NORFOLK, Va. (NNS) -- Command Master Chiefs assigned to Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 10 units met Jan. 14 for a CMC roundtable to not only get a view of the current operational picture, but to understand the meaning of self-sufficiency, the “fight tonight” mindset and mission command, as well as to develop strategies for empowering leadership at all levels.
The roundtable, held aboard the strike group’s flagship, USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69), included remarks and presentations from top leadership, including Vice Adm. Andrew “Woody” Lewis, commander, U.S. 2nd Fleet, and CSG 10 commander Rear Adm. John Meier.
“Admiral Meier and I wanted the Strike Group CMCs to gather and share ideas to make our commands within Strike Group 10 a lethal, warfighting team,” said Pablo Rosado, CSG 10 CMC. “We wanted to create this roundtable as a meeting of peers for discussion and exchange of views.”
Lewis said a key component of coming together as a team is an embrace of the “mission command” philosophy.
“We all need each other,” said Lewis. “What I’m really interested in is for CMC’s to be involved in mission command. That involves building trust in each other. That starts with planning. That starts with events like this.”
“Empowering leadership at the deckplate level enables units to respond faster to sudden change and emergent events: situations that could be the deciding factor on whether a mission is carried out successfully,” Meier said. “Mission command works hand-in-hand with being self-sufficient, or looking within self-unit-strike group, for solutions when we are downrange.”
Rosado said that is crucial when there is a possibility of having only strike group elements available to assist – and the strike group has to be able to fight and repair itself at the same time.
USS Monterey (CG 61)’s command master chief, Ronnie Freeman, said self-sufficiency to the deckplate leader means understanding equipment, operators and how to see past “phoning a friend.”
“Americans have a mindset that we can get whatever we want at a moment’s notice. We need to be smart about what parts we need to keep our equipment going, and be flexible when we cannot get the parts right away,” Freeman said.
Trust is also a key component of successful leadership, Rosado said, adding trust comes with “sets and reps,” running drills together and learning from one another. Building that muscle memory, he said, will come in handy during war.
“I know we can be successful when we work with our shipmates,” said Rosado. “We drilled together so much I know his next move.”
“This is about getting back to the basics on the way we do things,” Freeman said. “It’s about asking ourselves if we are ready for the fight. When I joined the Navy, we were fighting in Desert Storm; like now, we were at war. We cannot allow ourselves to get soft; we need to be ready to fight at any moment.”
“For the past year and a half, we have been in maintenance phase,” said Brandi Heath, Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 7 CMC. “What I want to express to our Sailors is to be ready.”
Carrier Strike Group 10, also known as the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group, includes the Nimitz-class nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Dwight D, Eisenhower (CVN 69), the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruisers USS Monterey (CG 61), USS San Jacinto (CG 56), and USS Vella Gulf (CG 72); the ships and staff of Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 26; and the squadrons and staff of Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 3.
For more news from USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69), visit www.navy.mil/local/cvn69/.