Secretary of the Navy (SECNAV) Kenneth J. Braithwaite, Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. Mike Gilday and Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (MCPON) Russell Smith visited several commands on a trip to Norfolk June 11.
During their visit, SECNAV, CNO and MCPON engaged first-hand with service members and civilians and gained an enhanced understanding of current maintenance efforts supporting Fleet readiness.
“My intent is to learn from our Sailors and Marines on a daily basis, working with them to understand the unique challenges and opportunities they face,” said Braithwaite. “The CNO and I are well aligned in that, and we value the opportunity to be with our service members wherever they serve.”
The first stop for the Navy’s senior leaders was the Mid-Atlantic Fleet Readiness Center followed by visits to Naval Air Station Oceana Headquarters, U.S. Fleet Forces Command, Mariner Skills Training Center Atlantic and Regional Maintenance Center Production Facility. The trip also included a visit to USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78).
“Today’s visit was an important opportunity for Secretary Braithwaite and I to see the Navy’s readiness efforts across surface and tactical aviation communities first-hand,” said Chief of Naval Operations, Adm. Mike Gilday. “A ready Navy – ready to fight today – with a commitment to training, maintenance, and modernization will ensure a Navy for ready for tomorrow.”
Both leaders also learned how the COVID-19 pandemic had affected personnel at each of the commands and thanked the staffs for their hard work and efforts to enhance safety amongst the workforce.
While aboard USS Gerald R. Ford, SECNAV, CNO and MCPON applauded the crew for their latest efforts, achieving significant milestones in the ship’s most recent underway, which included the largest aircraft embark to date.
“We must continue to build and sustain a lethal force, striking an intelligent balance between readiness and modernization,” said Braithwaite. “To execute our mission, the future Navy must be bigger, more lethal, networked and ready. After touring these commands and having the opportunity to engage with Sailors, I’m confident we’re moving forward in the right direction.”
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