EVERETT, Wash. (NNS) -- Commander, Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet Vice Adm. Tom Rowden visited Everett, Washington commands, Oct. 19.
The admiral's visit included five surface ships, Pudget Sound Naval Shipyard Intermediate Maintenance Facility Det. Everett, Regional Support Organization Pacific Northwest, and Afloat Training Group Pacific Northwest.
Rowden made the visit to discuss Pacific Northwest maintenance and training support to the ships, as well as to review with the ships specific actions taken across the fleet as a result of the Navy-wide operational pause directed by the chief of naval operations.
"It's a busy time. Our ships are at sea, working hard to support fleet commander tasking. It is important that we ensure our maintenance and training organizations are capable of providing our ships the support they need to be successful at sea," said Rowden.
While in Everett, Rowden visited the Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyers USS Gridley (DDG 101) and USS Momsen (DDG 92), where he answered questions and addressed concerns from Sailors about manning, training and equipping the surface force, during an all-hands call.
Also, he highlighted a series of hull-by-hull ready for sea assessments (RFSA) which began in September with Forward Deployed Naval Forces, Japan (FDNF-J), and will soon include the Everett-based ships. These assessments are validating the basic readiness and proficiency of Navy warships. These RFSAs are intended to enhance safety while assessing critical mission areas of operating, navigating and communicating safely at sea.
"I am encouraged to tell you that we're not stopping there," said Rowden. "Fleet Forces and Pacific Fleet are leading larger, fleet-wide efforts to further study how we as a Navy can improve readiness."
Rowden emphasized that these efforts are about building confident and competent Sailors.
"I want you to be confident in yourself, in your team, and in your ship. To have that confidence, you need to be competent, first in the basics and then in the more complex, advanced aspects of warfighting," he said.
In September, Rowden visited FDNF-J ships and commands in Yokosuka and Sasebo, Japan, and Singapore. Rowden conducted similar all-hands calls and held discussions with leadership to better understand forward-deployed readiness challenges and to discuss the role of the new Naval Surface Group Western Pacific organization.
Rowden recognizes the need to build confidence and competence in Sailors. He is taking a solid stance and directing commanders to ensure ships receive the appropriate amount of time needed to conduct training and certifications prior to deployment, increase ownership of the processes in place, and create a culture of standardization across the surface community and the fleet as a whole.
For more information about how the surface force is improving safety and readiness of Navy warships, visit http://www.public.navy.mil/surfor/Pages/fleetsupportimprovement.aspx.
For more information on Commander, Naval Surface Forces, U.S. Pacific Fleet, visit http://www.public.navy.mil/surfor/Pages/home.aspx.
For more news from Naval Surface Forces, visit http://www.navy.mil/local/cnsp/.