The chief of naval operations (CNO) visited Naval Support Activity (NSA) Bahrain to view operations within the 5th Fleet Area of Responsibility (AOR), speak with members of the NSA Bahrain community and to visit ships, Nov. 21.
During his visit, Adm. Jonathan W. Greenert stressed the importance of maintaining access to the waterways in the region while enabling the warfighters who operate forward to succeed in their missions.
“The Arabian Gulf is incredibly important and Bahrain is our Navy home,” said Greenert. “It is important today and in the future, as we rebalance our fleet in the Asia-Pacific and the Arabian Gulf since we will be here a long time.”
Conducting an all-hands call Greenert began with a reenlistment ceremony for eight Sailors, including Master-at-Arms 2nd Class Danny Jasso, assigned to Naval Security Forces, who added six years to his Navy contract.
“I was delighted to carry on knowing that the chief of naval operations granted me that opportunity in the greatest naval fighting force on planet earth,” said Jasso. “It was a special privilege and I am grateful to do so with a powerful policy-maker. My only wish was that my family was present to have witnessed such a special moment.”
During the all-hands call Greenert discussed the Navy’s position report where he outlined the emerging challenges the Navy faces.
“Number one is sexual assault,” he said. “There are too many and that needs to change. It’s a safety issue and I need an all-hands effort.”
Secondly, he said the rate of suicide among Sailors is creeping up from three years ago.
“If you see a shipmate that is acting differently, say something,” Greenert said.
“Three, our [operational]-tempo is high and we need to adjust to that. We need to look at the individual tempo of our Sailors and adjust accordingly.”
Lastly, Greenert said he wants to get the fleet to align to proper manning levels, especially concerning leadership positions. Initiatives have been installed and are ready to be executed to place these skills sets in the proper places.
In conjunction with his visit, Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (MCPON) Michael D. Stevens was also present for the all-hands call. While addressing the crowd, he focused on his ‘Zeroing in on Excellence’ initiative, which consists of developing leaders, good order and discipline, and controlling what [the Navy] owns.
“Zeroing in on Excellence is in support of the CNO’s directions,” said Stevens. “It is a framework and foundation from which each command can work together.”
In addition to today’s visit, Greenert visited Sailors aboard USS Rushmore (LSD-47) Nov. 20 shortly after arriving in the AOR. He thanked the crew for their dedication and perseverance.
“Thank you to all the Sailors and Marines working hard, and doing an important mission, on the ship,” said Greenert. “What all of you do out here in 5th Fleet is more important than I think you could probably imagine.”
Last September, militaries from approximately 27 nations cooperated in an international mine countermeasure exercise (IMCMEX ’12) to preserve freedom of navigation in Middle Eastern waterways and promote regional stability within the 5th Fleet AOR.
“The international exercise and mission requirements that you all have recently conducted supports powerful coalition partnerships, and enforces our nation’s critical maritime security mission,” he said.
Greenert said he would visit other ships during the Thanksgiving holidays in order to spend time with Sailors.
“I am here this week to listen, to learn and to see Sailors,” he said. “I am here to listen to what they have to say so I can take that back and lead on.”
Naval Today Staff,November 26, 2012; Image: US Navy