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SAN DIEGO (NNS) – U.S. Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. Mike Gilday traveled to San Diego, Feb. 17-19, to meet with defense industry partners, visit local commands, talk with Sailors, and participate in a panel discussion at WEST 2022.
During Gilday’s trip, he met with Commander, Naval Surface Forces Vice Adm. Roy Kitchener and Commander and Naval Air Forces Vice Adm. Kenneth Whitesell; traveled to Navy Southwest Regional Maintenance Center (SWRMC) and visited General Dynamics National Steel & Shipbuilding Co (NASSCO).
Gilday also visited and spoke with Sailors aboard the amphibious transport dock ship USS Anchorage (LPD 23), guided-missile destroyer USS Pinckney (DDG 91) and expeditionary sea base ship USS John L. Canley (ESB 6).
“No doubt, the work our Sailors are doing here is nothing short of impressive, and it is wonderful to meet with them, see it first-hand, and most importantly, get their feedback” Gilday added.
Gilday took time to talk to Sailors and leadership about the need to be a learning organization. He told Sailors that ‘Get Real, Get Better’ is a call to action for every Navy leader to apply empower our people to achieve exceptional performance.
“We must continue to innovate, adapt and change the way tackle problems to remain the world’s greatest Navy,” He added, “History has shown us that the Navy that adapted better, that learned faster and improved faster -- gained warfighting advantages over the long haul.”
During a tour of General Dynamics National Steel & Shipbuilding Co (NASSCO), Gilday visited USS Pinckney (DDG 91), undergoing maintenance in a floating dry dock, and USS John L. Canley (ESB 6). He also received updates and visited aboard the USNS John Lewis (T-AO 205).
Gilday thanked General Dynamics for balancing the requirement to help the Navy build the future fleet while maintaining the ships already in service.
“To have a Navy ready to control the seas and project power, across all domains, we must balance current operational demands with the urgent need for modernization and requirement to increase the size of the fleet, and future readiness,” said Gilday. “As we maintain our distributed warfighting concept, it is clear our lethal capabilities are derived from an increase in ships, submarines, and aircraft.”
Gilday participated in WEST 2022, a conference that brings military and industry leaders together to explore current and future naval platforms and technologies. Co-sponsored by the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association (AFCEA) International and the U.S. Naval Institute (USNI), WEST is the place for the makers of platforms and the designers of technologies to network, examine and demonstrate their innovative solutions.
“We have a clear-eyed resolve to operate forward and deter today, while we accelerate the development of a larger, more capable future fleet,” said Gilday. “Events like this showcase innovative, agile and affordable solutions that are vital to our national defense. That said, the Navy and Marine Corps needs stable, predictable and adequate funding to sustain readiness and maintain critical strategic momentum.”
He also spoke virtually at the Black Engineer of the Year 17th Annual Stars and Stripes awards dinner, Feb. 18.
This trip marked CNO’s fourth to San Diego.
Naval Base San Diego is the principal homeport of the Pacific Fleet, consisting of 46 Navy ships, one Coast Guard cutters, seven Military Sealift Command logistical support platforms, several research and auxiliary vessels. Naval Base San Diego is home to 213 individual commands, each having specific and specialized fleet support purposes. Naval Base San Diego proper is comprised of over 1,600 land acres and 326 acres of water. The base is also responsible for Commander, Navy Region Southwest and Naval Facilities Engineering Command Southwest headquarters located downtown San Diego, Naval Medical Center in Balboa Park and Admiral Baker recreation and golf course located in Mission Valley.
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