new approaches is a key vector in moving the needle in fleet readiness generation.”

The Navy’s “Get Real, Get Better” approach has been broadly implemented to drive improved outcomes across key mission areas. Through rigorous self-assessment, strong characterization of current performance, and detailed root cause analysis, the service is able to illuminate performance and capabilities as they are. The Navy can then apply these root cause insights to develop, implement, and track action plans that drive improvement in the organization’s performance, with a strong tempo of measurement and accountability.

“The learning and successes workers are bringing at NNSY are critical, and they set an example, not only for availabilities here at NNSY, but for availabilities at other yards too,” said Lescher.

“The team has taken the ‘culture of excellence’ mindset to heart here at NNSY,” said Shipyard Commander, Capt. Dianna Wolfson. “We have been able to use metrics and data to focus on finding the root causes of issues we are facing and using them to shape our problem solving process to drive real outcomes in our performance. The entire team has embraced the ‘fix or elevate’ mentality in an effort to improve project efficiency.”

While in Hampton Roads, VCNO also visited Public-Private Venture (PPV) housing and unaccompanied housing facilities to see the improvement opportunities in the two types of accommodations. Lescher spoke to Region and Installation leaders about their continued efforts focused on improving housing quality and resident experience overall. In addition to discussing living conditions for personnel on and off base, leaders briefed VCNO on installation resiliency in the tidewater region. Several initiatives are ongoing to ensure that Naval facilities have resiliency when it comes to essential utilities and climate related events. Base leaders are partnering with local, state, and federal stakeholders in a coordinated effort to bolster resiliency and address the environmental impacts of climate change on military and civilian populations in the region.

Leadership from Military Sealift Command (MSC) briefed VCNO on Strategic Sealift, Contested Logistics, the health of the Ready Reserve Force.

The trip also included a stop at Huntington Ingalls Industries (HHI) Newport News Shipbuilding where VCNO discussed program specific challenges with shipyard leadership and planned improvements aimed at achieving more predictive production and delivery schedules.    

The Hampton Roads area has the largest concentration of fleet headquarters administrative and communication facilities outside of Washington, D.C. It is home to more than 82,000 personnel and several major tenant commands: U.S. Fleet Forces Command, Joint Staff Hampton Roads, U.S. Marine Corps Forces Command, Naval Submarine Forces, Atlantic, and Naval Reserve Forces Command.

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